Today’s Flashback song came out in 1974 by Lynyrd Skynyrd. “Sweet Home Alabama” is one of those songs that when I hear it I have to sing it, I think most people feel the same way!
It’s funny to find out that none of the three writers of the song who are in the band were actually from Alabama. It was a hit, making it to #9 on the US Billboard Hot 100 Chart and #6 on the Canadian Hot 100 Chart. The band was offered two TV Rock Shows after the song came out, but they turned them both down.
There was some controversy over the song, Ronnie Van Zant who helped write the song and was a member of the band said he wrote it to get back at Neil Young who had two songs called “Southern Man” and “Alabama.” The songs dealt with themes of racism and slavery in the American South. Van Zant said “We thought Neil was shooting all the ducks in order to kill one or two.”
Neil Young wrote in his autobiography in 2012 “Waging Heavy Peace” that “My own song ‘Alabama’ richly deserved the shot Lynyrd Skynyrd gave me with their great record. I don’t like my words when I listen to it. They are accusatory and condescending, not fully thought out, and too easy to misconstrue”