*Jimi Hendrix was born on this date in 1942. He was an African-American color blues and rock guitarist known for his innovative playing of the electric guitar and as a symbol of the 1960s youth counterculture.
He was of mixed Black and Cherokee ancestry. Hendrix was from Seattle, Washington, where 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 rhythm and blues artists. In 1966, while leading his own 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 of his career. Also a point of reference that year was the success of his album Are You Experienced? 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 sensuous, exotic quality that was original and instantly recognizable.
Jimi Hendrix died prematurely during his third European tour of complications resulting from an apparently accidental overdose of barbiturates on Sept. 18th 1970 in London, England.