- 🇺🇸 Jacksonville, FL
- Years Active
1974 - Now
.38 Special rose to chart prominence in the late 1970s and 1980s, fusing Southern rock, arena rock and contemporary pop to deliver a series of melodic, radio-ready hits.
.38 Special formed in Jacksonville, Fla. in 1974. Founding members Don Barnes (vocals, guitar), Donnie Van Zant (vocals), Jeff Carlisi (guitar), Ken Lyons (bass), Steve Brookins (drums) and Jack Grondin (drums) took the band's name from a common type of firearm; the group drew musical inspiration from Southern rock pioneers like the Marshall Tucker Band, the Charlie Daniels Band and most notably Lynyrd Skynyrd, the latter fronted by Ronnie Van Zant, Donnie's older brother.
.38 Special scored its commercial breakthrough with 1979's "Rockin' into the Night," originally written by Jim Peterik for his own band, Survivor, best remembered for 1982's blockbuster "Eye of the Tiger." Peterik later teamed with Barnes and Carlisi to write .38 Special's most enduring hits "Hold On Loosely" and "Caught Up in You." The band's commercial stock declined following 1989's "Second Chance," and in 2013 Van Zant retired due to health issues, but Barnes continued leading a new .38 Special lineup for years to come.