38 Special (also, uncommonly, written .38 Special) is an American rock band that was formed by neighborhood friends Don Barnes and Donnie Van Zant in 1974 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Donald Newton “Donnie” Van Zant (born June 11, 1952, in Jacksonville, Florida) is an American rock vocalist/guitarist. He is best known for being a member of the band 38 Special, from its formation in 1974 until 2013. He is the middle of three brothers: his older brother Ronnie was the original lead singer for Lynyrd Skynyrd who died in a 1977 plane crash in Mississippi along with five other members and associates of the band; his younger brother Johnny is the current Lynyrd Skynyrd’s lead singer since 1987. Donnie and Johnny also perform together from time to time as the group Van Zant.
According to a posting in March 2013 on the 38 Special website, “Donnie Van Zant has not been able to join the band’s performances for the past six months. In accordance with his doctor’s strict orders and due to health issues related to inner-ear nerve damage, he will not be able to join 38 Special onstage in the foreseeable future. Donnie will continue to write and record with the band.” However, it was announced later in 2013 that he had officially left 38 Special, and was retiring.
Richard Donald “Don” Barnes (born December 3, 1952) is an American rock vocalist and guitarist and one of the founding members of the Southern rock band 38 Special. Barnes performed lead vocals on many of the group’s biggest hits, including “Rockin’ into the Night,” “Hold On Loosely,” “Caught Up in You,” “If I’d Been the One,” “Back Where You Belong,” “Like No Other Night,” and more.
Barnes left the band in 1987, with the song “Back to Paradise” (from the movie Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise) being his final hit with the band. He was replaced by Max Carl.
Barnes recorded a solo album Ride the Storm in 1989, but it wasn’t released due to the record label (A&M Records) being sold. It featured many of the top session musicians of the time, such as Jeff Porcaro and Dann Huff. The album was co-produced by singer-songwriter Martin Briley. Barnes rejoined 38 Special in 1992 and has remained with them ever since. The album was released on June 30, 2017 on MelodicRock Records. – Wikipedia