John Scott’s list of the biggest acts who lived in Jacksonville

Lynyrd Skynyrd  


Undeniably the biggest rock band from Jacksonville, Lynyrd Skynyrd has an argument to be called the greatest American rock band ever. Their first six albums before the 1977 plane crash that took leader Ronnie Van Zant were some of the best rock n roll ever made. Five of the six members on the debut album were born and raised in Jacksonville.”Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird” battle for most-loved song by its fans, but their entire catalog is well-worth digging into.




Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama - 7/2/1977 - Oakland Coliseum Stadium (Official)


Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama Recorded Live: 7/2/1977 - Oakland Coliseum Stadium - Oakland, CA More Lynyrd Skynyrd at Music Vault: ...


Ray Charles


Ray Charles practically invented soul music. And that is possibly an understatement. It hard to quantify the reach that the music of Ray Charles had on the world of popular music from the 1950s until his death in 2004. He mastered big band, rhythm and blues, country and western, pop and jazz, effortlessly transitioning from one to another in concert. After going blind, Charles went to school in St. Augustine at Florida Deaf and Blind for nearly 8 school years. After leaving the school at 15 he lived downtown in LaVilla for a couple of years, playing in a variety of bands.


Ray Charles - What'd I Say LIVE


Ray Charles live in Sao Paulo, Brazil 1963.


Allman Brothers BandThey’ve been called the inventors of “southern rock” , but Gregg Allman said that since most rock was invented in the south, that’s a redundancy “like calling it rock rock.” Any label outside of the word “great” would not give the Allmans their due. Their stew of blues, rock, jazz, pop and classical music puts them at the forefront of the greatest bands of all time. Brother Gregg and Duane grew up in Daytona, and drummer Butch Trucks was born and raised in Jacksonville. The band members all ended up in Jacksonville, playing their first gig as the Allman Brothers Band in Jacksonville.




The Allman Brothers Band - Full Concert - 09/23/70 - Fillmore East (OFFICIAL)


The Allman Brothers Band - Full Concert Recorded Live: 9/23/1970 - Fillmore East (New York, NY) More The Allman Brothers Band at Music Vault: http://www.musicvault ...


38 Special  


In many ways, 38 Special was a little brother of sorts to Lynyrd Skynyrd. The natural connection is that 38 Special co-lead singer Donnie Van Zant was indeed the younger brother of Skynyrd’s leader Ronnie Van Zant. Musically they played a similar brand of music, but with a more soft-focused attitude. All of the original band were Jacksonville natives. They really hit their stride in 1980, with a string of gold and platinum albums and rock radio hits such as “Hold on Loosely.” and “Caught Up in You.”


Limp Bizkit


The guys in Limp Bizkit have sold over 40 million albums worldwide with their brand of rap-rock since their formation in 1994. They garnered a great following locally before exploding nationally with their 1997 debut Three Dollar Bill, Y’all$. Their next two albums alone sold 13 million copies in the US. They were huge for six years; 2003 was their last charting album. But their lightning in a bottle really made an impact.


Luther Dixon


Luther Dixon never had a hit on his own, but he should be in the rock and roll hall of fame with the songs he wrote and produced. Dixon was born and lived into his teen years in Jacksonville, moving to New York to make it in the music business. He wrote the classic song “16 Candles” which was a #2 pop hit in 1958, as well as others that got the attention of a record label owner that wanted Dixon to write and produce for a girl group he had signed. The group was The Shirelles and Dixon guided them to more than a dozen pop and r&b hits including “Soldier Boy” and “Baby, it’s You”. Dixon’s songs were recorded by other artists such as The Beatles, Elvis Presley and the Jackson Five.


Classics IV  


The late 1960s were a fertile time for groups from Jacksonville. The Classics IV led the way, albeit from Atlanta. The band of Jacksonville natives had formed in the mid-60s and moved to Atlanta to further their careers. While other bands were still jamming and trying to find their sound in Jax, Classics IV had reeled off three massive pop hits. They had a softer, southern sound, led by the soulful voice of Dennis Yost. Their hits, “Spooky”, “Stormy”, and “Traces” have all been stalwarts on oldies stations for decades.


Mike CampbellThroughout Tom Petty’s career, the man he always called his co-captain was RIbault High grad Mike Campbell. Campbell was lead guitarist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, co-writing and co-producing many of the bands hits and writing and producing for others, such as Don Henley. Campbell originally joined Petty in the band Mudcrutch and the relationship continued until Petty’s death. Campbell’s guitar solos were impeccable; it was once said by guitar critics that he “never wasted a note.” (He’s the one ripping the solo at the end of this video)


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