Is Jimmie Vaughan Related to Stevie Ray Vaughan? The Story of the Blues Brothers

If you are a fan of blues rock, you might have wondered if Jimmie Vaughan and Stevie Ray Vaughan are related. The answer is yes, they are brothers who shared a passion for music and guitar playing. In this article, we will explore their family background, musical influences, career highlights and tragic loss.

The Vaughan Family

Jimmie Lawrence Vaughan Jr. was born on March 20, 1951, in Dallas County, Texas, to parents Jimmie Lee Vaughan and Martha Jean Cook. He was the eldest of three children, followed by Stevie Ray Vaughan (born on October 3, 1954) and Pamela Vaughan (born on September 13, 1958). The Vaughan family lived in Oak Cliff, a suburb of Dallas, where they were exposed to various musical genres such as country, rock and roll, blues and jazz. Jimmie and Stevie both showed an interest in music from an early age and learned to play guitar by listening to records and watching TV shows.

The Musical Influences

Jimmie and Stevie were influenced by many blues guitarists, such as the “Three Kings” (Albert, Freddie and B.B. King) and Johnny “Guitar” Watson. They also admired rock and roll pioneers like Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly. Jimmie was especially fond of jazz guitarists like Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomery and Grant Green. Stevie was more drawn to the fiery style of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Lonnie Mack. Both brothers developed their own distinctive tone and technique, blending elements of blues, rock, soul and jazz.

The Career Highlights

Jimmie started his professional career in the late 1960s, playing with local bands in Dallas and Austin. He formed the band The Fabulous Thunderbirds in 1974 with singer and harmonica player Kim Wilson. The band became one of the most popular and influential blues rock groups in Texas, releasing several albums that showcased Jimmie’s tasteful and versatile guitar playing. Jimmie left the band in 1989 to pursue a solo career.

Stevie followed his brother to Austin in the early 1970s, where he played with various bands before forming Double Trouble in 1978 with bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton. The band caught the attention of David Bowie, who invited Stevie to play on his album Let’s Dance in 1983. That same year, Stevie released his debut album Texas Flood with Double Trouble, which became a critical and commercial success. Stevie went on to record three more studio albums with Double Trouble, as well as a live album with Albert King. He also collaborated with other artists such as Jeff Beck, Bonnie Raitt and Bob Dylan.

The brothers finally recorded an album together in 1990, called Family Style. The album featured a mix of original songs and covers that showcased their different but complementary styles. The album was released a month after Stevie’s death.

The Tragic Loss

On August 27, 1990, Stevie Ray Vaughan performed at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin, along with Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray and Jimmie Vaughan. After the show, Stevie boarded a helicopter along with three members of Clapton’s entourage to fly to Chicago. The helicopter crashed into a hillside shortly after takeoff, killing all five passengers.

Jimmie Vaughan was devastated by the loss of his brother, whom he considered his best friend and musical partner. He took some time off from music to cope with his grief and recover from his own drug addiction. He returned to the stage in 1993 with a tribute concert for Stevie at Carnegie Hall, featuring many of his friends and peers. He also resumed his solo career, releasing several albums that honored his brother’s legacy and celebrated his own musical identity.

Jimmie Vaughan is still active today as a respected blues guitarist and singer. He has won four Grammy Awards and has been inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. He continues to perform live and record new music that reflects his love for the blues.

Stevie Ray Vaughan is widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. He has been ranked among the top 100 guitarists by Rolling Stone magazine and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His music has influenced countless musicians across genres and generations.

Jimmie Vaughan and Stevie Ray Vaughan are brothers in blues who left an indelible mark on the history of music.

Doms Desk

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