|Ed King (at right), lead guitar player with the original Lynyrd Skynyrd band from the 1970’s, strums his electric guitar as Norbert Putnam, executive director of the Delta Music Institute, discusses the music writing process.|
Most noted as, in his words, “the one who verbally counted off “Sweet Home Alabama” then played the infamous Stratocaster riff as well as the solos in that tune,” 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Ed King made an impromptu visit to Delta State University’s Delta Music Institute (DMI), Thursday morning.
King, lead guitar player with the original Lynyrd Skynyrd band from the 1970’s, strummed his electric guitar, while also sharing tales of his days on tour with the DMI students. “I was fortunate to follow my intuition,” he smiled. “I am probably the luckiest guitar player you’ll ever meet.”
King’s good fortune landed the now retired Nashville, Tenn. resident gigs with Strawberry Alarm Clock at 17 and then, Lynyrd Skynyrd. He is credited with the guitar music for “Sweet Home Alabama” as well as other rock songs, and jokes, “Who could’ve guessed that song (Alabama) would pay the rent for over 30 years?”
Norbert Putnam, executive director of the Delta Music Institute, said of King, “His signature guitar licks have effected many generations of guitar players. We are thrilled to have Ed share his stories with the students.”
Delta State’s DMI allows students to study music engineering, music production and video editing, as well as contemporary composition and study musician theory and practice. It is a first step towards a broad program in arts production and began with a generous donation by Fred Carl of Viking Range Corporation in 2003. For more information on the Delta Music Institute, please call (662) 846-4579 or visit dmi.deltastate.edu.