The chant may have resounded throughout the Wiregrass as a

crowd of more than 111,000 at the first-ever Bama Jam

Music

Festival persuaded Lynyrd Skynyrd to return to the

stage for an

encore.

The crowd had gone wild

when legendary country-rock group

sang the timeless

favorite "Sweet Home Alabama," but the band's

departure

after the exciting performance of the most anticipated

song

of the evening left the audience wanting more.

Waving

Confederate flags, clapping, screaming and stomping, the

audience got its wish when Johnny Van Zant and company

returned to the stage to sing

Click on Kay's Kaleidoscope for more about the people at

BamaJam.

The chant may have resounded throughout the Wiregrass as a

crowd of more than 111,000 at the first-ever Bama Jam

Music

Festival persuaded Lynyrd Skynyrd to return to the

stage for an

encore.

The crowd had gone wild

when legendary country-rock group

sang the timeless

favorite "Sweet Home Alabama," but the band's

departure

after the exciting performance of the most anticipated

song

of the evening left the audience wanting more.

Waving

Confederate flags, clapping, screaming and stomping, the

audience got its wish when Johnny Van Zant and company

returned to the stage to sing "Freebird," originally released

on the

band's first album in 1973.

As Van Zant

on vocals and founding member Gary Rossington on

guitar

performed the song, generations of fans also saw a video

tribute, played on the screen behind them, to founding

member

Ronnie Van Zant and other band members killed in

a 1977 plane

crash.

Lynryd Skynyrd wasn't the only

sounds that resounded across the

fields at the corner of

Highway 167 North and Boy Scout Road

Saturday

night.

Bama Jam organizer and entertainment

entrepreneur Ronnie Gilley

announced at 9:45 p.m. that

111,000 people were on the

premises, making Bama Jam

the scene of the largest on-day

festival crowd in a decade

in the country music industry.

Gilley thanked the

crowd, which ranged from children and teens

to 60-

somethings, for making the first Bama Jam a success and

he

frequently thanked Houston County for welcoming his

upcoming multi-million dollar entertainment project, the

country

music theme and music park Country

Crossing.

Gilley said Bama Jam would be at the

Country Crossing site south

of Dothan next

year.

Though the massive crowd of people had to endure

temperatures

of over 100 Saturday, the fans were energized

throughout the day

as concerts went on despite the heat at

the alternative, bluegrass

and main

stages.

Miranda Lambert provided the only female

influence on Bama

Jam's closing evening.

The petite

blonde held her own with the macho theme of the

music at

the main stage. She built excitement with her feisty hits

"Gunpowder and Lead," "Kerosene" and "Crazy Ex-

Girlfriend."

The crowd was welcomed Lynyrd Skynyrd

and Hank Williams Jr.

with almost frenzied delight, waving

flags, holding up cigarette

lighters and singing along with

almost all of their songs.

About 111,000 of his friends

came over to Bama Jam Saturday

night, and "Bocephus" got

rowdy with them, performing his

signature songs such as

"All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over

Tonight," "Family

Tradition," "Blues Man" and "The Conversation,"

about his

dad.

Williams played guitar, piano and fiddle as he

performed a show

that kept the audience on its

feet.

Williams, Van Zant and other artists expressed

their gratitude to

be at Bama Jam and the opportunity to

play to the crowd in Coffee

County.

For more

coverage of the Bama Jam, continue to check The

Southeast

Sun website at www.southeastsun.com and see The

Southeast Sun on Wednesday.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.