Stevie Ray Vaughan
A BRIEF CHRONOLOGY
Craig Hopkins 1998, 2000 All rights reserved. No part of this website may be
reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including
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of the law.
The following are excerpts from a much more detailed chronology found in The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan, by archivist and collector Craig Hopkins. The book contains several pages of additional entries for 1954-1990, plus events, honors and news items from 1990-2000.
October 3, 1954:
Stephen Ray Vaughan is born at Methodist Hospital in Dallas, Texas. Brother
Jimmie Vaughan is three years older.
October 3 or
December 25, 1961: Stevie, age 7, gets
his first guitar, a Sears toy guitar with western motif.
Among the first songs Stevie learns to play are Wine, Wine, Wine
and Thunderbird by the Nightcaps.
ca. 1963: Stevie
buys his first record, Lonnie Macks Wham, and plays it so many times
his father breaks it. About this time, Stevie gets his first electric guitar, a
hand-me-down from Jimmie.
Summer 1966: Doyle
Bramhall hears SRV playing for first time (Jeffs Boogie) and tells the
shy boy not to stop playing. Doyle will be instrumental in Stevies vocal and
ca. 1967: Stevies
band plays an outdoor gig at Lee Park in Dallas and begins to advance beyond
school dances and private parties. By 1969 he is introduced to the Austin
music scene which is more tolerant of the blues.
Summer 1970: After falling into
a barrel of grease while working for a fast food joint, Stevie quits and devotes
his working life to music. Stevie forms his first relatively long-lasting band,
Blackbird, with Stevie and Kim Davis (guitars), Christian dePlicque (vocals),
Roddy Colonna & John Huff (drums) , Noel Deis (organ), and David Frame
Stevies first studio recordings, sitting in with the band Cast of Thousands
for a high school compilation album called A
New Hi. The two songs showcase 17-year-old Stevies already burgeoning
December 31, 1971: Stevie
quits high school and moves to Austin with his band, Blackbird. Home base is a
nightclub on the outskirts of town called the Rolling Hills Country Club. It
would later become the Soap Creek Saloon, where Stevie honed his talent to a
razors edge over the next seven years.
late 1972: Stevie joins the rock band
Krackerjack for a few months, playing with future Double Trouble bassist Tommy
Shannon for the first time.
March 14, 1973:
Marc Benno adds Stevie to his band the Nightcrawlers which is recording an album
in Hollywood for A&M Records. The album is not released. The band also
features Doyle Bramhall who begins a 17-year songwriting partnership with
In Austin, Stevie obtains the beat-up Fender Stratocaster® know as Number
One, his trademark guitar for the rest of his career.
December 31, 1974:
Stevie joins the popular Austin band Paul Ray & the Cobras, averaging
approximately five gigs a week for the next two-and-a-half years.
February 7, 1977: The
Cobras release a 45rpm record, Stevies second appearance on vinyl.
The Cobras win Band of the Year in an Austin music poll. Stevie is listed
as Stevie Ray Vaughan, though it does not appear he used his middle
name extensively until 1980.
1977: Stevie leaves the Cobras and forms Triple Threat Revue with Lou Ann
Barton (vocals), W.C. Clark (bass and vocals), Mike Kindred (keys), and Fredde
mid May 1978: Johnny
Reno (sax) and Jackie Newhouse (bass) join Stevie and Fredde to form Double
Trouble, taking their name from an Otis Rush song.
September 1978: Chris
Layton joins Double Trouble.
August 19, 1979: The
band plays San Francisco Blues Festival, one of the first important out-of-state
April 1, 1980: The
band records what will be released in 1992 as In The Beginning at
Steamboat 1874, Austin.
January 2, 1981: Tommy
Shannon replaces Jackie Newhouse on bass. Shannon had played rock musics most
famous concert, Woodstock, as a member of Johnny Winters band in 1969.
July 11, 1981: The
band is filmed performing at a festival outside Austin.
The next year, Stevies manager gives a tape of the show to Mick
Jagger, eventually leading to the band playing a private party for the Rolling
Stones at New Yorks Danceteria on April 22, 1982. A photo of Stevie
and Jagger makes Rolling Stone Magazines Random Notes
page on June 10, 1982.
July 17, 1982: Stevie
and Double Trouble play probably the most significant gig of their careers. They
are the first unsigned band to play the Montreux International Jazz Festival in
Switzerland. A few in the crowd boo the loud band, but, ironically, the band
wins a Grammy for their performance of Texas Flood at this festival.
Stevie has fortuitous meetings with David Bowie and Jackson Browne at the
1982: The band accepts Jackson
Brownes offer of studio time, recording what will become Texas Flood.
About this time, Bowie asks Stevie to add guitar work to his Lets
Dance album and upcoming world tour. Lets Dance sells over three
times as many copies as Bowies previous best seller. Stevie quits the Bowie
tour during rehearsals to focus on his own band.
Spring 1983: Renowned
producer John Hammond hears a tape of the bands 1982 Montreux performance,
and is instrumental in getting the band a record deal with Epic Records. Hammond
is credited with discovering Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan and Bruce
Springsteen, among others.
May 9, 1983: A
New York Post review of the bands gig at New Yorks Bottom Line
asserts that the stage had been rendered to cinders by some of the most
explosively original guitarmanship to grace the New York stage in quite some
June 13, 1983: Stevies
first album, Texas Flood, is released.
Stevie voted Guitar Player Magazines Best New Talent, Best Electric
Blues Guitar Player and Best Guitar Album (Texas Flood), joining Jeff
Beck (1976) as the only triple-award guitarists.
May 15, 1984: Couldnt
Stand the Weather is released.
October 4, 1984: The
day after Stevies 30th birthday, with guests Jimmie Vaughan (guitar), Angela
Strehli (vocal), Roomful of Blues horns, Dr. John (piano) and George Rains
(drums), the band performs at New York Citys Carnegie Hall. Stevie remarks
that it is his best birthday ever.
November 18, 1984: Stevie
wins two W.C. Handy National Blues Awards: Entertainer of the Year and Blues
Instrumentalist of the Year. He is the first white person to win either.
September 30, 1985: Soul
to Soul is released, featuring new
band member Reese Wynans on keyboards.
July 1986: The
band records shows in Austin and Dallas for the bands fourth album, Live
September 28, 1986: SRV
collapses in Ludwigshafen, Germany from years of substance abuse. Stevie
struggles through two more concerts, but the last 13 dates on the tour are
cancelled while Stevie gets treatment for substance abuse. Stevie stays clean
and sober from October 13 until his untimely death in 1990.
November 15, 1986:
Live Alive is released.
Spring 1987: MTV
broadcasts the bands show at Daytona Beach, Florida, as part of its Spring
Break coverage. Stevie appears in the movie Back to the Beach, performing
Pipeline with Dick Dale, and appears on B.B. Kings Cinemax TV special
with Eric Clapton, Albert King, Phil Collins, Gladys Knight, Paul Butterfield,
Chaka Khan and Billy Ocean.
January 23, 1989: The
band performs at one of George Bushs Presidential Inaugural parties,
June 6, 1989: In
Step is released.
Award for Best Contemporary Blues Record: In Step. The band
does co-headlining tours with Jeff Beck and Joe Cocker.
January 30, 1990: Stevie
performs Pride and Joy, Testify and Rude Mood on acoustic
12-string guitar for MTV Unplugged. A fourth song, Life Without You
Spring 1990: Sessions
for Family Style with Jimmie Vaughan at Ardent Studios, Memphis. The
album is released September 25, 1990.
13, 1990: All five albums have been certified gold (500,000 sold) by this date.
August 26, 1990: Alpine
Valley, Wisconsin, concert, sold out (30,000) features an encore jam with
Stevie, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Jimmie Vaughan and
August 27, 1990: Shortly before 1:00 a.m. the helicopter carrying Stevie back to Chicago crashes within seconds after takeoff. All five on board perish. An investigation later declares the primary cause to be pilot error.
Click here to see Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble's latest awards and achievements.