Check out these new and used Johnny Winter vinyl records LPs for sale. Johnny Winter was born in Texas in 1944, and his brother Edgar Winter was born in 1946. These albino brothers took to music at a young age with Johnny focusing on guitar and Edgar learning keyboards and saxophone. Their first band was called Johnny & the Jammers and released the single School Day Blues on Dart records in 1959. They had success with subsequent singles on various labels over the next several years. Winter decided to focus on blues rock in 1968 and put out his first solo record The Progressive Blues Experiment on the Sonobeat label. Larry Sepulvado wrote an article for Rolling Stone magazine that was very flattering to Johnny, calling him the hottest thing in Texas since Janice Joplin. This resulted in a frantic bidding war, and winter ended up signing with CBS records in 1969 with a very large advance $600,000. He continued releasing this high-energy blues rock throughout the 70s, and also produced three award-winning albums from Muddy Waters. Johnny Winter passed away in 2014 in Switzerland. We recommend starting with Johnny Winter vinyl collection with the excellent Saints & Sinners or Second Winter. Our inventory is usually changing, so check back often, or browse our list of vinyl from blues musicians.
Early Life and Musical Beginnings (1944-1960)
Johnny Winter, born on February 23, 1944, in Beaumont, Texas, emerged as a blues icon with a distinct sound and unparalleled guitar skills. His early exposure to music, rooted in the rich blues traditions of the Deep South, laid the foundation for a career that would leave an indelible mark on the blues and rock landscape.
Growing up in a musical family, Johnny and his brother Edgar were introduced to the blues at a young age by their parents. The Winter household became a nurturing environment for their musical talents. Johnny, in particular, gravitated toward the blues, inspired by legends like Muddy Waters and B.B. King. He quickly honed his skills on the guitar, displaying a natural aptitude that hinted at the greatness to come.
The Beaumont Blues Scene (1960-1968)
Johnny Winter’s formative years were spent immersed in the vibrant blues scene of Beaumont, Texas. He began performing in local clubs and soon gained a reputation for his electrifying live performances. His albinism, a condition that left him with white hair and pale skin, set him apart visually, but it was his blistering guitar work that truly made him stand out.
During this period, Winter’s dynamic playing caught the attention of legendary blues musician Muddy Waters. Impressed by the young guitarist’s talent, Waters invited him to perform and record with him. This collaboration proved instrumental in Winter’s career, exposing him to a wider audience and establishing his credibility within the blues community.
Breakthrough with “Johnny Winter” and “Second Winter” (1969-1970)
The late 1960s marked a turning point for Johnny Winter. His self-titled album, released in 1969, catapulted him to mainstream success. With a mix of traditional blues tunes and original compositions, the album showcased Winter’s soulful vocals and masterful guitar work. The standout track, “Dallas,” underscored his ability to blend traditional blues elements with a contemporary edge.
Following the success of his debut, Winter released “Second Winter” later that same year, a double album that further solidified his status as a blues-rock virtuoso. The album’s raw energy and Winter’s innovative approach to the blues drew widespread acclaim. The instrumental track “Frankenstein” highlighted his prowess as a guitarist, earning him accolades for pushing the boundaries of blues into new and exciting territories.
Woodstock and Collaborations (1970s)
Johnny Winter’s electrifying performance at the Woodstock Festival in 1969 became a defining moment in his career. His high-energy set, which included a scorching rendition of “Johnny B. Goode,” showcased his ability to captivate massive crowds and solidified his reputation as a must-see live performer.
Throughout the 1970s, Winter continued to explore diverse musical avenues. Collaborating with artists like Rick Derringer, he released albums such as “Johnny Winter And” and “Still Alive and Well,” which showcased a blend of blues, rock, and boogie influences. Winter’s collaborations with fellow musicians demonstrated his versatility and willingness to push the boundaries of traditional blues.
Struggles and Resurgence (1980s-1990s)
The 1980s posed challenges for Johnny Winter as he faced personal and professional setbacks. Struggling with substance abuse issues, he experienced a period of decline in his career. However, Winter’s resilience and dedication to his craft led to a remarkable resurgence.
In the late 1980s, he signed with Alligator Records, a move that reignited his recording career. Albums like “Serious Business” and “I’m a Bluesman” showcased Winter’s return to his blues roots. His collaborations with contemporary blues artists reaffirmed his influence on the genre and demonstrated his enduring relevance.
Recognition and Awards (2000s-2010s)
As Johnny Winter entered the 21st century, he continued to receive recognition for his contributions to the blues. In 2003, he was inducted into the Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame, a testament to his enduring impact on the genre. Winter’s live performances remained a powerful draw, and he continued to tour extensively, connecting with audiences around the world.
His album “Step Back,” released in 2014, featured collaborations with a diverse range of artists, including Eric Clapton, Joe Perry, and Ben Harper. The album won a Grammy Award for Best Blues Album, underscoring Winter’s ability to stay relevant and innovative even in the later stages of his career.
Legacy and Influence
Johnny Winter’s legacy extends beyond his impressive discography and awards. His influence on the blues and rock genres, marked by his searing guitar solos and soulful vocals, resonates with generations of musicians. His fearlessness in pushing the boundaries of traditional blues, coupled with his technical brilliance, makes him a pivotal figure in the evolution of blues-rock.
Winter’s impact on the blues scene is not only measured by his commercial success but also by his dedication to the authenticity of the genre. His commitment to the blues, coupled with his ability to adapt and evolve, ensures that Johnny Winter’s legacy remains etched in the annals of music history.