Gary Robert Rossington (born December 4, 1951 in Jacksonville, Florida, USA) is a founding member of Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. He plays lead and rhythm guitar. He is also a founding member of the Rossington Collins Band along with former Lynyrd Skynyrd bandmate Allen Collins. Rossington formed the band as a teenager with friends Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, Larry Junstrom and Bob Burns in the summer of 1964. Skynyrd gained national exposure starting in 1973 with the release of their first album (pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd) and hit single "Free Bird".