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Stevie Ray Vaughan biography

Born: October 3, 1954, Dallas, Texas

Died: August 27, 1990, East Troy, Wisconsin

Stevie Ray Vaughan almost single-handedly created a blues revival during the 1980s — for blues fans it was a refreshing, electrifying change from the predominant sound of that decade. He was assisted in this feat by contemporaries Albert Collins and Robert Cray. Vaughan was a stunning guitarist who mesmerized crowds and listeners with a signature sound and breathtaking skill, combining the influences of both Texas and Chicago blues. His guitar gymnastics echoed those of Jimi Hendrix, and that combined with his soulful, original style made his music irresistible to rock fans as well as blues aficionados. The Texas native dropped out of high school and made his way to Austin to play music; he formed a band that soon became well-known in the city. Eventually he and his band were signed to Epic and their first release, Texas Flood, made blues history. He had taken his rightful place alongside other blues legends when his life and career were cut short by tragedy. Vaughan died in a helicopter crash after a performance with Buddy Guy and Eric Clapton.

Essential listening: “Pride and Joy,” “The Sky is Crying,” “Texas Flood,” “Couldn’t Stand the Weather,” “Little Wing” ” Family Style” with Big Brother Jimmie Vaughan