Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan

Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan

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"I'll never get over it. The whole thing still doesn't seem real."

Music lost a superstar at the top of his game when Stevie Ray Vaughan's helicopter crashed in 1990 after a gig alongside Eric Clapton.

We remember the Dallas blues-rocker who held that Stratocaster and blew us all away with such songs as "Pride and Joy," "Cold Shot," "Love Struck Baby" and more. But his family lost much more.

"He was my little brother," Jimmie Vaughan says simply of the man who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on Saturday, along with his band, Double Trouble. "Anybody who has a little brother or little sister knows what that means.

"I know he was a great musician, and I know people love his music and think about him that way, but I miss my little brother," says Vaughan, who may one day join his brother in the Rock Hall, either as a solo act or as a member of Austin's groundbreaking blues band the Fabulous Thunderbirds.

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Stevie Ray Vaughan

File

The Hall of Fame ceremonies will be a bittersweet moment for Jimmie Vaughan. The pride and joy, to borrow a phrase, will be in seeing his little brother inducted. But there will also be remembrance, as it was Jimmie Vaughan who had to identify 35-year-old Stevie Ray's body after the crash at a Wisconsin ski mountain.

"I'll never get over it," Vaughan says. "The whole thing still doesn't seem real. That's really the best way I can explain it. It seems like he's off somewhere on tour.

"But there's nothing I can do about it except accept it," he says.

Like a lot of little brothers, Stevie always wanted to do what Jimmie was doing. It was Jimmie who gave Stevie his first toy guitar when the boys were growing up in Texas.

"I think the thing about Stevie Ray Vaughan that always shone through was his enthusiasm for whatever it was he was doing," his brother says. "Even when I was a little kid - I'm four years older than him - he always wanted to go with me."

The affection Stevie Ray and his Double Trouble bandmates had was such that his brother believes they'd still be playing together today.

Jimmie Vaughan will be at the ceremonies and has been announced as one of the performers. In typical brotherly fashion, he deflects a question about his own chances of induction.

"Well, anybody would enjoy something like that, but I don't want to think about that," he says.

"This is all about Stevie."

Chuck Yarborough, pop music critic for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, is a native Texan and has covered Stevie Ray Vaughan almost since the late guitar slinger was the pride and joy of just Oak Cliff. This interview was excerpted from The Plain Dealer's special section on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame awards.

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