The documentary Lynyrd Skynyrd: If I Leave Here Tomorrow premieres on Showtime Aug. 18. Directed by Stephen Kijak and featuring interviews and never-before-seen footage, the film “takes viewers on a trip through the history, myth and legend of one of the most iconic American rock bands,” said Showtime. “Rising from the swamps of the Deep South, these good ol’ boys from Jacksonville, Florida came to define an era with their hard-rocking boogie-woogie sound, soulful lyrics, drunken and dangerous antics and their controversial use of the rebel flag.”
The film also serves as a portrait of band leader Ronnie Van Zant, whose life was cut short by a plane crash when he was 29.
If I Leave Here Tomorrow is primarily narrated by Gary Rossington, a founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Commentary comes from drummer Artimus Pyle, songwriter Ed King, producer Al Kooper and others.
The band’s classic songs include “Free Bird,” “Gimme Three Steps” and “Sweet Home Alabama.”
Showtime has released a steady stream of music docs, including Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars, Whitney. “Can I Be Me” and New Wave: Dare to be Different, about progressive former Long Island radio station WLIR. Jeff Lynne’s ELO: Wembley or Bust debuts July 27.
Lynyrd Skynyrd: If I Leave Here Tomorrow is produced by Diane Becker and John Battsek for Passion Pictures in association with CMT Productions. Andrew Ruhemann, Brian Philips, Lewis Bogach and John Miller-Monzon are executive producers.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.