A very committed backup singer for the Lynard Skynyrd music band, Cassie Gaines did it as if her life depended on it, but the singer, unfortunately, lost her life and her dream ended when she died in a plane crash.
Many questions are on your mind right now: Who was Cassie Gaines? What made her so popular? Where was she born? When and how did she die?
This article answers all of these questions as we shall give you a comprehensive piece about who Cassie was and what she had achieved as a singer before her sad demise.
Who was Cassie Gaines?
Cassie Gaines was an American singer best known for her association with the southern rock band ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd’ as a backup singer.
Before joining the band, she was an original cast member of a school play titled ‘Hairspray.’
Shortly after performing in the play, she was approached by singer JoJo Billingsley, who was sent by Ronnie Van Zant, the band head and lead vocalist of ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd’, and asked to join the band as a backing vocalist.
Cassie Gaines Career
Cassie started her singing career in a school play named ‘Hairspray’.
She was an original cast member of the play that became a Broadway musical a few years later.
Shortly after seeing her perform in the play, Ronnie Van Zant, the lead vocalist and head of the southern rock band ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd’, sent one of his female band members JoJo Billingsley to Cassie in order to offer her the position of the backup singer in the band.
She performed as a backup singer in some famous songs like ‘That Smell’ and ‘One More Time’.
Her last performance was with the band at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium in Greenville, South Carolina, in 1977.
Cassie Gaines Family
Cassie Gaines was born on January 9, 1948, in Seneca, Missouri, USA, to Bud and LaRue Gaines. She was raised with her brothers Bob and Steve in Miami.
She graduated from Miami High School in 1966.
Cassie recommended her younger brother Steve Gaines, who was leading his own band named ‘Crawdad’ at that time, to replace Ed King when the ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd’ needed a guitarist because Ed King had left the band.
In June 1976, Steve joined the band as a guitarist/vocalist.
How did Cassie Gaines die?
Cassie died on October 20, 1977, at the age of 29, when a Convair CV-240 carrying the band between shows from Greenville, South Carolina to Baton Rouge, Louisiana crashed outside of Gillsburg, Mississippi.
The crash killed Ronnie Van Zant, Steve, and Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, as well as pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray.
Gaines had initially refused to board the flight and was convinced by other members against her better judgment.
Her hesitation was due to a small fire on one of the engines the previous day.
She intended to travel in the tour trucks but boarded the flight due to Van Zant’s persuasion.
Gaines survived the initial accident but bled to death while rescuers attempted to reach the accident site and remove victims for medical treatment.
According to controversial claims by survivor Billy Powell, Gaines bled to death after the accident in Powell’s arms from deep lacerations.
Cassie and her brother, Steve Gaines were buried in Orange Park, Florida.
Sadly, on February 15, 1979, the mother of Steve and Cassie, also named Cassie LaRue Gaines, was also killed in an automobile accident near the cemetery where Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines are buried.
She was buried near her children.
Watch Cassie Gaines and The Honkettes in action below: