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Johnny Winter

Today we will tell you about the guitar legend Johnny Winter:

(Photo: Gijsbert Hanekroot)

1. He was born John Dawson Winter, III, Texas, on February 23, 1944.

2. He and his younger brother Edgar were born albinos.

3. Edgar is also a musician and multi-instrumentalist known among others from the band "The Edgar Winter Group" with the hit "Frankenstein".

4. He grew up in a musical home, his father sang, played guitar and saxophone.

5. Already at the age of 5 he started playing the clarinet.

6. At the age of 10 Johnny appeared with Edgar on a local TV show playing the ukulele.

7. He discovered his love for blues at the age of 12 when he went to the movies and watched a movie whose soundtrack included blues tracks. He said he was less interested in the film but was fascinated by the music.

8. He began his musical career at the age of 15, when he recorded his first song "School Day Blues" as part of his band "Johnny and the Jammers".

9. At the age of 17 he went to a B.B. King show at the "Beaumont Club" in Texas, with his brother Edgar. During the show, B.B. King allowed him to take the stage and play with him.

10. In 1968 he released his first album "The Progressive Blues Experiment".

11. He got his first serious chance when guitarist Mike Bloomfield invited him to perform with him and Al Kooper in a concert the two held in New York. Representatives from the record company Columbia were in the hall, recognized the talent, and within days he signed a recording contract that was one of the "fats" of the time - $ 600,000, three times the contract signed by Led Zeppelin shortly before.

12. His first album with the record company Columbia - "Johnny Winter" was released in April 1969. His brother Edgar joined him on the album.

13. The album was a success and received rave reviews and Johnny performed at the Woodstock Festival that year. He was among the only artists to be paid for a performance at the Mythological Festival.

14. In September 1969, Winter released his second album - "Second Winter", a double album with three vinyl sides when the fourth side was empty. Winter was the first in history to release such an album.

15. Johnny fired the legendary producer Eddie Kramer during the recordings, after thinking he was not doing a good production job. Kramer worked with big names like "Led Zeppelin", Jimi Hendrix, and "The Rolling Stones" but also "AC/DC" did not get along with him and fired him during the recording of the masterpiece album "Highway To Hell".

16. At the time he was in a relationship with Janis Joplin and even appeared with her in a show at Madison Square Garden.

17. In 1996 Johnny Winter and his brother Edgar sued the "DC Comics" company for printing a comic paper called "Jonah Hex: Riders of the Worm and Such," which contained two similar figures of outlaws named Johnny and Edgar. They lost the lawsuit when the court in a precedent-setting ruling preferred the comic book company’s freedom of speech.

18. Winter suffered from anxiety attacks throughout his life and used to take medications to treat the stage fright he had.

19. He revived the career of his childhood hero Muddy Waters when in 1977 he produced the album "Hard Again" for him, which was a great success and won a Grammy. Winter went on to produce two more albums for Waters, which also earned Waters a Grammy Award.

(Photo: Bill Green)

20. In 1980 Johnny appeared on the cover of the first issue of "Guitar World" magazine.

21. In 1988 he became the first white artist to enter the Blues Hall of Fame.

22. Winter continued to release music and perform until the day he died.

23. He passed away on July 16, 2014, two days after a performance he gave in Zurich. Winter was 70 at the time of his death.

24. Many guitarists have cited Johnny Winter as an influence on their playing, including: Joe Perry, Frank Marino, Michael Schenker, Adrian Smith, and Alex Skolnick.

25. During his musical career, Johnny released 19 studio albums, 9 live albums, and a variety of compilation albums and singles.

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