38 Special (also written .38 Special or Thirty-Eight Special) is an American rock band that was formed by neighborhood friends Don Barnes and Donnie Van Zant in 1974 in Jacksonville, Florida.
The band’s first two albums had a strong southern rock influence. By the early 1980s, .38 Special shifted to a more accessible arena rock style without abandoning its southern rock roots. This shift helped to usher in a string of successful albums and singles.
In 2007, 38 Special was the opening act on Lynyrd Skynyrd and Hank Williams Jr.’s Rowdy Frynds Tour, and on September 27, 2008, they filmed a CMT Crossroads special with country singer Trace Adkins, performing both artists’ hits from over the years. In 2009, 38 Special opened for REO Speedwagon and Styx as part of the “Can’t Stop Rockin’ Tour.”