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*Buddy Miles was born on this date in 1947. He was a Black rock drummer, vocalist, composer, and producer.
George Allen "Buddy" Miles Jr. was born in Omaha, Nebraska. His father played upright bass with Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, and others. By age twelve, Miles had begun touring with his father's band, the Bebops. Given the nickname "Buddy" by his aunt after the drummer Buddy Rich, he was often seen as a teenager hanging out and recording at Universal Promotions Corporation recording studios, which later became Rainbow Recording Studios.
Miles played with a variety of rhythm and blues and soul acts as a teenager, including Ruby & the Romantics, the Delfonics, and Wilson Pickett. In 1964, at 16, Miles met Jimi Hendrix at a show in Montreal, where both were performing as sidemen for other artists. In 1967, Miles joined Hendrix in a jam session at the Malibu home of Stephen Stills. They also went on to play together again in 1968 in both Los Angeles and New York. He was a founding member of the Electric Flag (1967), a member of Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsys (1969–1970), and founder and leader of the Buddy Miles Express and, later, the Buddy Miles Band.
Miles also played and recorded with Carlos Santana and others. Additionally, he sang lead vocals on the critically and commercially acclaimed "California Raisins" Claymation TV commercials and recorded two California Raisins R&B albums. Asked in 1995 how he would like to be remembered by the American music magazine Seconds, Miles said: "The baddest of the bad. People say I'm the baddest drummer. If that's true, thank you, world." The day before Miles died, he heard Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton playing "Them Changes" at Madison Square Garden through his cell phone. "Them Changes" is now part of Clapton's set on tour as a tribute to Miles.
At 60, Buddy Miles died on February 26, 2008, at his home in Austin, Texas, with his family by his side. According to his website, he died of congestive heart disease. Miles was cremated, and there was no funeral. The UK-based newspaper The Independent ran an almost full-page obituary in its Friday, February 29, 2008, edition. A month later, a memorial concert took place on March 30, 2008, at Threadgill's on Riverside Drive, South Austin, that included performances by Bernie Worrell, The Family Stone Project, Doug Pinnick, Cyril Neville, The Sixth Chamber, and surviving members of the Buddy Miles Express.