“Being brought up in the South, I was exposed to the blues pretty early on," says Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist and co-founder Gary Rossington. "That’s where the blues came from, so it was all around me. And I loved it all."
BB King and Ray Charles were the first blues artists that Rossington remembers hearing. "They made a strong impression," he says. "Anytime you hear something that unique, it does something to you." A few years later, Rossington discovered British blues via John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers. "That was an exciting time," he says. "Checking out what the British guys were doing to the blues, how they were kind of making it a new thing, that definitely gave us a lot to work with. From the originators to the folks in England picking it up, it all found its way into my playing and the music of Lynyrd Skynyrd.”
On the following pages, Gary Rossington runs down (alphabetically) the 11 blues artists whom he considers to be the greatest of all time.