R&R Hall of Fame Finally Admits Stevie Ray Vaughan

Rockin' Robin's famous Stevie Ray Vaughan mural
Rockin' Robin's famous Stevie Ray Vaughan mural
Photo by Groovehouse

A great injustice in the eyes of many Texas music fans has been corrected with this morning's announcement that Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble have finally been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The late Texas guitar icon was elected in his sixth year of eligibility, long enough to make many fans wonder if he would ever make it in. According to the Hall's rules, artists become eligible 25 years after releasing their first album or single; although forming in Austin in the late '70s, Double Trouble did not make their debut recording until 1983's Texas Flood.

Results were announced early Tuesday morning. Also inducted this year were Green Day; the late Lou Reed; Joan Jett & the Blackhearts; Ringo Starr -- the last of the Beatles to be inducted as a solo artist -- soul singer Bill Withers; the Paul Butterfield Blues Band; and early Carolina R&B group the "5" Royales, whose songs "Dedicated to the One I Love" and "Think" later became huge pop hits for the Shirelles and James Brown's Famous Flames, respectively.

Not making the cut, surprisingly, were first-time nominees Garth Brooks and Nine Inch Nails. It'll also have to be next year -- maybe -- for the likes of N.W.A., the Smiths, War and Kraftwerk.

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Although Vaughan and his older brother Jimmie, onetime guitarist for the Fabulous Thunderbirds, grew up in Dallas; and Double Trouble sprang from hours of gigging at Austin clubs like Antone's, the Rome Inn and the One Knite; Houston nonetheless played a primary supporting role in the SRV myth.

Early in their career, Double Trouble took up what amounted to an unofficial residency at Houston's legendary Rockefeller's club; one of their best-known songs, "The House Is Rockin'," is said to be about the old bank building on Washington Avenue. A photo of Vaughan and John Lee Hooker together at Rockefeller's hangs over the checkout area of Cactus Music, and across the street an entire wall of Rockin' Robin Guitars is devoted to him.

Vaughan's induction did not come about by accident. A group of dedicated SRV fans has lobbied Jann Wenner, founder of both Rolling Stone magazine and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the Hall's nominating committee, for years.

"They're gonna have to do it eventually," Jimmie Vaughan told Texas Monthly back in June. "But Stevie's legacy doesn't revolve around whether he's in the Hall of Fame. His legacy is what he did when he was alive."

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