Ten years ago today Jeff Buckley drowned while taking an evening swim. Buckley had many ties to this city, first moving here in 1990 (though only staying for seven months at that time). He was back in the spring of 1991 to perform his first show, a tribute concert to his father, Tim Buckley. The event was held at St. Ann's Church on April 26th, 1991, where the singer announced: "This is not a springboard, this is something very personal."
He would eventually take the stage for himself, however. According to Wikipedia: "On subsequent trips to New York in the summer of 1991, Buckley began co-writing with Gary Lucas resulting in the songs "Grace" and "Mojo Pin", and by fall began performing with Lucas' band Gods and Monsters around New York City. After being offered a development deal with Gods and Monsters at Imago Records, Buckley moved back to New York to the Lower East Side at the end of 1991. The day after Gods and Monsters officially debuted in March 1992, Buckley decided to leave the band."
From there he became a solo performer, starting to play weekly on Monday night's at Sin-é. Through these shows he signed a deal with Columbia Records in October 1992. His debut EP, Live at Sin-é, was released on November 23rd, 1993. Grace, his only LP, was released August 23rd, 1994 and was named one of Rolling Stone's Top 500 Albums of all time.
In 1996 he began working on his follow-up, My Sweetheart the Drunk, while living in Tennessee. It was there that he took a swim "wearing steel-toed boots, all of his clothing, and singing along to a radio playing Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love". His body was found by a tourist a week later. While the death was accidental, Buckley had admitted the night before to being bipolar (according to the biography Dream Brother).
USA Today's Pop Candy has some links to remembering Buckley. Blackbook Magazine had a story on his life and death, last year. Houstonist reports today that "since his death, almost two dozen tribute songs have been written about him." They have a link to his cover of Leonard Cohen's song (which was used a lot post-9/11), Hallelujah. Here is another from his album Grace: So Real.mp3