Tags: stevie ray vaughan | 25 years | blues | inspiration

Stevie Ray Vaughan, 25 Years Later, Still a Blues Inspiration

Image: Stevie Ray Vaughan, 25 Years Later, Still a Blues Inspiration
Stevie Ray Vaughan in 1989. (AP Photo/Files)

By    |   Friday, 28 Aug 2015 09:31 AM

Stevie Ray Vaughan died 25 years ago on Aug. 27, 1990, in a helicopter crash, and on the anniversary of this death many have offered tributes in his memory.

"The biggest blessing of Stevie Ray Vaughan is that he put the blues first," wrote The Reverend Shawn Amos for Yahoo Music on Wednesday.

"He revered the tradition, he exalted his heroes (including his big brother Jimmie), and he publicly paid it forward. Everyone else called Stevie Ray Vaughan a “guitar hero” (a tired phrase). He called himself a blues musician."

The Dallas Morning News reported this week that Dallas-area town Oak Cliff plans to build a monument to both of the Vaughan brothers by the summer of 2017. Kay Kallos, the public art program manager in the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs, said that the first fundraiser event for the monument will take place in Sept. 3. Jim Suhler, Smokin’ Joe Kubek, and Carolyn Wonderland will perform at the Kessler Theater, and an auction featuring memorabilia signed by Eric Clapton and Steve Miller will also coincide with the event.

The Dallas City Council has signed off on a $142,000 contribution to the monument.

Vaughan, just 35 at the time of his death, had just finished playing a concert with superstar musicians Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, and Vaughan's older brother, Jimmie, when the helicopter he was riding in hit a ski slope, killing him and five others.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also reported that Eric Clapton paid tribute to his old friend during his two-night performance at Alpine Valley Music Theatre this week.

"I'd like to bring out to join me, in truth, the best guitar players in the entire world: Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robert Cray... Jimmie Vaughan," he told the crowd of 40,000.

Vaughan was not the first to die in an aerial crash, as Otis Redding, Jim Croce, Rick Nelson, Ronnie Van Zant, Buddy Holly, and Ritchie Valens all suffered similar fates before him. R&B star Aaliyah would also come to die in a plane crash at age 22 roughly a decade later.

Vaughan, born in Dallas, first came to mainstream attention in 1982, when his band, Double Trouble, caught the eye of David Bowie when they performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Bowie commissioned Vaughan as the lead guitarist on his "Let's Dance" album, and Vaughan's solo album "Texas Flood" was released shortly after. Both albums were hugely critically acclaimed in their own right.

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Stevie Ray Vaughan died 25 years ago on Aug. 27, 1990, in a helicopter crash, and on the anniversary of this death many have offered tributes in his memory.
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Friday, 28 Aug 2015 09:31 AM
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