This weekend in Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will induct a North Texas legend. Stevie Ray Vaughan and his band Double Trouble – Chris Layton, Tommy Shannon, and Reese Wynans – are headed for the Rock Hall 25 years after Vaughan died in a helicopter crash.
For this week’s Friday Conversation, author Craig Hopkins, who's written about Vaughan, talks with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter.
Interview Highlights: Craig Hopkins…
…On the revival of blues guitar:
“Blues had been in a little bit of a decline. Some would say the popularity of the blues is somewhat cyclical. Stevie brought it back in the forefront for a lot of people of his generation and a couple of generations since. [He] also helped reopen the door for the original blues masters to get back in front of larger audiences and in front of perhaps a different audience.”
…On Vaughan’s musical influences:
“He was fortunate in that the music he heard as a young boy was really diverse: country western, rock 'n’ roll and blues. I think that’s why there’s so many great guitarists out of North Texas is that there was such a wide variety of music being heard.”
…On the most surprising part about Vaughan’s personal biography:
“…Stevie didn’t really do much other than music. He didn’t really have the means to have a car when he was growing up and people said that if Stevie needed to go somewhere, he would either walk and he’d be playing the guitar as he walked, or he’d be in somebody’s backseat and he’d be playing the guitar in the backseat. People said he wasn’t just noodling on the guitar. He was earnest about trying to perfect his craft all the time, from the age of seven…on, he was practicing. That was the focus of his entire life.
Craig Hopkins has written several books on Stevie Ray Vaughan. He’ll also be at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland.
Videos: Watch Vaughan perform through the years