Ed King, Former Lynyrd Skynyrd Guitarist, Dead at 68
Former Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Ed King has died, his official Facebook page reports. He was 68 years old.
According to the Facebook post, King died at his Nashville, Tenn., home on Wednesday (Aug. 22). "We thank his many friends and fans for their love and support of Ed during his life and career," the post reads.
Born on Sept. 14, 1949, in Glendale, Calif., King began his professional music career as a founding member of the psychedelic rock band Strawberry Alarm Clock in the mid-1960s. The group opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1968, which is how King met the band.
King joined Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1972, replacing bassist Leon Wilkeson; when Wilkeson re-joined the band, King became one of the group's three guitarists. He played on Skynyrd's first three albums: Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd, Second Helping and Nuthin' Fancy; he also co-wrote the iconic "Sweet Home Alabama," as well as "Saturday Night Special," "Railroad Song" and others.
King left Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1975, but re-joined the band in 1987. Due to congestive heart failure, he was forced to retire from the group in 1996. He reunited with the band in 2006, for their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.
A 2013 profile on FoodRepublic.com reports that King underwent a heart transplant in 2011. He and his wife Sharon had been spending their retired years traveling to various restaurants and reviewing them online.
The Tennessean reports that funeral arrangements for King are unknown at this time.
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