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11. Stevie Ray Vaughan

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A few of us remembered at NIHOF when Stevie Ray Vaughan passed away in a tragic helicopter crash.  A running joke that went around was how terrible it was that Stevie Ray was dead and all the New Kids on the Block are still alive.Nearly twenty years later, his fans miss him as much as they did when he was first taken (and are still cranky that all five New Kids are still alive).

Stevie Ray Vaughan has been called the last great Blues man.That title may be a little melodramatic, but there is no doubt that he was an outstanding musician with exceptional talent who was taken away way too soon.Drawing from legendary Blues musicians of the past, Vaughan’s style was a little faster and fierier than his influences and through that he bridged Rock and Blues probably better than anyone else had before.Amazingly, he did so in an era where the Blues wasn’t considered “cool” anymore, and drew fans that would not normally be into that style of music.Considering the extensive amount of Blues based musicians in the Hall, the best of the 80’s should find induction sooner than later.

Stevie Ray Vaughan

The Bullet Points:


Previous Rank:

2010: #30


Eligible Since:


Country of Origin:

U.S.A. (Dallas, TX)

Why He Will Get In:

Blues Rock is a Hall staple.

Why He Won’t Get In:

Honestly, it is hard to come up with a good reason.

Nominated In:


Essential Albums:

Texas Flood (1983)

Couldn’t Stand the Weather (1984)

Soul to Soul (1985)

In Step (1989)

Our Five Favorite Songs as Chosen by Each Member of the NIHOF Committee:

Pride & Joy (From Texas Flood, 1983)

Texas Flood (From Texas Flood, 1983)

Come On (Part III) (From Soul to Soul, 1985)

The House is Rockin’ (From In Step, 1989)

Crossfire (From In Step, 1989)


www.stevieray.com  (Tribute Site)


Should Stevie Ray Vaughn be in the Hall of Fame?

(You must be registered and logged in to vote!)
Definitely put him in! - 82.8%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 3.4%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 10.3%
No opinion. - 3.4%
No way! - 0%

Last modified on Saturday, 04 October 2014 06:27


+7 #1 Knuckles -0001-11-29 19:00
I do remember where I was when I heard the news of the helicopter crash. I was just starting to get into his music, although I became a fan when I first heard his version of superstition and the great video that went with it.
+2 #2 jimmy26 -0001-11-29 19:00
of course. never really liked that style that much but man sevie could play quitahe should be in r.
+1 #3 Sean -0001-11-29 19:00
This one's bizarre. The Hall loves blues-rock to the point of putting fairly questionable acts like solo Eric Clapton and ZZ Top in (though I'd say they both barely deserved it). Guitarists who influenced blues-rock artists always have a chance of suddenly appearing on the ballot after long absences (Jeff Beck, Freddie King). Dying in one's prime tends to immortalize one's legend. He was commercially successful...Yo u would think a guy like this would get in first ballot, which means they're probably waiting to induct some other previous guitar heroes (they probably waited on SRV to induct Jeff Beck first). Or this could be that the hall never likes more current acts from the '80s and always prefers to induct earlier acts from the '60s and '70s...
+6 #4 sheila 2012-09-25 09:51
A man who definately deserves to be included...many of us agree that he should be first choice
+2 #5 Schumi7xwdc 2013-04-07 12:19
For the love of God, the RRHF is a farce, just look at ALL the garbage that's in there and look at bands like Jethro Tull, SRV, The Guess Who, YES...etc...not even considered...GF Y RRH of Fame.
+5 #6 biograph 2013-05-12 04:34
SRV shoulda been done BEEN put in that thing!! Damn!!! Yes, it's time to induct Stevie Ray Vaughn.
0 #7 Darryl Tahirali 2013-05-23 18:18
Stevie Ray Vaughan revitalized blues-rock in the 1980s, at a time when it had been pushed into the background, and he proved himself to be one of the greatest guitarists in rock. He was also discovered by John Hammond, one of the greatest talent spotters in American musical history (Count Basie, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, and Bruce Springsteen, among many others).

However, and although SRV got better at record making before his untimely death, I don't think he rises to the level of a Hall of Famer. His songs were standard blues-rock vehicles, nothing special, even if the axe-slinging was extraordinary. It is possible that he would have matured as a musical talent had he lived, which might have given him the influence, innovation, and legacy of a Hall of Famer, but we have to evaluate based on what was, not on what might have been.

Sean mentioned a number of similar artists as SRV. In the various "audits" of the Hall of Fame in my DDT Pop Flies column, I have already noted that Beck, Clapton solo, and ZZ Top should not have been inducted. SRV falls into that grouping for me. Freddie King is a different case. First, it's a head-scratcher that he was inducted as an "Early Influence" seeing that his career was contemporaneous with the rockers whom he influenced (hell, Grand Funk mentions his name in "We're An American Band"). But Freddie should have been inducted as a Performer, as was Albert King this year, although I don't think Albert was innovative or remarkable enough for Cleveland.

By the way, I'm saying this as a relative old-timer who still remembers the tremendous buzz I got when I first heard "Pride and Joy" bursting through my speakers three decades ago. And I'm proud to say that I got to see SRV live twice.

For me, liking someone's music and evaluating their legacy are two different qualities. As a fan, I love a good deal of SRV's stuff. As a critic and historian, I don't think that he rises to that level of the best the music has produced. (And for what it's worth, I feel the same way about Beck, Clapton (solo), and ZZ Top--love a lot of their stuff, don't think it's Hall-worthy.)

Music is such an emotional force that our feelings often override our critical thinking. The trick I think is to find the balance, and to consider this: If everyone is exceptional, then no one is, so what is the point of a Hall of Fame?
-8 #8 Elroy 2014-09-12 14:18
If you're gonna write a story tell the truth. Stevie Ray was a good guitar player but he wasn't better than his influences as you stated. He didn't play one single that hadn't been played. I know you want a great white hope but you gotta keep looking. You're saying he was better than Albert King. Liar. Tell the truth or keep your mouth closed. Stevie was a copy Katt. His style was between Albert And Jimmie Hendrix so what do you mean when you say Stevie was better than his influences? Black men started this blues straight from the delta way before Stevie Ray Vaughn was ever thought of. You act like he did something that has never been done. He was a good guitar player, a decent singer but a very good-hearted guy.
+2 #9 GregB777 2014-10-25 14:54
Elroy, what's in your water, man?

Nowhere in the article does it say SRV was better than Albert King. Nowhere does it say he was better than his influences.

That being said:

SRV WAS a better guitar player than Albert King. He WAS a better guitar player than Jimi Hendrix (not Jimmie Hendrix!) It has NOTHING to do with the color of his skin.

The fact that YOU think it does kind of shows where you're coming from...


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