Riley Ben King or simply BB King was born in Berclair, Mississippi back in 1925 and became one of the most important Blues musicians of all time. Over the decades as a professional musician he had to chance to see many amazing musicians until his death at the age of 89 in 2015. One of these artists was the late guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, who brought the Blues again to the mainstream and MTV in the 80s but died too soon in a helicopter crash in 1990 at the age of 35.
What was BB King’s opinion on Stevie Ray Vaughan
In an interview for the TV special “A Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan“, released in 1996 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage), BB King praised the late guitarist and his unique technique and style, saying that: “Stevie had many ways of showing you that he had not only talent but he had the feel for playing Blues. His hands seemed to be flawless the way he moved with it.”
“When I play, I play sort of like talking, you know, syllables, you say a sentence here, a sentence there and then, I’ve to stop and think for something else to keep my conversation going. But his didn’t seem to be that at all. It was fluent, he flowed when he played. He could get something going and it was like a song and it would just go on and on. Ideas continuosly flowed, I don’t have that. There is not a lot of people that I hear that have that but Stevie had it.”
They had a father-son relationship
BB King and Stevie Ray Vaughan had like a father-son relationship as King recalled in an old interview posted by SRV Archive Youtube Channel (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage): “When I first met Stevie I met him with his brother and after meeting him our communication started to be more like a father-son relationship. So we were very close, very, very close. He used to come to me when he had problems, he used to call me and we talked. I loved the guy.,” BB King said.
The two musicians played together live on several ocasions.
Back in 1996 Jimmie Vaughan (Stevie’s older brother), Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, Dr. John, Art Neville and BB King won the Grammy Award for “Best Rock Instrumental Performance” for the track “SRV Shuffle”, recorded in the Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute TV special.
In an interview with San Diego Tribune in 2010, BB King cited Stevie Ray when talking about Jimi Hendrix, saying: “I know that Stevie Ray Vaughan, without a doubt, listened to (Hendrix) and you can tell that most of the modern guitarists do also. You can hear him through them. I got a lot of ideas listening to him.”
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Vaughan was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He began playing guitar at the age of seven, inspired by his older brother Jimmie and dropped out of high school in 1971 and moved to Austin the following year.
Stevie played gigs with numerous bands, earning a spot in Marc Benno’s band the Nightcrawlers and later with Denny Freeman in the Cobras, with whom he continued to work through late 1977.
He then formed his own group Triple Threat Revue, but he renamed them Double Trouble after hiring drummer Chris Layton and bassist Tommy Shannon. He gained fame after his performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1982. His debut studio album Texas Flood charted at number 38 in 1983, a commercially successful release that sold over half a million copies. Vaughan headlined concert tours with Jeff Beck in 1989 and Joe Cocker in 1990.
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015 by guitarist John Mayer, who said in his speech: “Stevie Ray Vaughan is the ultimate guitar hero”. He was the younger brother of Blues guitarist Jimmie Vaughan.