Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble

         Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble

         Stevie Ray Vaughan is a legendary blues guitarist from the 1980’s. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Vaughan’s sole purpose in life was music. Despite attempts to complete school and receive a traditional education, Vaughan dropped out of school and spent the first few years of his career couch surfing and doing odd jobs for money. Vaughan had started playing the guitar at age 7, following in his brother Jimmie’s footsteps. By the age of 12 he was playing in local garage bands and within a few years was playing semi-professionally. All this despite the fact that, at age 15 or 16, he was not legally old enough to even go into the nightclubs where he played.

Vaughan played in several bands in the early to mid-1970’s, many of which gained serious attention. After playing backup guitar in those bands, Vaughan created his own band Triple Threat. His band later became known as Double Trouble, after the band’s female lead singer quit. The band name remained for the rest of Vaughan’s career. Double Trouble became one of the most popular bands on the Texas nightclub circuit in the early 1980’s and received their first international recognition at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in 1982. Videos of this concert can still be seen on Youtube.

Their performance at Montreux attracted attention from two famous musicians, David Bowie and Jackson Browne, both of whom reached out to Vaughan and the band with offers (Bowie invited Vaughan to play on his upcoming album “Let’s Dance” and Browne offered Double Trouble recording time at his LA recording studio for free). These partnerships led to a recording contract with Epic Records and Double Trouble’s first album, “Texas Flood” (recorded in 1983).

During his career, Vaughan played with a who’s-who of accomplished musicians, such as Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, Robert Plant and many others. His career also generated a stream of awards and recognitions, but Vaughan’s work ethic also led to health and drug problems, and the break up of his marriage in the early 1980’s. Vaughan’s recording of “Cold Shot”, recorded in 1984, may have been his response to the breakup; the song was written for him by a friend and former bandmate, WC Clark.

Vaughan voluntarily checked himself into a rehabilitation program to get help but then returned to work afterwards. He continued to rack up critical and commercial recognition, and accolades from his peers. During a concert with famed blues guitarist Eric Clapton, Clapton left the concert in a fit of jealousy over how talented Vaughan was, a fact he would later publicly admit to after Vaughan’s death. Stevie Ray Vaughan died later that evening in a helicopter crash after leaving the concert and heading to the tour’s next venue in Chicago. Vaughan was at the peak of what many believed would be an inspirational career. His fame only increased following his death and Stevie Ray Vaughan fans can be found worldwide, still taking in any opportunity to listen to and enjoy his music.

                                         click on the links below to see the lyrics for the songs mentioned above: Cold Shot (lyrics); Let's Dance (lyrics, David Bowie song)

                                        ;               Vocabulary

                                                       legendary: someone or something that inspires people to discuss the subject

                                                       traditional: to do something in the same way that others have done it before

                                                       following: to physically follow someone or to repeat something they have done

                                                       career: the length of time someone has worked at a job or other occupation; the achievements someone has made in the course of their career

                                                       concert: a social engagement where people gather together to listen to live music

                                                       upcoming: something that is about to be created (“upcoming album”) or to happen (“upcoming concert”)

                                                       contract: a written agreement between two or more people

                                                       generated: when one thing causes something else to happen or to be created

                                                       ethic: a belief or idea, one that usually leads to some result

                                                       voluntarily: to do something without being asked or told to do it

                                                       talented: to have a natural ability or gift to do something

                                                      Downloadable Items

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                                                      related word search puzzle
                                                      word search puzzle answers

                                                      Article Research Sources

                                                      Song Meanings: Cold Shot

                                                      KNKX Public Radio

                                                      Austin's East End Cultural Heritage District: WC Clark

                                             Stevie Ray Vaughan

                                                      Biography - the official Stevie Ray Vaughan site

Last updated Friday, February 10, 2023
copyrighted © John Erick Kenmuir 2023