38 Special (also written .38 Special or Thirty-Eight Special) is an American rock band that was formed by neighborhood friends Don Barnes and Donnie Van Zant in 1974 in Jacksonville, Florida. The band's first two albums had a strong southern rock influence. By the early 1980s, 38 Special shifted to a more accessible arena rock style without abandoning its southern rock roots. This shift helped to usher in a string of successful albums and singles.
Their breakthrough hit was "Hold On Loosely" (1981). "Caught Up in You" (1982) and "If I'd Been the One" (1983) both hit No. 1 on Billboard magazine's Album Rock Tracks chart. "Back Where You Belong" (1984) continued the annual sequence of radio favorites. In 1985 they had another hit with "Teacher Teacher," written by Jim Vallance and Bryan Adams. The song climbed to #4 on the Billboard Top Tracks Chart, spending 10 weeks on the chart. Their last well known hit was "Second Chance" (1989), which was a No. 1 hit on Billboard's adult contemporary chart.
In 2007, 38 Special was the opening act on Lynyrd Skynyrd and Hank Williams Jr.'s Rowdy Frynds Tour, and on September 27, 2008, they filmed a CMT Crossroads special with country singer Trace Adkins, performing both artists' hits from over the years. In 2009, 38 Special opened for REO Speedwagon and Styx as part of the "Can't Stop Rockin' Tour."
As of 2011, the lineup consists of Don Barnes, Donnie Van Zant, guitarist Danny Chauncey, bassist Larry Junstrom, keyboardist Bobby Capps and drummer Gary Moffatt. According to 38 Special's website, Van Zant has not toured with the band since 2012 due to health issues related to inner-ear nerve damage, although he will write and record with the band. Co-lead vocalist Barnes is now handling most of the vocals at concert appearances.
- Current members
- Donnie Van Zant - vocals, guitars (1974–present; currently not touring with the band due to health issues)
- Don Barnes - vocals, guitars, mandolin, keyboards, harmonica (1974–1987, 1992–present)
- Larry Junstrom - bass, guitar (1977–present)
- Danny Chauncey - guitars, backing vocals (1987–present)
- Bobby Capps - vocals, keyboards (1991–present)
- Gary Moffatt - drums, percussion (1997–present)
- Former members
- Jeff Carlisi - guitars (1974-1996)
- Jack Grondin - drums, percussion (1974-1991)
- Steve Brookins - drums, percussion (1974–1987)
- Ken Lyons - bass (1974–1977)
- Carol Bristow - backing vocals (1977-1987)
- Dale Krantz - backing vocals (1977-1980)
- Nancy Henderson - backing vocals (1980-1981)
- Lu Moss - backing vocals (1981-1984)
- Lynn Hineman - backing vocals (1986-1987)
- Steve McRay - keyboards, harmonica, backing vocals (1986-1987)
- Max Carl - vocals, keyboards (1987–1991)
- Scott Meeder - drums, percussion (1991-1992)
- Scott Hoffman - drums, percussion (1992–1997)
- Substitute musicians
- Donny Baldwin - drums, percussion (1996; substitute for Scott Hoffman)
- 38 Special (1977)
- Special Delivery (1978)
- Rockin' into the Night (1980)
- Wild-Eyed Southern Boys (1981)
- Special Forces (1982)
- Tour de Force (1984)
- Strength in Numbers (1986)
- Rock & Roll Strategy (1988)
- Bone Against Steel (1991)
- Resolution (1997)
- A Wild-Eyed Christmas Night (2001)
- Drivetrain (2004)
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