One of rock's great pioneers should be celebrating his 70th birthday today, a 1977 plane crash near McComb, Mississippi put out that flame.

While Southern Rock was created by The Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd picked it up and popularized it, with their anthem, Freebird, leading the way.

Ronnie was truly a 'good ol' boy,' and when I lost about $75 to him in a Milwaukee, Wisconsin poker game after their show, he made me feel just fine about it. He even let me spend the night in his room. A good thing, because I was in no shape to drive.

Thanks for great music and memories, you were a fine southern gentleman.

Happy birthday, Ronnie.