Buddy Miles, the fabled session drummer who co-founded BAND OF GYPSYS with Jimi Hendrix, has died in Austin, Texas. He was 60. Born in Nebraska in 1947, Miles got his big breaks as a drummer playing behind soul great Wilson Pickett, The Delfonics and The Ink Spots. But Miles really struck gold when he met and befriended Hendrix in the early 1960s. Hendrix went on to produced a Buddy Miles Express album in 1969. The colourful drummer went on to perform on Hendrix's landmark Electric Ladyland album before the two friends decided to form their own group, and Band Of Gypsys was born. The duo teamed up with bass player Billy Cox to perform. Band Of Gypsys released one self-titled live album, which chronicled a show at New York's Fillmore East. Miles continued to play drums on Hendrix albums, released after the guitar great died in 1970. After a series of career lows in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which saw the drummer spending time in and out of jail, he scored his biggest hit as the voice of the California Raisins claymation TV ads. Miles recorded a version of Marvin Gaye's I Heard It Through The Grapevine for the ad campaign, which became a radio hit in 1988. That led to a career resurgence and a return to session work. In 2006, Miles and Cox revisited their Band Of Gypsys days and released a new live album, The Band Of Gypsys Return. As WENN went to press, the cause of Miles' death was unknown.
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