Ed King, Guitarist for Lynyrd Skynyrd Band, Dead at 68

Was Co-writer of the Classic “Sweet Home Alabama”

Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Ed King died Wednesday (Aug. 22) at his home in Nashville at the age of 68. His death was announced Thursday morning on his Facebook page. He was 68.

Along with his Skynryd bandmates a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, King numbered among his many musical high points co-writing and playing lead guitar on the classic Southern rock classic, “Sweet Home Alabama.”


Before joining Skynyrd in 1972 (initially as its bass player), King co-founded the psychedelic rock band Strawberry Alarm Clock and was an uncredited co-writer of that band’s only No. 1 pop single, “Incense and Peppermints,” which topped the chart in 1967.

Edward C. King was born Sept. 14, 1949, in Glendale, Calif. He first encountered the band that would vault him to world fame in 1968 when Skynyrd opened for Strawberry Alarm Clock.

Besides the iconic “Sweet Home Alabama,” King also co-wrote and recorded with the band such memorable titles as “Saturday Night Special,” “Swamp Music,” “Mr. Banker,” “Poison Whiskey” and “I Need You.”

He joked about his membership in Skynyrd on his Facebook page, writing that he “worked at the Lynyrd Skynyrd Band LONG AGO” and “studied at the Wrath of Skynyrd University.”

King left the band in 1975 but rejoined it in 1987. He retired in 1996 owing to congestive heart failure, a condition that led to his receiving a heart transplant in 2011.

His induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame came in 2006.

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