Rock And Roll Tragedy in Wisconsin: Otis Redding & Stevie Ray Vaughan


otisHe’s been called the King of Soul.   Otis Redding’s powerful voice and deep soulful baritone earned him a spot in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1989.  Much of Otis’ biggest success occurred after his tragic death at the age of 26.  His  first #1 hit, Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay, was posthumous.  Otis’ plane crashed four miles from Madison, WI, as he was preparing to perform at the Factory Nightclub near the University of Wisconsin.  Bad rain, heavy fog, and warnings to not fly didn’t stop the flight.  It’s still unclear what caused the crash but the world lost a brilliant singer/songwriter (“Respect”) on that cold December night in 1967.


stevie-ray-vaughan-dean-russoHe’s been called the ultimate blues gunslinger.   Stevie Ray Vaughan (SRV) and his band, Double Trouble, ignited a renaissance of the blues in the early 80’s.  The Texas rocker was named #7 on Rolling Stones’ list of the greatest guitarists of all-time.  After playing a memorable set at Alpine Valley Music Theater in Wisconsin, Stevie was to fly to Chicago for another show.  Once again, the weather was rough, foggy conditions and a helicopter probably was the recipe for disaster.      Stevie along with the pilot and three members of Eric Clapton’s entourage died after crashing into a hill near East Troy, WI.  At the age of 35, another legend was taken too soon.