Mario Solis‘s Today’s Memory
Billy Powell’s birthday
Originally shared by Mario Solis
William Norris „Billy” Powell (June 3, 1952 – January 28, 2009) was an American musician. He was the longtime keyboardist of Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, from 1970 until his death in 2009.
Billy remained a member of the Skynyrd crew for two years (which included, amongst the grittier shows, highlights such as Skynyrd landing a support slot for Leslie West’s „Mountain”) In his second year with them, 1972, Skynyrd played one particular gig, a show at the Bolles school prom. After his usual routine working with Kevin Elson, Billy had time to rest for a short while. In the corner he spotted a piano, so Billy went over and sat down with it. Just fooling around, Billy launches into his piano based version of Freebird for the boys in the band to listen to. Ronnie, astonished at his roadie’s hitherto secret ability said ‘You mean to tell me, you’ve been playing the piano like that and you’ve been workin’ for us for a year….’. Billy replied, „Well, you know, I’ve been classically trained most of my life.’ He was then told Skynyrd were looking for a keyboard man, and Billy was in!