JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- There are several things that have put Jacksonville on the map. The beaches and Jaguars are a couple of things and homegrown music is another.
Jacksonville is the home of Southern Rock.
"The sound was unique. There was nothing like it at the time," said Jacksonville rock historian Michael Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald describes it as sort of a hodge podge of sounds. "It's a combination of rock and blues and country indigenous to this area," he said.
Southern Rock is a style of music crafted and perfected by Jacksonville's own Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Ronnie Van Zant was the front man. "You had your rednecks and your hippies and they hated each other. He was both. Van Zant managed to reconcile these two opposites and that had appeal to southerners," Fitzgerald said.
Reconcile the band would, in a very big musical way.
Southern Rock was off and flying and Northeast Florida was the epicenter for it all.
Other notable Jacksonville bands lending their style to the sound...The Allman Brothers. "I know Lynyrd Skynyrd was inspired by the Allman Brothers and by their success," Fitzgerald added.
And there's Blackfoot, Molly Hatchet, and .38 Special.
But Skynyrd goes down as the trailblazer and the blueprint for the bands that followed.
"They were the hardest working band in show business. No question about it. They had a house in Green Cove, a cabin, and they rehearsed 12 hours a day, probably seven days a week with no air conditioning. That's probably why they made it. Cause they were relentless," remarked Fitzgerald.
Southern Rocks heyday lasted about a decade. But it's impact on the music world is legendary and it all started here in Jacksonville, FL.