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 1975 in Jacksonville, Florida. The band's first two albums had a strong southern rock vibe. 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.
Their breakthrough hit was "Hold On Loosely" (1981); "Caught Up in You" (1982) and "If I'd Been the One" (1983) both hit #1 on Billboard magazine's Album Rock Tracks chart. "Back Where You Belong" (1984) continued the annual sequence of radio favorites, and "Second Chance" (1989) was a #1 hit on Billboard's adult contemporary chart.
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."
The current lineup consists of Barnes, Van Zant, guitarist Danny Chauncey, bassist Larry Junstrom, keyboardist Bobby Capps and drummer Gary Moffatt.