Tag: Donnie Van Zant

Thursday 4pm ET: Feature Artist – 38 Special Band

38 Special (sometimes stylized as .38 Special) is an American rock band that was formed by neighborhood friends Don Barnes and Donnie Van Zant in 1974 in Jacksonville, Florida.

Donnie Van Zant, the younger brother of Lynyrd Skynyrd founder Ronnie, began playing music himself during his teen years, forming the band Standard Production in 1968, which paved the way for Sweet Rooster, Donnie’s first professional outfit that he formed in 1969 with guitarist Jeff Carlisi and bassist Ken Lyons, soon joined by drummer Steve Brookins. Carlisi left Sweet Rooster after graduating high school to study architecture at Georgia Tech and was replaced by Don Barnes in 1970. Brookins also left to work as a truck driver and Sweet Rooster was defunct by 1973.

Nevertheless, Van Zant, Barnes and Lyons, while continuing their day jobs and working in other bands, began working on composing original songs in their spare time. By 1974, they decided it was time to get serious and form “the ultimate band” that would be their “one last shot” at success. Briefly, Van Zant was considering a higher-paying position for the railroad at which he worked, but was finally convinced by brother Ronnie to stick with music since it was “in his blood.”

The new outfit comprised Van Zant, Barnes, Lyons, Brookins, second drummer Jack Grondin and a returning Carlisi. The band’s name was thought up after an incident which found the boys practicing in a warehouse out in the middle of nowhere. When police arrived after being notified by locals of the noise, the band members were unable to come out because of a padlock on the door. One of the cops said, “That’s all right. We’ll let this .38 special do the talking”, and shot off the lock.

In 2012 a notice was posted on 38 Special’s website saying Donnie Van Zant would not tour with the band due to health issues related to inner-ear nerve damage, although he would continue to write and record with the band. But in 2013, after nearly a year of missing performances, it was confirmed that Van Zant had officially left 38 Special after 39 years and was retiring from music.

In 2014 longtime bassist Larry Junstrom was replaced by Barry Dunaway (a veteran of many classic rock outfits, including Pat Travers Band, Yngwie Malmsteen and Survivor). Dunaway had previously filled in for Junstrom for a handful of shows in 2011 and a few shows in 2013 as well. Junstrom was then forced to retire due to a hand injury that required surgery.

Since 2019, the 38 lineup has consisted of Don Barnes, keyboardist/vocalist Bobby Capps, drummer Gary Moffatt, Dunaway, and guitarist Jerry Riggs. This leaves Don Barnes as the only original member, although Barnes was absent from the band from 1987 until 1992.

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed 38 Special among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

Junstrom died on October 6, 2019, at age 70.

Artist Countdown: 38 Special Top 30 Tracks 12pm ET

38 Special38 Special (also written .38 Special or Thirty-Eight Special) is an American rock band that was formed by neighborhood friends Don Barnes and Donnie Van Zant in 1974 in Jacksonville, Florida.

The band’s first two albums had a strong southern rock influence. By the early 1980s, 38 Special shifted to a more accessible arena rock style without abandoning its southern rock roots. This shift helped to usher in a string of successful albums and singles.

Their breakthrough hit was “Hold On Loosely” (1981). “Caught Up in You” (1982) and “If I’d Been the One” (1983) both hit No. 1 on Billboard magazine’s Album Rock Tracks chart. “Back Where You Belong” (1984) continued the annual sequence of radio favorites. In 1985 they had another hit with “Teacher Teacher”, written by Jim Vallance and Bryan Adams. The song climbed to #4 on the Billboard Top Tracks Chart, spending 10 weeks on the chart from the soundtrack of the 1984 film Teachers. “Second Chance” was a No. 1 hit on Billboard’s adult contemporary chart in 1989, followed by The Sound of Your Voice in 1991 (Billboard Hot 100 #33) from ‘Bone Against Steel’ and ‘Fade to Blue’ from the album ‘Resolution’ made it to #33 on the Mainstream Rock chart in 1997.

In 2007, 38 Special was the opening act on Lynyrd Skynyrd and Hank Williams Jr.’s Rowdy Frynds Tour, and on September 27, 2008, they filmed a CMT Crossroads special with country singer Trace Adkins, performing both artists’ hits from over the years. In 2009, 38 Special opened for REO Speedwagon and Styx as part of the “Can’t Stop Rockin’ Tour.” – Wikipedia

1 Second Chance
2 Caught Up in You
3 Like No Other Night
4 If I’d Been the One
5 Teacher, Teacher
6 Hold On Loosely
7 The Sound of Your Voice
8 You Keep Runnin’ Away
9 Back to Paradise
10 Somebody Like You
11 Rock & Roll Strategy
12 Fantasy Girl
13 Chain Lightnin’
14 Little Sheba
15 Back Where You Belong
16 Heart’s on Fire
17 Rebel to Rebel
18 Fade to Blue
19 Wild-Eyed Southern Boys
20 Rockin’ into the Night
21 Back on the Track
22 Comin’ Down Tonight
23 Just A Little Love
24 Stone Cold Believer
25 Four Wheels
26 I Just Wanna Rock & Roll
27 The Squeeze
28 Treasure
29 Just Can’t Leave You Alone
30 Twenteith Centry Fox