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Why Jimi Hendrix’s first real gig was playing for Ray Charles

Jimi Hendrix Ray Charles


Why Jimi Hendrix’s first real gig was playing for Ray Charles

Jimi Hendrix is considered one of the best guitarists of all time that left us too soon at the age of 27, in 1970. He had short career and changed rock history with his amazing guitar playing. In an interview with Mouth Magazine back in 2018, his brother Leon Hendrix revealed that Jimi’s first real gig was playing for Ray Charles.


Jimi Hendrix first real gig was playing for Ray Charles:

“Jimi and I had a lot of fun when we were kids. He was in charge of me. He had to babysit me while our Dad worked. My Dad said “Don’t let nuthin’ happen to him,” to Jimi, and so I had to go everywhere with Jimi. I remember every moment.”

“I remember when he first got started on the guitar, and I remember his band practices and I remember his first gigs. And I used to go backstage. I went backstage when I was 12 and Jimi was playing for Ray Charles, when Ray Charles lived in Seattle. That was Jimi’s first real gig.”

Wow, that must have been great!

“Well, I was 12 or somethin’ and so I didn’t realise at that age that when you met a famous musician you were supposed to be excited about it. I met Little Richard, I met… just about everybody. To me they were just regular people – and I think they liked to be treated as regular people anyway… I just had fun hangin’ with Jimi and it was, like, the music was a natural thing. And so ‘cos of Jimi I thought music was what it is. What it’s all about. I still do. I had a ball and I’m still havin’ a ball…”

Ray Charles

Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004) was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer. Among friends and fellow musicians he preferred being called “Brother Ray”. He was often referred to as “the Genius”. Charles was blinded during childhood due to glaucoma.

Charles pioneered the soul music genre during the 1950s by combining blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel styles into the music he recorded for Atlantic. He contributed to the integration of country music, rhythm and blues, and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records. While he was with ABC, Charles became one of the first black musicians to be granted artistic control by a mainstream record company.

Jimi Hendrix death

Although the details of Hendrix’s last day and death are widely disputed. He spent much of September 17, 1970, in London with Monika Dannemann. That was the only witness to his final hours. Dannemann said that she prepared a meal for them at her apartment in the Samarkand Hotel, 22 Lansdowne Crescent, Notting Hill, sometime around 11 p.m., when they shared a bottle of wine.

She drove Hendrix to the residence of an acquaintance at approximately 1:45 a.m. Where he remained for about an hour before she picked him up and drove them back to her flat at 3 a.m. Dannemann said they talked until around 7 a.m., when they went to sleep. She awoke around 11 a.m., and found Hendrix breathing, but unconscious and unresponsive.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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