Master of the blues rock guitar Johnny Winter, who celebrates his birthday today, started out in 1962 as one half of the fledgling rock band Johnny & The Jammers with equally talented brother Edgar Winter.
His musical style was pretty eclectic in the early days, drawing inspiration from everything from Southern rock to the British Invasion, but soon he settled on traditional blues rock and for that the music world is forever in his debt.
Winter landed his first major recording contract in 1969 with CBS to the tune of $600,000, the largest sum ever paid to a new solo artist by the label. In the coming years he released a string of solid albums with 1969’s “Second Winter,” 1970’s “Johnny Winter,” 1973’s “Still Alive and Well,” and 1974’s “Saints and Sinners.”
His first gold record came as a concert collection from his band Johnny Winter And released in 1971. He also went on to produce the Grammy-winning record “Hard Again” in 1977 for his guitar hero, the legendary bluesman Muddy Waters.
Johhny was quite a sight to behold on stage – with his fast fingers, fleecy white hair, and ultra-pale complexion – not to mention playing some of the best electric slide guitar anyone had ever heard!
Today, Johnny is still keepin’ at it! In honor of his 70th birthday, he is releasing a new box set, True to the Blues: The Johnny Winter Story, later this month.
His 2014 tour continues in the States this winter before going international, with dates in Japan, Europe and South America set for later this year. To see all of this tour dates head to www.johnnywinter.net.
Wish Johnny a good one in the comments section and check out his 1974 version of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” below!