After a stint in the U.S. Army and a creatively unfulfilling stretch as a session musician and sideman to acts like Little Richard and The Isley Brothers, 21-year-old Jimi Hendrix moved to New York City in 1964 to set about building a solo career. "Discovered" two years later by the British manager/producer Chas Chandler, a former member of the The Animals, Hendrix moved to England in 1966 and teamed up with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell to form The Jimi Hendrix Experience. The group scored an almost immediate UK hit with "Hey Joe," which was released in mid-December. It was 10 days later, however, on December 26, 1966, that Hendrix wrote "Purple Haze"—the song that would not only give him his breakthrough hit in the United States, but also go on to define an entire musical era.