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Johnny Winter

Johnny Winter

Photo by Sidney Smith

The Progressive Blues Experiment

John Dawson Winter III was born in Beaumont, Texas on Febrary 23, 1944. Johnny Winter began playing clarinet at age five; later switched to ukelele and then guitar a few years later. Performing with his younger brother Edgar as a duo in an Everly Brothers vein, the Winters won a talent contest and appeared on local television shows. In 1959, the Winter brothers travelled to New York to audition for Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour. Soon thereafter, they received their first taste of rock 'n' roll. The Winter brothers gained regional notoriety with the singles School Day Blues and You Know I Love You released on Houston-based Dart Records. During this time Johnny Winter began frequenting all black blues clubs and over the years he sat in with such heroes as Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and Bobby Bland. 1962, Johnny Winter formed his first band, "Johnny and the Jammers", with Edgar Winter on piano. During the following years Johnny Winter cut singles as a leader and sideman for regional labels such as Kroc, Frolic, Diamond, Goldband, Jin, and Todd. Johnny Winter also gigged relentlessly throughout the deep South, both with his own band and in a band with Edgar Winter. In 1968, Johnny Winter recorded his debut album, The Progressive Blues Experiment, with bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Uncle John Turner. Many successful albums followed and several of them were Grammy-nominated. A milestone in Johnny Winter's career was his co-work with Muddy Waters (1977-1980). Johnny Winter was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1988. Johnny Winter had also guest appearances by Dr. John and Albert Collins. Johnny Winter is an international ambassador for rocking Texas blues and still going strong!

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