Stevie WinwoodOn 12/05/1948: Steve Winwood was born in Handsworth, Birmingham. He started music early, playing piano, guitar, and drums as a child. At just eight years old he first performed with older brother Muff and his father in a band called the Ron Atkinson Band. Muff led a local group called the Muff Woody Jazz Band, which he allowed Steve to join. Whilst still a student he played a part of backing bands for blues singers such as Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson II, T-Bone Walker, Bo Diddley, Eddie Boyd, and Otis Spann, who would create "pickup" bands on their tours of the UK.
At age 14 he joined The Spencer Davis group, along with his brother, Muff. As part of the group they were part of such songs as “Keep On Running” “Gimme Some Lovin’” and “I’m A Man” (the latter two of which Winwood co wrote).
Whilst a member of the group Winwood joined Eric Clapton as part of the group Eric Clapton and the Powerhouse.
Winwood left the Spencer Davis Group in April 1967, and formed Traffic alongside guitarist Dave Mason, drummer Jim Capaldi, and multi-instrumentalist Chris Wood who he had met when they jammed together at The Elbow Room, in Birmingham. They released albums such as Mr. Fantasy and John Barleycorn Must Die.
In 1969 Winwood left Traffic and helped form the supergroup Blind Faith with Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Ric Grech. It didn't last long and Clapton soon left to tour with opening act Delaney & Bonnie & Friends.
Baker, Winwood and Grech carried on together to form Ginger Baker's Air Force. After a few shows, Winwood and Grech left to reunite and reform Traffic
After a few years Traffic folded as Winwood retired to sessioning for a few years. In 1977 he stepped back into the spotlight with his self-titled first solo album. Winwood’s solo career has produced such songs as “Valerie", “Back In The High Life”, “When You See A Chance” and “Higher Love”.
He has won the Ivor Novello Outstanding Song Collection Award, the Musicians Union Classic Rock Award and inducted into the Walk Of Fame in Nashville. He also has honorary Doctorate Degrees in Music, from Berklee College Of Music and from Aston University.