Related Artists

Derek Trucks Band

Elmore James

Savoy Brown

Junior Wells

Ten Years After

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Edgar Winter


John Lee Hooker

Robin Trower

Johnny Winter Biography

Home > Music > W > Winter, Johnny > Biography

Birth Name: John Dawson Winter III
Born: 1944/02/23
Birth Place: Beaumont, Texas, United States
Years Active: 1965-present
Genres: Electric Blues, Blues-rock, Rock And Roll, Texas Blues

John Dawson Winter III was born February 23, 1944 and is a blues guitarist, singer, and producer. Winter is best known for his work with blues legend Muddy Waters, producing three Grammy Award winning albums with the band. Winter also has a reputation for his energetic live performances. Throughout his career Winter has recorded a number of Grammy-nominated blues albums and continues to tour extensively. In 1988, he was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame.

Winter's love for music was nurtured by his parents throughout his childhood. When he was two years old, Winter was giving local performances at children's shows, playing ukulele and singing. By the age of 15, Winter had formed a band called Johnny and the Jammers and they recorded their first song, “School Day Blues.”

1968 marked the release if Winter's debut album, “The Progressive Blues Experiment,” on Sonobeat Records. A lucky break came Winter's way later that year when he met Mike Bloomfield, who invited him to sing and play a song during a Bloomfield and Al Kooper concert at the Fillmore East in New York. At the concert Winter was spotted by a Columbia Records rep and was signed instantly. Winter's first album for Columbia, “Johnny Winter,” arrived in 1969. The album featured collaborations from Winter's brother, Edgar Winter on keyboards and blues legends Willie Dixon. The album was a huge success and established Winter as a force to be reckoned with in the blues community.

Winter embarked on a tour and performed at Woodstock, with his brother Edgar becoming a permanent member of Winter's touring band. Winter's second offering, “Second Winter” also showed up in late 1969. Around this time Winter began an affair with Janis Joplin and performed with her at New York's Madison Square Garden. Winter spent the 1970s collaborating with other artists, working as a music producer for other bands and touring. By the time the 1980s had settled in, Winter was recording for Alligator Records and Point Blank Records.

Winter continues to perform today, a staple at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Chicago Blues Festival, Swedish Rock Fest, Warren Haynes X-mas jam, and Europe’s Rockpalast. 2004 marked a Grammy nomination for Winter's “I’m a Bluesman” album and a surge in requests to work with him from other artists. Winter performed with the Allman Brothers on their 40th musical anniversary, and 2007 and 2010 Winter performed with Eric Clapton. Winter is currently signed to Megaforce Records, and released his 16th studio album, “Roots,” in 2011.