Johnny WinterOn 23/02/1944: Johnny Winter was born in Beaumont, Texas. His full birth name was John Dawson Winter III. Winter and his younger brother Edgar were both born with albinism. They were both encouraged by their parents in pursuing music. When he was 10, the two brothers appeared at a local children's show with Johnny playing the ukulele.
At the age of 15, Johnny's band Johnny and the Jammers released the song "School Day Blues" on a Houston record label. Around the same time, he would watch performances by Muddy Waters, B. B. King and Bobby Bland. Winter would sometimes sit in with Roy Head and the Traits.
In 1967, Winter recorded on the Traits single "Tramp"/"Parchman Farm".
In 1968, Winter released his debut album "The Progressive Blues Experiment" on Austin's Sonobeat Records. In the same year, he met and jammed with Mike Bloomfield in Chicago. Bloomfield invited him to play a song with him at the Fillmore East in New York. There were representatives from Columbia Records at the concert and Winter was signed to Columbia within days for the largest advance in history at that time $600,000.
In 1969, Winter released his first album with Columbia, "Johnny Winter". It featured the same backing musicians from "The Progressive Blues Experiment", Tommy Shannon, Uncle Joe Turner, Willie Dixon, Big Walter Horton and Johnny's brother Edgar. The album was successful and Imperial Records picked up "The Progressive Blues Experiment" for wider release. Also in 1969, the Winter Trio, with Edgar, toured and performed at festivals including Woodstock. Later in 1969, Winter released the album "Second Winter". In December, Winter made a guest appearance at a Janis Joplin concert at Madison Square Garden. Winter and Joplin were involved in a short-lived love affair.
In 1970, Edgar Winter left the Winter trio to record his own solo album. Johnny formed a new band with the remnants of the McCoys, Rick Derringer, Randy Jo Hobbs, Randy Z. Originally they were going to be called Johnny Winter and the McCoys but they shortened it to Johnny Winter And. Also in 1970, they released the album "Johnny Winter And". The band went on tour and Randy Z was replaced by drummer Bobby Caldwell.
In 1971, Winter released the live album "Live Johnny Winter And".
Winter would suffer from a heroin addiction during his time with Johnny Winter And. He received treatment and recovered from the addiction.
In 1973, Winter released the album "Still Alive and Well" after returning to the music industry following his recovery. Winter performed his comeback concert at Nassau Coliseum in New York without Derringer and Caldwell. Johnny's wife Susie performed on stage also.
In 1974, Winter released the albums "Saint & Sinners" and "John Dawson Winter III". Also in 1974, Winter performed in a concert honouring Muddy Waters. It fulfilled a childhood dream of his to play alongside him.
In 1975, Winter produced an album for the band Thunderhead in Bogalusa, Louisiana. It included Pat Rush and Bobby "T" Torello.
In 1976, Winter released the live album "Captured Live!".
In 1977, Winter brought Muddy Waters into to the studio to record Water's album "Hard Again" for Blue Sky Records a label set up by Winter's manager. Winter would also play the guitar on the album. It would win a Grammy Award. Winter would also release his own album "Nothin' but the Blues" in 1977.
In 1978, Winter produced Muddy Water's album "I'm Ready". The album would win a Grammy Award.
In 1979, Winter produced Muddy Water's live album "Muddy 'Mississippi' Waters – Live". The album would win another Grammy Award.
In 1981, Winter produced Muddy Water's album "King Bee".
In 1984, Winter released the album "Guitar Slinger". It would receive a Grammy nomination.
In 1985, Winter released the album "Serious Business". It would receive a Grammy nomination.
In 1988, Winter became the first non-African-American performer to be inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.
In 1991, Winter released the album "Let Me In". It would also recieve a Grammy nomination.
In 1992, Winter married Susan Warford.
In 1996, Johnny and Edgar Winter filed a lawsuit against DC Comics for defamation over two characters called Johnny and Edgar Autumn in the Johah Hex: Riders of the Worm and Such limited series. The court sided with DC Comics.
In 2004, Winter received a Grammy nomination for his album "I'm a Bluesman".
In 2007, Winter's albums titled "Live Bootleg Series" all entered the Top 10 Billboard Blues chart.
In 2011, Winters released the album "Roots" the first studio album in 7 years. It featured guest appearances by Vince Gill, Sonny Landreth, Susan Tedeschi, Edgar Winter, Warren Haynes, and Derek Trucks.
In 2014, Winters released his last album called "Step Back". It featured guest appearances by Joe Bonamassa, Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons, Leslie West, Brian Setzer, Dr. John, Paul Nelson, Ben Harper and Joe Perry.
On 16/07/2014, Winter was found dead in his hotel room near Zurich, Switzerland, two days after a performance at the Cahors Blues Festival, France. The cause of death was not officially released, according to his friend producer Paul Nelson it was due to emphysema combined with pneumonia.
In 2015, Winter posthumously received a Grammy Award for Best Blues Album for the album "Step Back". He would also be awarded the B. B. King International Artist of the Year Award.