Peter Frampton, Gregg Allman and others set to celebrate Lynyrd Skynyrd

Credit: Melissa Ruggieri

Credit: Melissa Ruggieri

When Gary Rossington heard that a concert was being assembled to celebrate the music and legacy of Lynyrd Skynyrd, he was a bit dumbfounded.

“I couldn’t believe all of these guys want to come and play a song of ours,” he said. “I’m really kind of not believing it!”

Despite Rossington’s humble reaction, there is indeed a parade of classic rock and country luminaries poised to pay tribute to the Southern rock band that has made “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Gimme Three Steps,” “That Smell” and, of course, “Free Bird” a regular feature on jukeboxes and at sporting events, possibly forever.

The tribute show — One More for the Fans! Celebrating the Songs & Music of Lynyrd Skynyrd — will commandeer the Fox Theatre Nov. 12 with a hefty lineup of Alabama, Gregg Allman, Charlie Daniels, Peter Frampton, Cheap Trick, John Hiatt, Jason Isbell, Robert Randolph, Donnie Van Zandt, Blackberry Smoke, Trace Adkins, Warren Haynes, Jamey Johnson, moe., Gov’t Mule, Randy Houser, O.A.R., Al Kooper and Aaron Lewis.

Lynyrd Skynyrd — currently comprised of original guitarist Rossington (an Alpharetta resident for 18 years), singer Johnny Van Zant, guitarist Rickey Medlocke, drummer Michael Cartellone, guitarist Mark Matejka, keyboardist Peter Keys and bassist Johnny Colt — will take the stage as well.

“I think Ronnie (Van Zant) and Steve (Gaines) and the guys who aren’t here anymore really deserve this,” Rossington said during the band’s summer tour. “And the guys who are here … I’m just so honored.”

A large part of Skynyrd lore is the devastating 1977 plane crash following a concert in Greenville, S.C., in which lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Gaines, backing vocalist (and Steve’s older sister) Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick and the plane’s pilot and co-pilot were killed. The other band members, including Rossington, suffered serious injuries.

Credit: Melissa Ruggieri

Credit: Melissa Ruggieri

The tragedy has permanently linked Lynyrd Skynyrd with Frampton, who has been friends with the band for 40 years.

“We are virtually joined at the hip in many ways,” the British guitar icon said in a recent phone call. “We used to play stadiums together. But I think what many people don’t know is that we shared road crews as well. I was in L.A. when I turned on the TV and saw that the plane had gone down and that half of my crew was on it. Luckily, they survived. But when you go through that, it’s like you’re blood brothers.”

Frampton said he knows which of Skynyrd’s songs he will perform at the concert, which is being recorded for multi-platform distribution, but wants it to be a surprise.

“It’s one of my favorites and it’s one that they’re known for … and it is written about another artist,” was his hint.

The format of the show will be similar to the Gregg Allman tribute that took place at the Fox in January.

As with the Allman production, Keith Wortman — also known for his work on We Walk the Line: A Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash and Love for Levon: A Benefit to Save the Barn — is the creator and executive producer of the concert.

Also similar to the Allman show, legendary producer-musician Don Was will serve as music director. He will lead a band that includes guitar maestro and Toto mainstay Steve Lukather.

Along with his overall incredulity at the number of artists who enlisted to play the concert, Rossington is also happily surprised to see so many of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s longtime musical friends.

He reminisced about playing major concerts spearheaded by promotion titan Bill Graham, especially with Frampton.

“He’s just as good now as he was then,” Rossington said.

One of the more interesting inclusions in the lineup in Cheap Trick, but Rossington said the bands share a history.

“We kind of came up in the same era and age group. (Guitarist) Rick (Nielsen) comes to some shows and is just a great guy.”

And as for fellow Southern rock behemoth Allman, Rossington said he will just be happy to spend some time with him.

Credit: Melissa Ruggieri

Credit: Melissa Ruggieri

“We’ve known Gregg since the early ’70s, before the Allmans made it in Jacksonville. They’d play all of these weekend concerts on the lawn and we used to see them. We’ve played with the Allmans all our career, but I never get to hang out long enough with Gregg. But we feel like we know each other really great because of the history,” Rossington said.

In addition to sharing recollections and handshakes with many of Skynyrd’s musical peers, Rossington is grateful that the concert will provide a platform to broadcast the legacy of the band.

“I thank God every day and night that I can keep playing and spreading the name of Skynyrd and our brand. Being able to talk about Ronnie and Allen (Collins, the band’s other original guitarist, who died in 1990) and share their music with the audience,” Rossington said.

“We had a dream back in the day to be in a big band and make it and then it was taken away from (some of) them real quick. It’s 37 years this year since the plane crash, and they didn’t get a chance to see how Skynyrd developed, how ‘Freebird’ became an anthem. So I get to tell their story.”

One More for the Fans! Celebrating the Songs & Music of Lynyrd Skynyrd. With Alabama, Gregg Allman, Charlie Daniels, Peter Frampton, Cheap Trick, John Hiatt, Jason Isbell, Robert Randolph, Donnie Van Zandt, Blackberry Smoke, Trace Adkins, Warren Haynes, Lynyrd Skynyrd and more. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12. $91.25-$248.50. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 1-855-285-8499,