Soul Rocker


The SRO Show – Jimi Hendrix

Soul Rocker

Produced by Lawrence Standifer Stevens

Written by Joseph E. Casanova



He’s considered one of the greatest guitarists ever to have played the instrument. . . and he died before he was 30. Before the late Jimi Hendrix was. . . well, Jimi Hendrix, he earned his chops on the road touring with the legendary Isley Brothers.

The Isleys, famous for their 1962 hit, Twist and Shout, recorded the epic, Testify, and Have You Ever Been Disappointed two years later, which featured Hendrix’s unconventional riffs.

In between stints with the Isleys, the Seattle native backed and recorded with Little Richard and his band, The Upsetters, on one of his most unforgettable singles, I Don’t Know What You’ve Got But It’s Got Me.

Hendrix once performed as part of a package tour with soul greats, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, and the Valentinos — featuring Bobby Womack.

Born Johnny Allen Hendrix in 1942 in Seattle, he was later renamed James Marshall by his father, James “Al” Hendrix, for reasons still unknown.

In 1958, he played a five-dollar, secondhand acoustic guitar — a gift from his father, Al — in his first band, The Velvetones.

The following summer, his dad bought Jimi his first electric guitar, a Supro Ozark 1560S — which, you may recall, had a single pickup near the bridge. That’s when he joined The Rocking Kings.

Before leaving for a year’s stint in the army, he also played on this track, One Day by Thomas and the Tomcats.    

The Jimi Hendrix Experience shattered musical and cultural barriers with legendary performances at the 1967 Monterrey Pop Festival and 1969s Woodstock with an unforgettable rendition of The Star Spangled Banner.

Known for his edgy Bob Dylan covers, Along the Watchtower and Like A Rolling Stone, Hendrix revved up the Beatles Daytripper and the Trogg’s Wild Thing.

After his untimely demise in 1970 in London, Hendrix joined the notorious “27 Club,” along with The Doors frontman, Jim Morrison and Texas rock queen, Janis Joplin.

The “27 Club” comprised of famous musicians who passed away at age 27, also included grunge king Curt Cobain, British chanteuse, Amy Winehouse, and blues legend, Robert Johnson.

Heavily influenced by blues giants, B.B. King and Muddy Waters, Hendrix paved the way for generations of black rock musicians, including Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynotte, and alt-rockers, Living Color and Lenny Kravitz.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame once described Jimi Hendrix as “arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music.”    

Y’know, if he’d lived, legions of new fans could have experienced Purple Haze for themselves.