Stephen "Stevie" Ray Vaughan (October 3, 1954 - August 27, 1990), born in Dallas, Texas, was an American blues guitarist. His broad appeal made him one of the world's most influential electric blues guitarists. In 2003, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Stevie Ray Vaughan #7 in their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. He was the younger brother of Jimmie Vaughan.
Vaughan was born and raised in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, Texas. Neither of his parents had any strong musical talent but were avid music fans. They would take Vaughan and his older brother Jimmie to concerts to see Fats Domino, Jimmy Reed, and Bob Wills.
Even though Vaughan initially wanted to play the drums as his primary instrument, he was given a guitar when he was eight years old. Vaughan's brother, Jimmie Vaughan, gave him his first guitar lessons. Vaughan later quoted in Guitar Player Magazine as saying, "My brother Jimmie actually was one of the biggest influences on my playing. He really was the reason why I started to play, watching him and seeing what could be done." After his brother showed him a few basic chords, Vaughan taught himself to play. He played entirely by ear and never learned how to read sheet music. By the time he was 13 years old he was playing in clubs where he met many of his blues idols. A few years later he dropped out of Justin F. Kimball High School and moved to Austin to pursue music. Vaughan's talent caught the attention of guitarist Johnny Winter, and blues-club owner Clifford Antone.
Vaughan's first recording band was called Paul Ray and the Cobras. They played at clubs and bars in Austin during the mid-1970s, and released one single. Vaughan later recorded two other singles under the band name The Cobras. Following the break-up of The Cobras, he formed Triple Threat in late 1975, which included bassist Jackie Newhouse, drummer Chris Layton, vocalist Lou Ann Barton, and sax player Johnny Reno. Barton left the band in 1978 to pursue a solo career, followed by Reno in 1979. The three remaining members started performing under the name Double Trouble, inspired by an Otis Rush song of the same name. Vaughan became the band's lead singer.
Tommy Shannon, the bass player on Johnny Winter's early albums, replaced Newhouse in 1981. A popular Austin act, Vaughan soon attracted the attention of musicians David Bowie and Jackson Browne. Both Browne and Bowie first caught Vaughan at the 1982 Montreux Jazz Festival, where some members of the audience booed the band, because they disliked Double Trouble's hard blues sound. Nonetheless, the crowd response was quite different when they were invited to headline "Blues Night" at the festival again in 1985.