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Jimi Hendrix was born on this date in 1942. He was a Black and Native American blues and rock guitarist.
He was of mixed African and Native American (Cherokee) ancestry. Hendrix was from Seattle, Washington. He was the son of James Allen (“Al”), Ross Hendrix of Vancouver, B.C., and Lucille Mitchell of Seattle, WA. His grandparents were Zenora Moore and Bertram Philander Ross Hendrix, from Georgia and Tennessee, both vaudevillian entertainers.
As a youth, he taught himself to play the guitar and, while in high school, joined a rhythm and blues band that performed locally. From 1962 to 1965, he traveled throughout the United States as a lead guitarist for several rhythms and blues artists. In 1966, while leading his band in Greenwich Village in New York City, where he had attracted a small following, Hendrix was noticed by British rock musician Chas Chandler, who took him to London and introduced him to Noel Redding, a bass player, and Mitch Mitchell, a drummer.
As a trio, they formed the group called The Jimi Hendrix Experience. With this group, Hendrix rapidly became popular in Europe, and his reputation preceded his return to the United States. His appearance at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967 was a watershed in his career, as was the success of his album "Are You Experienced?" that same year. These two events lifted him to instant rock stardom. Another album, "Electric Ladyland"(1968), was one of the most influential rock records of the 1960s.
Hendrix was an outstanding blues guitarist working in a rock idiom. The melodic lines of his extended solos were alternately ragged, soaring, or rhythmically driving, while his phrasing was augmented by the use of extremely high volume and electronic distortion. His playing had a sensual, exotic, original, and instantly recognizable quality.
Jimi Hendrix, known for his innovative electric guitar playing and as a symbol of the 1960s youth counterculture, died on September 18, 1970. This was during his third European tour resulting from an apparent overdose of barbiturates in London, England.
In 2011, he was voted the best guitar player of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine.
ASCAP Biographical Dictionary
R. R. Bowker Co., Copyright 1980