Jimi Hendrix was born Seattle Washington at 10:15am, Nov. 27,1942. One of the more common misconceptions about him however is that his given name at birth was James Marshal Hendrix this is incorrect, his name at birth as given by his mother was Johnny Allen Hendrix. His father Al hedrix like countless other young soldiers in 1941 had asked 18 year old Lucille Jeter to marry him just prior to being shipped overseas after the breakout of WWII. His mother had suffered from "consumption" all her life having contracted pnumonia as an infant, she was a small and delecate woman with light brown skin, she loved to dance as if dance were life itself and was well known as a local jitterbig champion.At the time of Jimi's birth his father was stationed overseas.
Al Hendrix's family settled in Seattle in 1912 after they were stranded there while on tour with a travelling vaudeville act. He grew up surrounded by music and dance, his parents Ross and Nora Hendrix decide to leave show business and settle in Canada wherehe was raised. As a youth Al Hendrix was exposed to the complicated dance steps of minstrel, vaudville, and ragtime. His parents though no longer involved in show business never missed an oppottunity to try out the old dance steps and Al was taught to tap dance by his older brother Leon. When he meets Lucille Jeter they are both enthralled by the Jazz of Louie Armstrong, the Swing of Benny Goodman and Fletcher Henderson and a young guitar player who was reinventing the instrument named Charlie Christian.
In 1943, 8 monthes after his birth Jimi's mother is hospitilized with tuburculosis. She has had a difficult delivery and is advised to rest for at least a year but she is very young.Taking care of a child when you are young and alone requires an enormous amount of effort, and she is too quick to return to the frolic and abandon of the dance floor. Her TB requires her to undergo a lenghty quarantine and for the next 2 and 1/2 years Jimi is raised by a series of different families at the request of his mother. When he returned from the war Al Hendrix found his son living with a family in Berkely Ca. where he picked him up and returned to Seatle where they began living with his sister in law and her family. The first thing he does upon settling in Seatle permanently is change his son's name to James Marshall Hendrix after his brother who died in the 1920's. James Marshall Hendrix, a name with dignity and authority.
After his fathers return from the war his parents seperate and despite a reunion in 1946 after which his brother Leon is born, the marriage ends in divorce in 1950. After this, exept for a two year period from 1950 to 1952 when he is taken care of by his Aunt in Vancouver Jimi is raised alone by his father. He is a solitary and introverted young man but he and his father have a close relationship, his father is a stern but patient disiplinarian who doesn't ask much other than to take out the trash or sweep the floor once in a while.
His mother remarries although she is plauged by recurring TB, Jimi is sometimes troubled with dreams that she will die, she drinks a lot, is often depressed, and frequenly ill. In 1958 she is hospitalized and cautioned by doctors to take it easy but is unable to stay away from the dancing and night life that she loves. Shortly after her release from the hospital in 1958 she passes away. When his mother died it hurt Jimi deeply but like his father he never revealed his sorrow through his words, that was saved for the music that was about to come.