Blues guitarist Johnny Winter dies mysteriously in Swiss hotel room
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/18/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Musician Johnny Winter had a most unusual feather in his cap. Rolling Stone magazine, in a 1968 cover story on the Texas music scene, captioned his picture "Johnny Winter, Albino Bluesman." Thankfully, it was musical talent that won him accolades across the world. Winter has passed away at the age of 70.
Johnny Winter came forth about his heroin, prescription pill and alcohol addictions that derailed his career in the 1980s and 1990s in an authorized biography "Raisin' Cain - The Wild and Raucous Story of Johnny Winter."
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Winter died this week in a Switzerland hotel room. "His wife, family and bandmates are all saddened by the loss of their loved one and one of the world's finest guitarists," his spokeswoman, Lori Haynes, said.
Winter was in Zurich, Switzerland, as part of a European tour. He was scheduled to return to the United States for shows later in July.
Let's light a candle in remembrance of those who have passed --
Guitarist Mike Bloomfield considered the young Winter the "best white blues guitarist he had ever heard," and Rolling Stone magazine now ranks Winter 63rd on its list of 100 greatest guitarists.
As an infant, his family moved from Mississippi to Beaumont, Texas. Johnny along with his younger brother Edgar were born with albinism, which is a melanin production deficiency that left them with little color in their hair, skin and eyes.
Winter was just 15 in 1959 when he began playing guitar in Texas clubs, where he began to smoke and drink.
"It seemed a big year for me," Winter said in the recently released documentary, "Johnny Winter: Down & Dirty." Another big year for Winter was 1969, when he played at the Woodstock festival.
"One week we're playing clubs for about 20 people and in a matter of a few months we're playing Woodstock," bassist Tommy Shannon said in the documentary.
Columbia Records signed Winter and released his self-titled debut album, followed by a second titled "Second Winter" in late 1969.
Winter shared three Grammies for producing blues legend Muddy Waters in the late 1970s.
Winter announced earlier this year that he had another album ready for release in September. "Step Back" will include contributions from guests including Eric Clapton, Joe Perry and Dr. John, according to his official website.
Winter was asked in the documentary if he ever thought that his musicianship would take him around the world.
"I was almost always sure it would," Winter said. "I was sure I was going to be successful . It's the only thing that I've really been good at."
Winter came forth about his heroin, prescription pill and alcohol addictions that derailed his career in the 1980s and 1990s in an authorized biography "Raisin' Cain - The Wild and Raucous Story of Johnny Winter," which was published four years ago.
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