Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1983 38 Special – If I’d Been The One
Ronnie Van Zant was one of the founding members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, so it didn’t surprise anybody when his younger brother Donnie followed in his footsteps. Donnie formed Sweet Rooster in 1968 with guitarist Jeff Carlisi and bassist Ken Lyons. Don Barnes replaced Jeff and shared lead vocals with Donnie and played keyboards and other instruments. Steve Brookins joined the band as their drummer. The band fell apart by 1974.
Later that year, Don, Donnie, Steve, and Ken formed a new band with a second drummer (Jack Grondin) and Jeff rejoined the band. They were practicing in a warehouse and somebody who heard them called the police to complain about the noise. When law enforcement couldn’t get into the warehouse because of a padlock on the door, one of the policemen announced, “That’s all right. We’ll let this .38 Special do the talking.” He shot off the padlock, and the band immediately had a new name: 38 Special.
The band recorded their first album in 1977, and Larry Junstrom replaced Ken when they returned to the road.
It took three more albums before the group released a single that reached the top forty in 1981.
The band released Caught Up In You as the lead single from their fifth album in 1982. The single not only reached the top ten on the Hot 100, it also topped the Mainstream Rock chart.
Two of their singles later that year reached the Mainstream Rock top ten, but the best they could manage on the Hot 100 was a single that stalled at #38.
If I’d Been The One was their last single in 1938. It first reached the charts in November and peaked at #19 on the Hot 100 in early 1984. The record became the band’s second single to top the Mainstream Rock Chart.
The group’s lineup changed dramatically in 1987, after which they managed one more top ten single on the Hot 100. Their ballad Second Chance also reached #2 on the Mainstream Rock chart and even made it to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1989.
Don continues to sing lead vocals with a touring band; he is the only remaining original member.
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