MISSISSIPPI DELTA - On the 20th anniversary of his death, Stevie Ray Vaughan was seen at the Crossroads. He can still play that guitar!
At the famed Crossroad in the Mississippi Delta a local boy was shocked to see the legendary blues guitarist, Stevie Ray Vaughan, playing his heart out. “He looked like a ghost, but his music sound so real. I’ve never heard a guitarist play like that. Either he was alive or I was in heaven,” said fourteen-year-old, Caleb Wilson.
Old blues musician Tommy Johnson describe the Crossroads this way:
“If you want to learn how to make songs yourself, you take your guitar and your go to where the road crosses that way, where a crossroads is. Get there be sure to get there just a little ‘ fore 12 that night so you know you’ll be there. You have your guitar and be playing a piece there by yourself…A big black man will walk up there and take your guitar and he’ll tune it. And then he’ll play a piece and hand it back to you. That’s the way I learned to play anything I want.”
Well, Caleb Wilson didn’t see a big black man, but he did see Stevie Ray Vaughan who walked up to him, gave him his guitar and said, “Son, go out there and play. Music is what will save this world.” Vaughan then showed Caleb a few blues chords. Before he disappeared into the Crossroads, Vaughan told Caleb, “son, you are here on this earth to help people, help your brothers, your sisters, your friends, your enemies. That’s what life is about: helping each other, not hurting each other. ” Then Vaughan was gone.
Today is the twentieth anniversary of the death of the singer and blues guitar legend. The Grammy-winner died in a helicopter crash Aug. 27, 1990. He is buried in his hometown of Oak Cliff, Texas on the outskirts of Dallas. Jeff Castro, an Oak Cliff resident who co-founded an annual tribute motorcycle ride and concert that commemorates Vaughan’s birthday (October 3) has long been lobbying for a memorial.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Castro approached the city about a statue and fountain in Kiest Park, where Vaughan hung out as a kid. But Castro was turned town because there are other plans for a permanent collection of Stevie Ray Vaughan memorabilia.
A street in Dallas was going to be renamed in honor of Stevie Ray Vaughan, but instead the city chose to name the street Riverfront. Vaughan was always proud of being from Oak Cliff, said a Vaughan biographer Craig Hopkins. “Ever after he went to Austin.”
Caleb Wilson is a fan now… and in a couple of years, you’re going to hear another guitar legend emerge from the Mississippi Delta. And maybe one day, you’ll be lucky enough to catch Stevie at the Crossroads…
Here’s Stevie doing two Hendrix covers:
And here’s Stevie doing Texas Flood: