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Stevie Ray Vaughan

With his astonishingly accomplished guitar playing, Stevie Ray Vaughan ignited the blues revival of the '80s. Vaughan drew equally from bluesmen like Albert King, Otis Rush, and Muddy Waters and rock & roll players like Jimi Hendrix and Lonnie Mack, as well as the stray jazz guitarist like Kenny Burrell, developing a uniquely eclectic and fiery style that sounded like no other guitarist, regardless of genre. Vaughan bridged the gap between blues and rock like no other artist had since the late '60s. For the next seven years, Stevie Ray was the leading light in American blues, consistently selling out concerts while his albums regularly went gold. His tragic death in 1990 only emphasized his influence in blues and American rock & roll.

Born and raised in Dallas, Vaughan began playing guitar as a child, inspired by older brother Jimmie. When he was in junior high school, he began playing in a number of garage bands, which occasionally landed gigs in local nightclubs. By the time he was 17, he had dropped out of high school to concentrate on playing music. Vaughan's first real band was the Cobras, who played clubs and bars in Austin during the mid-'70s. Following that group's demise, he formed Triple Threat in 1975. Triple Threat also featured bassist Jackie Newhouse, drummer Chris Layton, and vocalist Lou Ann Barton. After a few years of playing Texas bars and clubs, Barton left the band in 1978. The group decided to continue performing under the name Double Trouble, which was inspired by the Otis Rush song of the same name; Vaughan became the band's lead singer.

For the next few years, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble played the Austin area, becoming one of the most popular bands in Texas. In 1982, the band played the Montreux Festival and their performance caught the attention of David Bowie and Jackson Browne. After Double Trouble's performance, Bowie asked Vaughan to play on his forthcoming album, while Browne offered the group free recording time at his Los Angeles studio, Downtown; both offers were accepted. Stevie Ray laid down the lead guitar tracks for what became Bowie's Let's Dance album in late 1982. Shortly afterward, John Hammond, Sr. landed Vaughan and Double Trouble a record contract with Epic, and the band recorded its debut album in less than a week at Downtown.

Vaughan's debut album, Texas Flood, was released in the summer of 1983, a few months after Bowie's Let's Dance appeared. On its own, Let's Dance earned Vaughan quite a bit of attention, but Texas Flood was a blockbuster blues success; receiving positive reviews in both blues and rock publications, reaching number 38 on the charts, and crossing over to album rock radio stations. Bowie offered Vaughan the lead guitarist role for his 1983 stadium tour, but he turned him down, preferring to play with Double Trouble. Vaughan and Double Trouble set off on a successful tour and quickly recorded their second album, Couldn't Stand the Weather, which was released in May of 1984. The album was more successful than its predecessor, reaching number 31 on the charts; by the end of 1985, the album went gold. Double Trouble added keyboardist Reese Wynans in 1985, before they recorded their third album, Soul to Soul. The record was released in August 1985 and was also quite successful, reaching number 34 on the charts.

Although his professional career was soaring, Vaughan was sinking deep into alcoholism and drug addiction. Despite his declining health, Vaughan continued to push himself, releasing the double live album Live Alive in October of 1986 and launching an extensive American tour in early 1987. Following the tour, Vaughan checked into a rehabilitation clinic. The guitarist's time in rehab was kept fairly quiet, and for the next year Stevie Ray and Double Trouble were fairly inactive. Vaughan performed a number of concerts in 1988, including a headlining gig at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and wrote his fourth album. The resulting record, In Step, appeared in June of 1989 and became his most successful album, peaking at number 33 on the charts, earning a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Recording, and going gold just over six months after its release.

In the spring of 1990, Stevie Ray recorded an album with his brother Jimmie, which was scheduled for release in the fall of the year. In the late summer of 1990, Vaughan and Double Trouble set out on an American headlining tour. On August 26, 1990, their East Troy, WI, gig concluded with an encore jam featuring guitarists Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Jimmie Vaughan, and Robert Cray. After the concert, Stevie Ray boarded a helicopter bound for Chicago. Minutes after its 12:30 a.m. takeoff, the helicopter crashed, killing Vaughan and the other four passengers. He was only 35 years old.

Family Style, Stevie Ray's duet album with Jimmie, appeared in October and entered the charts at number seven. Family Style began a series of posthumous releases that were as popular as the albums Vaughan released during his lifetime. The Sky Is Crying, a collection of studio outtakes compiled by Jimmie, was released in October of 1991; it entered the charts at number ten and went platinum three months after its release. In the Beginning, a recording of a Double Trouble concert in 1980, was released in the fall of 1992 and the compilation Greatest Hits was released in 1995. In 1999, Vaughan's original albums were remastered and reissued, with The Real Deal: Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 also appearing that year. 2000 saw the release of the four-disc box SRV, which concentrated heavily on outtakes, live performances, and rarities. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Stevie Ray left an indelible mark on civilization in its entirety. This man turned his life around and became a beacon of hope for us all. The fact that he became the Master of the Stratocaster is mere icing on the cake. Thank you Stevie for becoming the role model we need.. In SRV we trust
SRV is in my Top 10 - Rory Gallagher is number 1
cajundixie
so missed and he lives on in his music
no one better on the strings, sorry hendricks, page and the rest, bow to the king long live the music of stevie ray
wooh
Always touches my soul what a tremendous loss.
denniswayned e a t o n
Denniswayned e a t o n I can only say that the man can pull my heart :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)
I fealt the same when he died as I did when skynrd went down
bhanish1
Don't read this cause it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day ofyour life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary. Put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will come on the screen in big letters. This is scary cause it really works
I can't get enuf of Stevie's Riviera Paradise.
I MISS HIM, BUT HIS MUSIC LIVES ON IN OUR HEARTS.
:'(:'(:'(:'( : ' ( : ' ( : ' ( : ' ( : ' ( ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Thank u, Father, 4 Stevie Ray.
Thank u, Stevie Ray, 4 this INCREDIBLE MUSIC!!!!! :-) :-) :'(:-) :-)
Tin Pan Alley is my favorite srv song. I can listen to it every day and not get tired of it.
I can't breathe
jamieb12871
My guitar hero(nods to Randy/Eddie, & Darrell, whom I knew, but wasn't there yet) died that day...I quit playing within a week...Darre l l said don't stop but time & a different style of music seemed inevitable ...I stopped playing, but I did from that moment on put all my energy into something positive ...PANTERA.. . I NEVER MET MY GUITAR HERO, BUT I WAS APART OF HELPING TO MAKE MY LAST ONE
...R.I.P. STEVIE & DARRELL

darrenthomsp o n 1 9 9
he and jimi rockin' heaven. think of those shows...
sweeeeeet!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
I can recognize Stevie with one note.
That day in 1990 I left my job and told my boss a family member died by the way I did feel as if I had lost a family member I still believe this to the day P.S
Word's can not express! He touches the soul
IMHO top 10 guitarist.
Miss you like no other Stevie....se e you in paradise!!
never thought if he was in the rock & roll hall of fame or not. There's not much thinking to do on that one. R&RHOF ( do they even listen to music)
I will always love srv. My dad was at his last concert, in my hometown. He died the same night in a heli crash. Still a legend to this day and always will be.
Steave.raayv a u g h n
Deservedly needs to be in Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The nerve!
christophert r o
One if the best of the best and gutsiest guitarists of all time
rsantini3
one of the best ever
It ok
okay guitarist
On August 26 th ,1990 , the Music World was forever altered , when God took Stevie Home. Miss him and his wonderful gift. ..
With his amazing tribute tune to Stevie Ray Vaughan, I would think Buddy Guy would have been mentioned in this bio. They played together, and I cannot think of one guitarist/sh o w m a n better than Buddy. SRV & Albert King are on his level. Be well! (Sorry for the rant!)
He use to practice a riff for days, going over it again, and again. It use to drive Jimmie crazy, but it honed Stevie's guitar playing to the fine edged, clear, solid blues playing you won't find in any other guitar player.
Jimmy Page is the only guitar player better than SRV but worse than Jimi
The best of the best one of my all time favorites
No gimmics or trick's. Just straight shred!
No played out Stevie Ray Vaughan, please!
dglake728
SRV was so gifted! Once I heard and watched him perform everyone else takes 2nd place and always will. What a great loss! Miss you forever Amigo!



t.a.morgan48 4
Positively Indescribabl e .
pride&joy,th i s song was playing fisrt time hung out w/Michael,th i s night &15years later we Had been together.But the saddest thing ever,He passed away Sept,13,13. For me this song will always be ours & dedicate it for the Both of us,and all the crazy,wild,w e i r d , s a d , h a p p y , m e m o r a b l e learned&love d experienced life w/My Michael D. Hollcroft!
I saw his last so cal show with Dr Hook, John Lee Hooker, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, and BB King. What a show! Blues Festival at the Costa Mesa Fair Grounds! He just got clean!
a great loss to the music industry stevie ,you will be missed by all
saw last show mt view amazei ing!
731103081
Always will love the best even now<3<3<3. Truest passion
Always feel blessed to have seen Srv just before he passed, small setting, awsome show! truly missed.
Magic! This man is missed. What a beautiful tragedy of a legacy he left for future generations to enjoy.
Saw his last show at Alpine Valley in Wisconsin. He, Eric, Buddy and Robert were flying to Chicago to play at Buddy Guy's club on the Southside of Chicago. Rumor has it, Clapton almost took the ride there on the same chopper as Stevie. By the time I got home to Chicago, news was breaking already that there had been a crash involving him. What a loss
it flat f#$king do not get any better than this.
Jed Denman, You are an a-hole!
Its always been my understandin g that there was an open, unused seat on the helicopter . . . Eric Clapton . . . thanks . . .
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