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The group known as .38 Special was established in Jacksonville, Florida in the 1970’s when Donnie Van Zant teamed up with Jeff Carlisi (guitar), Don Barnes (guitar, vocals), Ken Lyons (bass), Jack Grondin (drums), and Steve Brookins (drums.) The band .38 Special would enjoy a string of hits throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, and firmly establish their place in Southern Rock history.
Before 1979’s Rockin’ Into the Night, bassist Lyons left to be replaced by Larry Junstrom. Rockin’ Into the Night became a hit, but only a moderate one. At this time, .38 Special took its southern rock sound and modified it to incorporate more “arena rock.” The blend helped to rocket .39 Special to greater success and a wider audience. The first .38 Special album to reveal this new sound, 1981’s Wild-Eyed Southern Boys, would go platinum and spawn the iconic single “Hold On Loosley,” which hit the Top 40. “Caught Up in You,” “If I’d Been the One,” and “Back Where You Belong” would follow in 1982, 1983, and 1984, and in 1985 .38 Special would find success with “Teacher, Teacher,” a single written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. “Teacher, Teacher” spent ten weeks on the Billboard charts and climbed to number four.
After Barnes and Brookins left .38 Special in 1987, Danny Chauncey replaced Barnes just in time for the release of 1989’s Rock & Roll Strategy. The single “Second Chance” would hit number one on the Billboard’s Adult Contemporary Chart. In 1991, Barnes returned to .38 Special and Scott Hoffman and Bobby Capps were added to the lineup as well. In 1997, .38 Special released Resolution on Razor & Tie Records. Live at Sturgis (1999) would follow.
In the new millennium, .38 Special has toured with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Hank Williams (2007) and filmed a special with Trace Adkins, performing a variety of their own hits along with Adkins’. In 2009, .38 Special toured with Styx and REO Speedwagon. Although Donnie Van Zant stopped performing with the band in 2012, he remained as one of the band’s writers and continued to record with them in studio for two more years, before leaving officially in 2014.
Today, .38 Special continues to perform and record with the new lineup of Don Barnes, Danny Chauncey, Bobby Capps, Gary Moffatt, and Barry Dunaway. The group recently completed an extensive tour in the summer of 2017.
.38 Special band members
Don Barnes, Danny Chauncey, Bobby Capps, Gary Moffatt, and Barry Dunaway