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Today in Music – 1990 – The Music World loses Stevie Ray Vaughan

So often late on a Friday night, and I’m working at Target, and not feeling particularly chipper, Jerry Jeff Walker’s song “Blue Mood” pops into the jukebox in my head. Well, tonight, as I reviewed the musical events that occurred on this date, the final verse of the song came in loud and clear. Here it is….. 03 Blue Mood clip Yes, on this date 23 years ago, the music world lost one of the best blues guitarist ever, Stevie Ray Vaughan. From Wikipedia:

On August 27, 1990, Vaughan had just performed with Double Trouble at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin. All of the musicians boarded four helicopters bound for Chicago, which were waiting on a nearby golf course. According to a witness, there was haze and fog with patches of low clouds. Despite the conditions, the pilots were instructed to fly over a 1000-foot ski hill. Vaughan, along with three members of Clapton’s entourage (agent Bobby Brooks, bodyguard Nigel Browne, and assistant tour manager Colin Smythe), boarded the third of the four helicopters — a Bell 206B Jet Ranger — flying to Meigs Field. At about 12:50 am (CDT),[106] the helicopter departed from an elevation of about 850 feet, veered to the left and crashed into the hill. All onboard, including the pilot, Jeff Brown, were killed instantly.[107] In Clapton: The Autobiography, Eric Clapton explains that, contrary to rumors, his seat was not given to Vaughan, but as indicated above three members of Clapton’s entourage were on board with Vaughan at the time of the crash. Read More

I can’t even image how many guitarist Stevie Ray influenced, the number must be really huge!! I was surprised to read though in his biography about the guitarist that influenced him, none other than Lonnie Mack…. again from Wikipedia:

Vaughan owed his guitar technique in large part to Lonnie Mack, who Vaughan observed in live performance as “ahead of his time”.[119] Mack later recalled his first meeting with Vaughan in 1978: “We was in Texas looking for pickers, and we went out to see the Thunderbirds. Jimmie was saying, ‘Man, you gotta hear my little brother. He plays all your [songs].’ He was playing a little place called the Rome Inn, and we went over there and checked him out. As it would be, when I walked in the door, he was playing ‘Wham!’ And I said, ‘Dadgum.’ He was playing it right. I’d been playing it wrong for a long time and needed to go back and listen to my original record. That was in ’78, I believe.”[68] Vaughan owed part of his enduring style—especially his use of tremolo picking and vibrato—to Mack. He acknowledged that Mack taught him to “play guitar from the heart….

A memorial service was held on August 30, 1990 at Laurel Land Cemetery in Dallas, where he was buried next to his father among those who attended were: Kim Wilson, Jeff Healey, David Bowie, Charlie Sexton, ZZ Top, Colin James, and Buddy Guy attended the event. Stevie Wonder, Jackson Browne, and Bonnie Raitt sang “Amazing Grace”. So now that I’ve depressed myself, let’s brighten things up with a little it of the great music and video that Stevie Ray left and listen to one of my favorite songs “Crossfire” and once again say to an artist, we will always miss you!!