John Johnny Dawson Winter III

John Johnny Dawson Winter III

John Johnny Dawson Winter III

February 23, 1944 — July 16, 2014

John Johnny Dawson Winter III was born in Beaumont, Texas. He and his brother, Edgar, both got into music early in their lives and after seeing  artists such Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and Bobby Bland, they fell in love with the blues.


John Johnny Dawson Winter III

In 1968, Sonobeat Recording Company released Johnny Winter’s first album, The Progressive Blues Experiment. The small label’s limited distribution gave the album limited success. In December 1968, while at an Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield concert at the Fillmore East, Bloomfield  invited Winter on stage. His performance attracted the attention of Columbia Records executives in the audience and they soon signed him to “largest solo artist deal of it’s time.” (from Winter site)


Johnny Winter released his first Columbia record in 1969. He toured and performed at festival after festival, including…



Oh yea. He played at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, the festival that turned out to be THE festival of 1969 and, in the eyes of many still today, THE festival of all time.


Johnny Winter came on around midnight (Monday 18 August) after The Band and before Blood, Sweat and Tears. He played about an hour. His set-list was:


  1. Mama, Talk to Your Daughter
  2. Leland Mississippi Blues
  3. Mean Town Blues
  4. You Done LostYour Good Thing Now > Mean Mistreater
  5. I Can’t Stand It (with Edgar)
  6. Tobacco Road (with Edgar)
  7. Tell the Truth (with Edgar)
  8. Johnny B. Goode

Here’s a YouTube of that performance (not a film).


John Johnny Dawson Winter III
Johnny Winter

Most know of Alvin Lee and his Ten Years After performance of “Goin’ Home” from the 1970 movie or album. Johnny Winter did not get the Woodstock golden touch from either because he was not in or on either.


That did not stop his career. He successfully buffeted his way through rock and roll’s many Scylla and Charybdis with a long career.


He kept on making albums (Winter discography) and fulfilled a dream by playing with and producing Muddy Waters. Winter produced Waters’ , Hard Again (1977). He again worked with Waters on I’m Ready (1978). It was another Grammy winner.


Here’s a great video from a movie on Johnny Winter. It’s called Down and Dirty and was directed by Greg Olliver.


John Johnny Dawson Winter III

Johnny Winter

John Johnny Dawson Winter III


Johnny Winter died in Zurich, Switzerland on July 16, 2014. Writing in Rolling Stone magazine ranked him #63 of the 100 greatest guitarists. The review said: Out of all the hopped-up Caucasians who turbocharged the blues in the late Sixties, Texas albino Johnny Winter was both the whitest and the fastest. Songs like his 1969 cover of “Highway 61 Revisited” are astonishing showpieces of his lightningfast thumb-picked electric slide playing. Jimi Hendrix sought him out as a sideman, and Muddy Watersrecognized his talent at first glance, becoming a friend and collaborator: “That guy up there onstage – I got to see him up close,” Waters later said. “He plays eight notes to my one!”


John Johnny Dawson Winter III
Please follow and like us:

3 thoughts on “John Johnny Dawson Winter III”

  1. I first saw Johnny at Madison Square Garden when I was in 9th grade (1973 or 4). It was a Saturday night. When I got to the bus stop on Monday my ears were still ringing. Back in the day you could actually buy front row seats if you knew when tickets would go on sale. I cut out of high school 3 Mondays in a row and lucked out when they went on sale for the Felt Forum (the smaller venue underneath the garden). I did get first row seats. My hands hurt for a week banging on the stage all night. I’ve seen Johnny many many times. All that be said is was a privilege of God to be blessed to have been in the presence of and to have seen such a gifted sincere musician. A lot of wild times went along experiencing his concerts. RIP Johnny, can’t wait to hear you and Jimi again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.