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Rolling Stone Names Stevie Ray Vaughn Top Guitarist

A statue of Stevie Ray Vaughn was erected at Auditorium Shores in 1993.
Photo by birzer
A statue of Stevie Ray Vaughn was erected at Auditorium Shores in 1993.

Stevie Ray Vaughn is the seventh greatest guitarist of rock ‘n’ roll, according to a new ranking by Rolling Stone Magazine’s senior editor David Fricke.

The magazine notes that Vaughn’s fame was limited to the clubs of Central Texas until 1982, when David Bowie spotted Vaughn at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Bowie invited Vaughn to play on what eventually become one of Bowie’s chart topping hits: Let’s Dance. The rest is history.

Vaughn died in 1990 in a helicopter crash after a concert in East Troy, Wisconsin. A statue of Stevie Ray was unveiled in 1993 at Auditorium Shores.

A few people reacted quickly to the news on Stevie Ray Vaughn's official website

"Saw him many times back in the mid-1980's, his Hendrix was astounding and unreal. Never equalled. Loved it when he did Jazz and swing as well," wrote Dan Reiter.

Here are some people talking to last year about the Vaughn statue by the river.

In a related note, one of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s most acclaimed collaborators, Texas drummer Doyle Bramhall, died this month from complications of pneumonia. He was 62.  


Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.