Ed King Obituary

(1949 - 2018)
Guitarist Ed King (1949 – 2018) was a member of the legendary Southern Rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd for their first three albums. King co-wrote the classic rock song “Sweet Home Alabama” and created the iconic guitar riff that opens the song.

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Died: August 22, 2018. He was 68 years old.

Details of Death: A message on King’s Facebook page confirmed his passing. “It is with great sorrow we announce the passing of Ed King who died at his home in Nashville, Tennessee on August 22nd, 2018. We thank his many friends and fans for their love and support of Ed during his life and career.” It was reported that he had been battling lung cancer.

Memorable Moments: King was a founding member of the psychedelic rock group Strawberry Alarm Clock and had a hand in co-writing their hit song “Incense and Peppermints.” In 1972, he joined Lynyrd Skynyrd and played with the band on their first three albums. He co-wrote the Southern Rock anthem “Sweet Home Alabama” and came up with the instantly recognizable guitar riff for that song. He is the voice heard on record counting off the start of the song saying “1,2,3….” He left the band in 1975 and rejoined them from 1987 until 1996.

Notable Quote: “Oh yeah. I remember after we wrote it, Ronnie [lead singer Ronnie Van Zant] saying to me, “There’s our ‘Ramblin’ Man.” The Allmans had their big hit and he said that was ours. I believed it, too—it was just a very cool song, from the moment we wrote it—it was like a feel-good song.” – King in an interview with Guitar Muse when asked if he knew “Sweet Home Alabama” was going to be a hit song.

What people said about him: Original Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington released a statement. “I’ve just found out about Ed’s passing and I’m shocked and saddened,” he said. “Ed was our brother, and a great songwriter and guitar player. I know he will be reunited with the rest of the boys in Rock and Roll Heaven. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”



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