Johnny Winter, the widely known blues legend, was born as John Dawson Winter on Feb. 23, 1944. He was found dead in his hotel room in Zurich, Switzerland July 16, 2014. This loss has come as a major shock to the blues world.
Johnny Winter performed last at the Lovely Days Festival in Wieson, Austria on Saturday. At the age of 70, Winter was on tour in Europe. This tour was scheduled to continue across the U.S. in August.
It was announced earlier this year that the Texas blues guitarist would have a new album, "Step Back", ready to release in September. Contributing artists on "Step Back" are Eric Clapton, Joe Perry, and Dr. John.
Some of Johnny's better known songs are "Rollin' and Tumblin'", "Too Much Seconal", "Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo", and "Bad Luck and Trouble". In 1988, Johnny Winter was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame. In 2003, Rollong Stone magazine rated Winter 63rd in their list, "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". Winter produced three Grammy Award winning albums for blues singer and guitarist Muddy Waters.
Both Johnny and his younger brother Edgar were born with albinism, which results in very little color in the hair, skin, or eyes. Edgar, also a muscian, is best known for his popular song, "Frankenstein". Edgar Winter performed on Johnny's second album, "Second Winter". This album was released as a "three-sided LP", with the fourth side on the original album left blank. The brothers teamed up again in 1976 for the live album "Together".
I was lucky enough to meet Johnny Winter several years ago after his show at the Granada Theater. He invited several people into his trailer to talk and sign autographs. Johnny was very friendly and made you feel comfortable even though you knew you were in the presence of a legend.
Johnny Winter will be greatly missed in the music world. No immediate cause of death has been released, nor have any funeral services been announced.