The Musical History of Jimi Hendrix

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A man born at 10:15 a.m. on November 27, 1942 is known as “one of the most creative and influential musicians of the 20th century.” At the time of his birth he was named Johnny Allen Hendrix, but his father later named him James Marshall Hendrix. Between this renaming and his death this man would be called by many names. At the time of his death on September 18, 1970, he was known worldwide as Jimi Hendrix. Jimi Hendrix was a famous guitar player who made a name for himself by introducing a new style of music.

Jimi loved music from an early age. When his father realized this he gave him an old one string ukulele to encourage his talent. When Jimi was about 16 his father bought him a used five dollar acoustic guitar. About a year later Jimi’s father purchased him an electric guitar. During these times Jimi was in two bands, The Velvetones when he got his acoustic and The Rocking Kings once he got his electric.

In 1961 Jimi entered the US army. When he was discharged from the army he formed a band called The King Casuals.

Around mid 1960s Jimi formed a band called Jimmy James (his stage name at the time) and the Blue Flames. In 1966 Chas Chandler offered a contract to Jimi. When Jimi signed the contract he formed a new band and moved to London with Chas as his manager. This band was consisted of Mitch Mitchell on the drums, Noel Redding was the bassist and, of course, Jimi on the guitar. They called their band experience. Experience’s first single was “Hey Joe” and was number six on the UK charts for ten weeks.

In 1967 Jimi went back to America and became instantly popular. He spent the next few years making albums and creating his own Recording studio, Electric Lady Studios, in New York City.

In 1969 Jimi played at Woodstock with an electric band Called Gypsy Sun & Rainbows. The best part of this performance was supposedly a “renegade” performance of the “Star Spangled Banner.”

Sadly in September of 1970 Jimi died of overdose of drugs at the young age of 27. Whether this incident was meant an accident or suicide is a secret he took to his grave. At the time of his death his father bought a family plot. His tombstone said ‘Forever in our hearts – James M. “Jimi” Hendrix – 1942-1970’


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