His most fervent wishes remained unfulfilled during his lifetime: Johnny Winter waited in vain for a Grammy for his own album as well as for the recording in the Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame. On 16 July, the gifted white bluesman was found dead in his hotel room in Zurich; he died during a tour at the age of seventy.
Among the white guitar heroes he was the most passionate and profiled, definitely "no Rock'n'Roller", as he himself said, "but a Bluesman". The boy who grew up in Texas - like his younger brother Edgar Albino and thus "whiter than snow" - was not born with this passion. His father played the saxophone and sang in barbershop formations, his mother played the piano, and her son first tried the clarinet and big band sound.
He quickly picked up the guitar, especially inspired by radio broadcasts of the black DJ and musician Clarence Garlow, but then dedicated himself to the blues. Under the name Johnny & The Jammers, to which also his brother Edgar belonged, the label Dart 1959 released the first single of the young pound: "School Day Blues". Twelve more 45s followed, one as Guitar Slim ("Broke & Lonely", 1963) and one with The Great Believers ("Coming Up Fast", 1967).
In 1968, an almost euphoric article in the recently founded "Rolling Stone", which in Winter saw one of the "most courageous, fingertiest guitarists" of the scene, helped him to his nationwide breakthrough. In the same year he underlined this assessment with his debut album "The Progressive Blues Experiment", released by Sonobeat and re-released by Imperial Records the following year, which featured cover versions of B. B. King, Muddy Waters, Sonnyboy Williamson and others in addition to his own tracks.