"Stevie did for us what Muddy Waters did. He put the blues over, and then came back and got us." - Buddy Guy
Stevie Ray Vaughan was born on October 3, 1954 in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, Texas. He was the younger brother of Jimmie Vaughan (born March 20, 1951) and the son of Jim and Martha Vaughan. Stevie began playing guitar (under the influence of Jimmie) at the age of eleven. When he was in his early teens Stevie joined his brother Jimmie's band Texas Storm, as their bass player. Then in the summer of 1970, Stevie and a friend of his formed a band called Blackbird. Blackbird, which played in clubs around the Dallas-Fort Worth area, did mostly covers of Jimi Hendrix and Cream. Around 1973 Blackbird disbanded and Stevie went to play with Krackerjack, a rock and roll band which was based in Austin. Stevie's stint with Krackerjack lasted only a short time. Soon after parting ways with Krackerjack Stevie was approached by Marc Benno, a person that had ties to A&M; Records in Hollywood. After meeting with Benno, Stevie left for Hollywood with him to be a part of Benno's band the Nightcrawlers, After recording an album with the Nightcrawlers, an abum that was rejected by A&M; Records, Stevie returned to Austin and put together his own version of the Nightcrawlers. In late 1974, Marc Benno again got in touch with Stevie and asked him if he'd like to come out to California to join him again. Soon after this, Stevie, with a little relunctance, returned to join Benno. As before, Stevie did not stay with Benno all that long and he soon returned home to Texas. In January 1975, Stevie joined the Cobras. Stevie only played with the band for about a year before he quit. According to the book, "Caught in the Crossfire," Stevie's new band, Triple Threats made its "debut" at Austin's Soap Creek Saloon on August 8, 1976. Triple Threats gave Stevie the perfect chance to "broaden his musical horizons," as "Caught in the Crossfire" points out. In the spring of 1978Triple Threat changed their name to Double Trouble. They got their new name from the Otis Rush song "Double Trouble." Along with the new name, Double Trouble hired a booking agent to help them arrange all of their concert dates, of which their were beginning to be quite a few. In late 1982, Double Trouble recorded ten songs at Los Angeles' Downtown Studios. One of the tracks that was recorded was "Texas Flood," the song which was to become the title track to the band's first album. The album, "Texas Flood" was released by Epic Records in June, 1983. Later that year the album was voted Best Guitar Album by the readers of Guitar Player magazine. Double Trouble's second album, "Couldn't Stand the Weather" came out in the spring of 1984 and it soon began to sell better than its predecessor. Stevie's brother Jimmie joined the band on the album. This was to occur again for Stevie's "Live Alive!" album, which came out in 1986. In the fall of 1988 recording sessions began for what was to become "In Step," Double Trouble's first studio project since 1985's "Soul to Soul." "In Step," Stevie's last recording with Double Trouble, hit record stores in the summer of 1989. In 1990, "In Step" received a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Record. When Stevie went up to accept his award at that year's ceremonies he said "Now let's get Buddy Guy one." Buddy Guy, the Chicago-blues legend, is someone who Stevie always greatly admired. "He plays from a place that I've never heard anyone play. A place inside," Stevie said about Buddy. Buddy happened to be one of the guitarists that was fortunate enough to play with Stevie in the final performance of his life. That performance, which took place on the night of August 26, 1990 was at the Alpine Valley Amphitheater in East Troy, Wisconsin. Stevie, together with his brother Jimmie, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and Robert Cray, finished the show by playing "Sweet Home Chicago." After the song was over the darkened theater's lights came back up and the guitarists left the stage hugging. At around 1:00 a.m. on August 27, Stevie boarded a helicopter that was to take him to Chicago. However, a few seconds after the chopper departed it crashed into a fog-shrouded hill, instantly killing everyone on board.