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Legendary Rock and Blues drummer and vocalist Buddy Miles

Pictured here w/ Jimi HendrixPictured here w/ Jimi Hendrix

The legendary Rock and Blues drummer and vocalist Buddy Miles passed away on Tuesday, February 26. No details are available yet, but we understand that he passed among friends and family at his home in Austin, Texas.

Buddy Miles is the stage name of American drummer and vocalist George Miles. Born on September 5, 1947, in North Omaha, Nebraska. Miles was known as a child prodigy, originally playing drums in his father George Miles' band, The Bebops. The name that Buddy Miles will forever be associated with is Jimi Hendrix, who he played drums with in the short-lived, but extremely influential, Band of Gypsys.

In addition to his father's band, as a teenager Miles played in a variety of bands including Ruby & the Romantics, the Ink Spots, and the Delfonics.

In 1967 he formed Electric Flag with guitarist Mike Bloomfield. While the lead vocalist for the Flag was Nick Gravenites, fans always looked forward to the numbers sung by Miles. The group broke up after their second album and Miles formed the Buddy Miles Express.

The song most associated with Miles is “Them Changes,” which he recorded several times, including a particularly hot live version with a young Carlos Santana. In 1986 Miles performed vocals for the California Raisins claymation ad campaign, most notably singing “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and was also lead vocals on two California Raisins albums featuring 1960s R&B covers. In 1986 and 1987, after spending the late 1970s and early 1980s incarcerated for drug charges, he rejoined Carlos Santana as a vocalist on Santana's album Freedom.

His last projects were with his band the Blues Berries, which featured Rocky Athas.

A tribute show is already being planned and we will advise you of that and of funeral arrangements. Our thoughts go out to Buddy Miles’ family and friends. Everything about Buddy Miles was bigger than life, but those who knew him knew that the biggest part of him was his heart.

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