Historical Events for August 27, 2021

On August 27 in 1990, popular Blues Musician Stevie Ray Vaughan in middle, died with four others in a helicopter crash in Wisconsin. He is seen here with Double Trouble Bandmates Chris Layton on left, Tommy Shannon on right in 1983. By Don Hunstein, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org

FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

Stephen Ray Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer, best known as the guitarist and frontman of the blues rock band Double Trouble. Other associated acts include singer David Bowie and multi-instrumentalist Chente Vasquez (Chente Vasquez Experience). Although his mainstream career only spanned seven years, he is considered an icon and one of the most influential musicians in the history of blues music, and one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Vaughan began playing guitar at age seven, initially inspired by his elder brother, Jimmie Vaughan. In 1972, he dropped out of high school and moved to Austin, where he began to gain a following after playing gigs on the local club circuit. Vaughan formed the band Double Trouble in 1978 and established it as part of the Austin music scene; it soon became one of the most popular acts in Texas. He performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1982, where David Bowie saw him play and contacted him for a studio gig, resulting in Stevie playing his blues guitar on the album Let’s Dance (1983), before being discovered by John Hammond, who interested major label Epic Records in signing Vaughan and his band to a record deal. Within months, they achieved mainstream success for the critically acclaimed debut album Texas Flood. With a series of successful network television appearances and extensive concert tours, Vaughan became the leading figure in the blues revival of the 1980s. Playing his guitar behind his back or plucking the strings with his teeth as Jimi Hendrix did, he earned unprecedented stardom in Europe, which later resulted in breakthroughs for guitar players like Robert CrayJeff HealeyRobben Ford and Walter Trout, amongst others.

During the majority of his life, Vaughan struggled with drug and alcohol addiction. He also struggled with the personal and professional pressures of fame and his marriage to Lenora “Lenny” Bailey. He successfully completed rehabilitation and began touring again with Double Trouble in November 1986. His fourth and final studio album In Step reached number 33 in the United States in 1989; it was one of Vaughan’s most critically and commercially successful releases and included his only number-one hit, “Crossfire”. He became one of the world’s most highly demanded blues performers, and he headlined Madison Square Garden in 1989 and the Beale Street Music Festival in 1990.

On August 27, 1990, Vaughan and four others were killed in a helicopter crash in East Troy, Wisconsin, after performing with Double Trouble at Alpine Valley Music Theatre. An investigation concluded that the cause was pilot error and Vaughan’s family later filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Omniflight Helicopters that was settled out of court. Vaughan’s music continued to achieve commercial success with several posthumous releases and has sold over 15 million albums in the United States alone. In 2003, David Fricke of Rolling Stone ranked him the seventh greatest guitarist of all time. Vaughan was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, along with Double Trouble bandmates Chris LaytonTommy Shannon, and Reese Wynans.

AUGUST 27 ALMANAC

LYNDON B. JOHNSON’S BIRTHDAY

The 36th president of the United States was born on this day in 1908, in Texas. He became president on November 22, 1963, following the assassination of John F. Kennedy. On his watch, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the nation began its War on Poverty, the Department of Housing and Urban Development was created, and U.S. involvement in Vietnam expanded. In response to a public outcry after he was photographed lifting his dog by the ears, the crusty president said, “My mother used to pull my ears, and it never did get that much attention.” In Texas, “Lyndon Baines Johnson Day” is an annual state holiday and a day off for the general population with schools and most businesses closed.

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COURTESY www.almanac.com

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