Wormz Obituaries

Johnny Winter

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Johnny Winter died aged seventy on 16th July 2014 froimage of Johnny Winterm emphysema combined with pneumonia.
Johnny was born on February 23rd 1944 in Beaumont, Texas, U.S.A. where he and younger brother Edgar were nurtured at an early age by their parents in musical pursuits. Johnny and his brother, both of whom were born with albinism, began performing at an early age. When Johnny Winter was ten years old, the brothers appeared on a local children's show with Johnny playing ukulele.
Johnny Winter's recording career began at the age of fifteen, when his band Johnny and the Jammers released "School Day Blues" on a Houston record label. During this same period, he was able to see performances by classic blues artists such as Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and Bobby Bland. In the early days, Johnny Winter would sometimes sit in with Roy Head and the Traits when they performed in the Beaumont area, and in 1967, Johnny Winter recorded a single with the Traits called "Tramp".. In 1968, he released his first album 'The Progressive Blues Experiment', on Austin's Sonobeat Records.
Johnny Winter caught his biggest break in December 1968, when Mike Bloomfield, whom he met and jammed with in Chicago, invited him to sing and play a song during a Bloomfield and Al Kooper concert at the Fillmore East in New York City. Johnny Winter played and sang B.B. King's "It's My Own Fault" to loud applause and, within a few days, was signed to what was reportedly the largest advance in the history of the recording industry at that time; six hundred thousand dollars.
Johnny Winter's first Columbia album, 'Johnny Winter', was recorded and released in 1969. It featured the same backing musicians with whom he had recorded 'The Progressive Blues Experiment', bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Uncle John Turner, plus Edgar Winter on keyboards and saxophone and for "Mean Mistreater", Willie Dixon on upright bass and Big Walter Horton on harmonica. The album featured a few selections that became Johnny Winter signature songs, including his composition "Dallas", an acoustic blues, on which Johnny Winter played a steel-bodied, resonator guitar, John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson's "Good Morning Little School Girl", and B.B. King's "Be Careful with a Fool".
The album's success coincided with Imperial Records picking up 'The Progressive Blues Experiment' for wider release. The same year, the Winter trio toured and performed at several rock festivals, including Woodstock. With brother Edgar added as a full member of the group, Johnny Winter also recorded his second album, 'Second Winter', in Nashville in 1969. The two-record album, which only had three recorded sides (the fourth was blank), introduced a couple more staples of Johnny Winter's concerts, including Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" and Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited".
Beginning in 1969, the first of numerous Johnny Winter albums was released which were cobbled together from approximately fifteen singles (about 30 "sides") he recorded before signing with Columbia in 1969. Many were produced by Roy Ames, owner of Home Cooking Records/Clarity Music Publishing, who had briefly managed Johnny Winter.
In 1970, when his brother Edgar released a solo album Entrance and formed Edgar Winter's White Trash, an R&B/jazz-rock group, the original trio disbanded. Johnny Winter then formed a new band with the remnants of the McCoys — guitarist Rick Derringer, bassist Randy Jo Hobbs, and drummer Randy Z (who was Derringer's brother. Originally to be called "Johnny Winter and the McCoys", the name was shortened to "Johnny Winter And", which was also the name of their first album. The album included Derringer's "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo" and signaled a more rock-oriented direction for Johnny Winter. When 'Johnny Winter And' began to tour, Randy Z was replaced with drummer Bobby Caldwell. Their mixture of the new rock songs with Winter's blues songs was captured on the live album 'Live Johnny Winter And'. It included a new performance of "It's My Own Fault", the song which brought Johnny Winter to the attention of Columbia Records.
Johnny Winter's momentum was throttled when he sank into heroin addiction during the Johnny Winter And days. After he sought treatment for and recovered from the addiction, Johnny Winter was courageously put in front of the music press by manager Steve Paul to discuss the addiction candidly. By 1973, he returned to the music scene with the release of 'Still Alive and Well', a basic blend between blues and hard rock, whose title track was written by Rick Derringer. His comeback concert at Long Island, New York's Nassau Coliseum featured the "And" line-up minus Rick Derringer and Bobby Caldwell. Also performing on stage was Johnny's wife Susie. Saints & Sinners and John Dawson Winter III, two albums released in 1974, continue in the same direction. In 1975, Johnny returned to Bogalusa, Louisiana, to produce an album for Thunderhead, a Southern rock band which included Pat Rush and Bobby "T" Torello, who would later play with Johnny Winter. A second live Winter album, 'Captured Live!', was released in 1976 and features an extended performance of "Highway 61 Revisited".
In live performances, Johnny Winter often told the story about how, as a child, he dreamed of playing with the blues guitarist Muddy Waters. He got his chance in 1974, when renowned blues artists and their younger brethren came together to honor the musician , Muddy Waters, responsible for bringing blues to Chicago, and the resulting concert presented many blues classics and was the start of an admired TV series: Soundstage. And in 1977, after Waters' long-time label Chess Records went out of business, Johnny Winter brought Waters into the studio to record 'Hard Again' for Blue Sky Records, a label set up by Johnny Winter's manager and distributed by Columbia. In addition to producing the album, Johnny Winter played guitar with Waters veteran James Cotton on harmonica. Johnny Winter produced two more studio albums for Waters, 'I'm Ready' (with Big Walter Horton on harmonica) and 'King Bee' and a best-selling live album 'Muddy "Mississippi" Waters – Live'. The partnership produced three Grammy Awards for Waters and an additional Grammy for Johnny Winter's own 'Nothin' But the Blues', with backing by members of Waters' band. Waters told Deep Blues author Robert Palmer that Johnny Winter had done remarkable work in reproducing the sound and atmosphere of Waters's vintage Chess Records recordings of the 1950s.
After his time with Blue Sky Records, Johnny Winter began recording for several labels, including Alligator, Point Blank, and Virgin, where he focused on blues-oriented material. In 1992, he married Susan Warford. In 2004, he received a Grammy Award nomination for his I'm a Bluesman album. Beginning in 2007, a series of live Winter albums titled the Live Bootleg Series and a live DVD all entered the Top 10 Billboard Blues chart. In 2009, The Woodstock Experience album was released, which includes eight songs that Winter performed at the 1969 festival. In 2011, Johnny Winter released 'Roots' on Megaforce Records. It includes Johnny Winter's interpretation of eleven early blues and rock 'n' roll classics and features several guest artists. His last studio album, 'Step Back', which features appearances by Joe Bonamassa, Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons, Leslie West, Brian Setzer, Dr. John, Paul Nelson, Ben Harper and Joe Perry, was released on September 2nd 2014.
Johnny Winter continued to perform live, including at festivals throughout North America and Europe. He headlined such prestigious events as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Chicago Blues Festival, the 2009 Sweden Rock Festival, the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam, and Rockpalast. He also performed with the Allman Brothers at the Beacon Theater in New York City on the 40th anniversary of their debut. In 2007 photo of Johnny Winterand 2010, Johnny Winter performed at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival. Two guitar instructional DVDs were produced by Cherry Lane Music and the Hal Leonard Corporation. The Gibson Guitar Company released the signature Johnny Winter Firebird guitar in a ceremony in Nashville. Johnny Winter was professionally active until the time of his death near Zurich, Switzerland, on July 16th 2014. He was found dead in his hotel room two days after his last performance, at the Cahors Blues Festival in France on July 14th at the age of seventy.

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song: 'I'm Your's and I'm Her's' by Johnny Winter