CLEVELAND, Ohio (May 18, 2016)
– On July 17, the evening prior to the official kick-off of the
Republican National Convention, Cleveland – The Rock and Roll Capital of
the World – will see a party unlike any they have ever seen as Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame icons Lynyrd Skynyrd will provide
entertainment for the “Welcome To Ohio Late Night” party held at The
Auto Lot, a pop-up venue in downtown Cleveland and hosted by Ohio
Speaker of the House Cliff Rosenberger.

Local Ohio foods will be on hand, as well as local beer presented by
the Ohio Craft Brewers Association in partnership with Thirsty Dog
Brewing Company. The event is produced by Blue Star Productions, LLC in
conjunction with the Green Beret Foundation, The Folded Flag Foundation,
The Guardians of Heroes Foundation, OH Fallen Heroes, and SRT-K9 Unit,
with those military charities receiving proceeds from the event.

Originally formed as My Backyard in 1964 by Ronnie Van Zant, Bob
Burns, Allen Collins, Gary Rossington, and Larry Junstrom, the band
changed its’ moniker to the iconic name in the early 1970s, and became a
fan favorite in the Jacksonville, FL area. They inked a deal with
Sounds of the South Records in 1972, and released their self-titled disc
the following year. Selling over two million units since its’ release,
the album featured “Free Bird,” which became one of the most important
singles of the Southern Rock era. Future hits included “Sweet Home
Alabama” and “What’s Your Name.”

The band’s story took a tragic turn in October 1977 when a plane
crash took the lives of Van Zant, Steve Gaines, backup singer Cassie
Gaines, and several of their road crew. The band took a decade-long
hiatus before reuniting for a tour and live album, Southern by the Grace of God. Since then, the band has toured and recorded extensively, with their most recent release being Last Of A Dyin’ Breed.
The band’s current line-up includes original member Rossington, Johnny
Van Zant, Rickey Medlocke, Mark “Sparky” Matejka, Michael Cartellone,
Johnny Colt, Peter Keys, Dale Krantz Rossington and Carol Chase. The
band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

For more information, go to

 Photo by Clay Patrick McBride

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