Ed King

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Posted on Fri, 02/20/2015 - 3:11pm
by Angie Spray

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Edward C. King (born September 14, 1949 – August 22, 2018) was an American musician. He was best known as the guitarist for the psychedelic rock band Strawberry Alarm Clock and guitarist and bassist for the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd from 1972 to 1975 and again from 1987 to 1996.


King was born in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale, California. He was one of the founding members of Strawberry Alarm Clock, formed in Los Angeles in the mid-1960s. The band's largest success was with a song that King co-wrote, "Incense and Peppermints" (but, along with keyboardist Mark Weitz, did not get credit). The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1967. Their follow-up single, "Tomorrow", reached No. 23 in January 1968.

King met the members of Jacksonville, Florida-based Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd when the band opened up for Strawberry Alarm Clock on a few shows in early 1968. It wasn't until 1972 that he joined Skynyrd, replacing Leon Wilkeson on bass, who left the band briefly. Wilkeson rejoined the band, and King switched to guitar, creating the triple-guitar attack that became a signature sound for the band.

His guitar playing and songwriting skills were an essential element to the band's first three albums: Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd, Second Helping and Nuthin' Fancy. King co-wrote the Skynyrd hit song "Sweet Home Alabama" and it is his voice you can hear counting off the tune before launching into his famous Stratocaster riff. Other songs that King wrote or co-wrote the music for include "Poison Whiskey", "Saturday Night Special", "Mr. Banker", "Swamp Music", "Whiskey Rock-a-Roller", "Railroad Song", "I Need You", and "Workin' For MCA".

King decided to leave the band in 1975 during the 'Torture Tour'. He was replaced in 1976 by Steve Gaines, who was killed in a plane crash along with singer Ronnie Van Zant on October 20, 1977. Coincidentally, Gaines and King share the same birthdate.

King was one of the guitarists for the reunited Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1987, and played a major role in the reunited band. He was forced to leave Lynyrd Skynyrd again in 1996 due to congestive heart failure. He left on the understanding that he would rejoin once he regained his health, but the band did not allow him to rejoin.

King, along with all pre-crash members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

In January 2012, Ed King underwent a successful heart transplant and in his words was "healing well".

According to a Nashville news station WTVF, King had been battling cancer in the months prior to his death. King died in his Nashville, Tennessee, home on August 22, 2018 at 68 years of age. His death was announced through his personal Facebook page.

Founding and current Lynyrd Skynyrd member Gary Rossington released a statement after King's death stating, "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."


Birth Name

Edward C. King


Guitar, bass


United States

Years active


Date Born

Wednesday, September 14, 1949

City Born

Glendale, California, US

Date Died

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

City Died

Nashville, Tennessee, US


68 (at time of death)

Born 71 years ago.

Associated with



Ed King - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : taken from - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_King http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/