Jimmie Vaughan was born on 20 March 1951 in Dallas, Texas. Jimmie and his younger brother, Stevie Ray, grew up in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, Texas. Sidelined by a football injury at 13, a family friend gave him a guitar to occupy him during his recuperation. He learned quickly and began tutoring his brother on the instrument.
At 15, he started his first band, The Swinging Pendulums, and began playing Dallas nightclubs. At 16, he moved onto The Chessman who opened for Jimi Hendrix. Jimmie heard Muddy Waters and Freddie King in concert and began delving into the blues.
In 1969, he formed the Storm, which supported a number of touring blues musicians. Moving to Austin, the band became one of the most popular in the city. Stevie Ray followed his brother to Austin and joined the band on bass. Stevie Ray later moved on to a successful solo career.
After the band folded, Jimmie went onto form The Fabulous Thunderbirds in the mid-1970s with vocalist Kim Wilson, drummer Mike Bruck and bassist Keith Ferguson. He became one of Austin, Texas’ leading guitarists in the 1970s and 1980s. The band went onto record 8 albums. Jimmie left The Fabulous Thunderbirds in 1989.
In 1989, he recorded a duet album, Family Style, with younger brother Stevie Ray.
On 26 August 1990, his younger brother was killed in a helicopter crash following a performance with Eric Clapton. Jimmie took a few years off from persuing his own career.
Jimmie was persuaded by Eric Clapton to perform at the 1991 blues nights at the Royal Albert Hall. In 1994, Jimmie launched his solo career in earnest with the release of Strange Pleasure.
He was the support act for Eric’s 1994 tour and often joined him on stage for the encore. This was repeated in November and December 1998 when he again opened for Eric in Europe. Additionally, Jimmie joined Clapton and B.B. King in the studio during the Riding With The King sessions in February 2000.
He has also played on sessions for Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, and Carlos Santana.
In June 2004, Jimmie appeared at Eric’s three day Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas, Texas. Highlights have been released on a double DVD. Jimmie also donated two of Stevie Ray’s guitars to Eric’s second guitar auction which raised funds for the Crossroads Centre Antigua.
Jimmie is also well-known as a designer of classic custom cars. He started building models as a child and never lost his enthusiasm, referring to cars as “art you can drive to the store.” In 1999, he took First Place at the Sacramento Autorama and Second Place at the 50th Annual Grand National Roadster Show. Eric credits Jimmie with inspiring him to begin collecting and restoring classic roadster.
Eric joined Jimmie on stage and played three numbers with him in Columbus, Ohio on 13 August, 2006 when Jimmie was part of that summers Bob Dylan tour.