Florida store that inspired Lynyrd Skynyrd Song demolished – NBC 6 South Florida

A Florida store that inspired Lynyrd Skynyrd’s famous lyrics “The Ballad of Curtis Loew” has been demolished.

Jacksonville’s Woodcrest Grocery Building, where Ronnie Van Zant is said to have met “the best picker to ever play blues,” was demolished last week. The abandoned store was a meeting place for generations of children.

The song, written by Van Zant and Allen Collins, tells the story of a young boy who collected bottles to raise money so the old man who hung out at the corner store could play his dobro. Curtis Loew was fictional, but the store was real.

He was known as Claude in the late 1950s and early 1960s and was just down the street from the house where Van Zant grew up, according to the Florida Times-Union.

Scott Hill, who grew up in the neighborhood, said fans started coming to the site last week to shop for cinder block memorabilia after hearing about the demolition.

Gene Odom, who has written a book about the group and conducted tours of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s landmarks for fans, said the building has been vacant for decades.

The building began to collapse during the demolition of trailers nearby and had to be dismantled. A real estate group said a residential house will be built there.

The band are still on tour, but pulled out of the Pro Football Hall of Fame concert last month after guitarist Rickey Medlocke tested positive for COVID-19.


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