Music, as they say, is what connects us all; a spiritual fabric that holds us all together. It channels its power through a few chosen ones, and Stevie Ray Vaughan was among the chosen ones.
Until his last breath, Ray Vaughan gave himself completely to the music. He was a man who could do anything – sing, write and produce. His life’s work carried the revival of the blues genre in the 80s.
Stevie Ray Vaughan Bio
Stevie was born on October 3, 1954, in Dallas, Texas, the son of Jim Vaughan, a former U.S. Navy officer who served in World War II. His mother was Martha Cook, and she and Jim married on January 13, 1950, to give birth to Stevie.
Like most people who spend their lives bringing joy to the hearts of many, Stevie did not have a rosy childhood. As workers, Stevie’s father and family never lived in one place for long; they moved around and tried to get closer to wherever the next paycheck came from. His father’s economic difficulties exacerbated his drinking problems and led to a rather difficult childhood for Stevie, who eventually became insecure due to the emotional abuse his father had inflicted on him.
Stevie Ray Vaughan had great admiration for his older brother Jimmie. It was his admiration for his brother that led him to try different instruments such as drums and saxophone. In 1961, on his seventh birthday, Vaughan received his first guitar, a toy that only nourished his interest in making music.
When one is chosen as a musical priest, a lack of formal learning does not hinder the development process. Stevie, who found his passion in the strings of a guitar, took it upon himself to learn more about this art with nothing but his ears and the constant repetition of music through nightcaps like “Thunderbird” and “Wine, wine, wine”. When his brother gave him his first-person, real guitar as a gift, Stevie was almost a skilled guitar player.
Stevie’s first band was the Chantones, which he joined shortly after his first guitar. Vaughan did not stay with the band for long, as he soon joined his second band, the Brooklyn Underground. When his older brother Jimmie left home at the age of sixteen, Vaughan’s obsession with the guitar found no support from his parents. He left and took a job as a busboy at a local hamburger stand in order to survive. Sometimes a man needs a bad moment to seize the time and pursue his passion. For Stevie, that moment was when he fell into a grease barrel. He quit his job and decided to dedicate his life to a music career.
After he set out to dedicate himself entirely to music, he began to realize his potential. Stevie’s skill on the strings was a joy to everyone who saw him play, including bandleaders who needed a man with his talents. Stevie Ray Vaughan played with the Nightcrawlers and the Cobras, but when you’re on a legendary path, it’s the only way to be your own man. After serving in various bands, Vaughan formed his own band. At first, he called his band Triple Threat Revue, but after some personnel changes the final product became Double Trouble, and they left indelible marks on rock’n’roll.
He became famous after his performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1982 and his first studio album Texas Flood, which sold over half a million copies. His musical style found its roots in blues, rock, and jazz. He was influenced by various artists such as B.B. King, Freddie King, Albert Collins, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, and many others, but it was Jimi Hendrix who he considered his greatest inspiration.
Awards are interesting, they are symbols of recognition for your work, a glorification of your influence on your industry. Stevie did not miss them. Although his life was shortened, he still enjoyed the satisfaction of being adored by his peers during his lifetime. He won ten Austin Music Awards and crowned them with six Grammys. Through his posthumous recognition, he was inducted into the Music Hall of Fame.
His Wife, Brother, and Sister
Stevie Ray Vaughan met his wife Lenora Bailey shortly after the formation of his band Double Trouble. Lenora, who was known as Lenny, became his girlfriend and then his wife. Their marriage lasted six and a half years.
Stevie’s brother Jimmie Vaughan inspired him to become a guitarist, so it was only natural that the two of them eventually worked together on a project called Family Style. Unfortunately, Stevie did not live long enough to see the success of the project. Jimmie Vaughan is a blues-rock guitarist and a legend in his own right. He has already won several Grammys and still performs today.
Jimmie Vaughan is his only known sibling, but people have always wondered who his sister is, of course, because of his song called “Look at Little Sister”.
The Blues legend was 1.65 m tall. The American music legend was not physically noticeable in the crowd and made up for his lack of physical presence with the dexterity of his fingers.
How Did He Die?
The unfortunate early death of Stevie Ray Vaughan occurred on August 27, 1990, after an all-star jam session at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre. Vaughan and members of Eric Clapton’s entourage boarded a Bell 206B helicopter for a flight back to Chicago.
The helicopter tragically crashed into a ski slope shortly after takeoff. Vaughan and all other people on board were killed.
The investigation of the accident revealed that Vaughan suffered severe trauma and rib fractures, as well as massive internal injuries and skull injuries. He was buried at Laurel Land Cemetery in Dallas, Texas on August 31, 1990.