Johnny Winter Nothing But The Blues – Lyrics and Guitar Tabs


Nothing But The Blues – Lyrics and sheet

Full tabs and explanations on how to play blues guitar like Johnny Winter

“There ain’t no one alive that knows more blues licks than Johnny Winter,” says no less an authority than Winter’s own late-Sixties drummer, Uncle John “Red” Turner. Red knows first-hand the depth of Winter’s immersion into the blues idiom. “Johnny had thousands of blues records-more blues records than I’d ever seen-and he studied every one of them.”

Tommy Shannon, the other half of Winter’s Sixties rhythm section, adds, “Johnny had this wall of blues records; it was really incredible-everything from the most rural field hollers to the musical sophistication of Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland, B.B. King and Guitar Slim. Johnny could sit and play along with every single one of these records. He knew them all inside and out.”

Winter’s guitar playing can best be described as an amalgam of blues guitar’s greatest players, intertwined with his unique, fire-breathing approach and sound. Elements of the Kings-B.B., Albert and Freddie-are blended with such disparate influences as Otis Rush, Jimmy Rogers, Hubert Sumlin, Robert Johnson, Son House, Lightning Hopkins, John Lee Hooker and T-Bone Walker. Winter successfully assimilated the stylistic elements of these influences while forging a distinctly original blues/rock guitar style, one that cut new ground, yet retaining the heart and soul of his roots. His soloing style is earmarked by blazing speed, crystal-clear articulation and a consistently spontaneous flow of ideas, while his melodic inventions are delivered with pure rhythmic drive. Winter’s lines effortlessly spin into each other, creating the impression of constant and relentless forward motion.

Winter’s favorite scale for improvisation is the minor pentatonic, which is a five-tone scale spelled, intervallically, 1, b3 (flatted third), 4, 5, b7 (flatted, or “dominant,” seventh). In the key of A, this scale is spelled A, C, D, E, G. Winter often expands this scale by adding the b5 (flatted fifth), resulting in a scale known as the blues scale, spelled, intervallically, 1, b3, 4, b5, 5, b7. In the key of A, this scale is spelled A, C, D, Eb, E, G.

Though these are minor scales, both are often used within a dominant tonality, wherein the chords are built from roots, major thirds, fifths and dominant sevenths. In the key of A, a dominant I-IV-V (one-four-five) blues progression would utilize the chords A7, D7 and E7.

FIGURES 1-5 are Johnny Winter-style lead licks based primarily on A minor pentatonic, with brief allusions to the A blues scale. In bars 1 and 2 of FIGURE 1, the b3, C, is subtly bent up a quarter tone, hinting at C#, the major third. This pitch-bending technique strengthens the bond between Winter’s minor pentatonic-based improvised lines and the inherent dominant tonality of the underlying chords. Notice also how the lines are rhythmically propelled forward by shifting from the moderate use of 16th-note triplets in bar 1 to the steady 16th-note triplet phrasing found in bar 2.

In FIGURE 2, the phrase begins in bar 1 with a steady flow of 16th notes, followed in bar 2 by a succession of oblique bends. On beats 1, 2 and 3 of this bar, the higher note, G, remains stationary while the lower note is bent and released, from D to E and back to D. This technique, a favorite of Winter’s, finds its origins in country and rural blues guitar playing.

The unique sound of the lick shown in FIGURE 3 owes greatly to the position within which it is played: up in the 14th position, the minor third, C (3rd string/17th fret), is bent up one half step to the major third, C#, followed by a high A root note (1st string/17th fret). The line then descends the A minor pentatonic scale back to the initial C note, which is now bent up a whopping two whole steps, to E, and then released. This two-step “overbend” reveals the influence of Albert King. The melodic phrase is repeated in bar 2, albeit with a different ending, indicating motivic resolution.

FIGURE 4 offers an excellent example of the kind of forceful rhythmic drive for which Winter’s lead guitar style is heralded. Played entirely in blazing 16th-note triplets, this A blues scale lick is expanded with the brief use of the ninth (or major second), B. The use of this interval within the blues scale can be traced back to T-Bone Walker. Another guitarist influenced by this sound was Jimi Hendrix, who utilized it extensively in his “All Along the Watchtower” solo. Notice the deft use of hammer-ons and pull-offs throughout this technically challenging riff.

FIGURE 5 is a lick that combines many of the previously illustrated techniques: on beat 4 of bar 1, the C note is bent up one half step, to C# (the major third), followed by a quick, descending 16th-note triplet figure. On beat 1 of bar 2, G is bent up one half step to G#; the G# serves as a melodic passing tone to A, similar to the riff shown in bar 1, beat 2, of FIGURE 1. Like FIGURES 1 and 4, this lick wraps up with a quick barrage of 16th-note triplets.

Another favorite technique of Winter’s is the tremolo-picking of triads (three-note chords), usually voiced on the top three strings. This technique is illustrated in FIGURE 6, where voice leading is used to connect the initial A triad (bar 1, beat 1) with subsequent A7 triads (bar 1, beat 4; bar 2, beat 1; bar 2, beat 4).

FIGURE 7 demonstrates the incorporation of the sixth and ninth scale degrees within the blues scale, as this line is based on the G blues scale (G, Bb, C, Db, D, F) and includes the sixth, E, and the ninth, A. This melodic/harmonic device was utilized extensively by another of Winter’s guitar heroes, Chuck Berry, but Winter ups the ante by delivering these lines at burning speed.

FIGURE 8 expands on the previously illustrated technique: a “basic” melodic figure is introduced in bar 1, followed by first and second endings. Winter’s natural sense of motivic development is similarly exemplified in FIGURE 3.

FIGURE 9 depicts a “stock” guitar riff used by countless rock players besides Winter (Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page are two good examples). When Johnny plays this riff, however, it has its own distinct sound, due to his precise picking attack and subtle use of pull-offs.

Though known primarily as a single-note player, Winter is also an excellent fingerpicker, especially when playing in a “country blues” style. FIGURE 10 illustrates a fingerpicked rhythm guitar part to be played over a slow blues. Notice how two- and three-note chords are beautifully intertwined with single-note melodic figures.


No survey of Johnny Winter’s guitar style would be complete without an examination of his incendiary slide guitar work. Some of his slide guitar influences include Robert Johnson, Elmore James, Muddy Waters and Earl Hooker. Johnny’s most well-known slide guitar performance is his classic cover of Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited,” as heard on the album Second Winter. Johnny usually uses open tunings when he plays slide guitar, and “Highway 61 Revisited” is no exception. For this song, the guitar is tuned to open D (low to high: D A D F# A D), which is the same as open E tuning (low to high: E B E G# B E) transposed down one whole step. All of the slide guitar examples shown herein (FIGURES 11-15) are to be played in this tuning (notated in the key of E for the sake of familiarity, with the examples based primarily on the E minor pentatonic scale [E G A B D]).

FIGURE 11, played in a 12/8 time signature at a moderately fast tempo, features a line that’s propelled forward by the steady use of eighth-note triplets. Notice that the slide is barred across the 3rd and 2nd strings at the 15th fret to sound the pitches in bar 1.

Winter wears a metal slide on his pinky, and lightly rests the other fingers of his fretting hand on the strings behind the slide, in order to eliminate any excess overtones and string noise. For correct intonation, position the slide directly above the given fret and be sure to keep the slide parallel with the fret at all times. The vibrato is executed by rapidly wiggling the slide to the left and to the right of the fret, (approximately one quarter to one half inch in either direction).

FIGURE 12 is an example of Johnny Winter-style slide work down in the 1st position. This figure makes abundant use of open strings, as the line begins with alternating triplet figures, followed by melodically strong lines built on shifting rhythmic patterns. If one were to venture into a full-scale investigation of Winter’s slide guitar style, one would find that many of these figures are actually recurring melodic “themes” as opposed to improvisations.

FIGURE 13 is a simple one-bar phrase that is played repeatedly. This is another example of Johnny’s “thematic” approach to soloing.

In FIGURE 14, the open high E string is played alternately with notes fretted high on the guitar neck on the same string. This wide-interval melodic technique is very effective, and is utilized extensively by Winter on many of his extended slide guitar workouts.

FIGURE 15 offers yet another example of Winter’s “thematic” approach to slide soloing, as the rhythmically solid figure played in bar 1 is “answered” by the lick in bar 2. Winter then wraps up this melodically sound phrase with a repeat of the bar 1 figure in bar 3, followed by a definitive melodic resolution.

Johnny Winter’s Guitars and Gear used



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These web pages describe Johnny Winter’s guitars and gear he has used over the years.

The basic gear used by Johnny Winter during decades The Gibson Firebird mainly used for slide-guitar work, the Lazer guitar, the Chorus pedal and the Musicman amplifier

Photo of Johnny Winter’s most popular gear, Gibson Firebird, Lazer Guitar, Chorus Pedal and MusicMan amplifier

Gear used by Johnny Winter includes:

  • Guitars: Erlewine Lazer, Gibson Firebird for slide work.
  • Amplifier: 2 x Music Man, 200 watts, 4×10″. The Music Man amps Johnny uses are designated “one-thirty”. ( that is the model name and the power rating ) They employ 4 EL34 power tubes and 1 12AX7 as a splitter/driver. The preamp stage is solid state. In addtion to the 2 amps that have 4 10′ speakers (one is a stand-by, “on” but not used unless problems occur) there is usually a 2 12′ “one-thirty” on stage in case it sounds better in the venue.
  • Effects: MXR phase 90s , Boss C-E2 chorus (setttings), Tube Screamer – only used during slide work on the Firebird.
  • Strings: Dean Markley strings, .009, with an unwound G, also D’Addario .010, .013, .017, .026, .036 and .046.
  • Guitar strap: PR gimmick from No.1 Guitars in Hamburg, Germany (best shop in Europe, I swear), a little flexible number that you can pull down right to your knees.
  • Thumbpicks / picks: Gibson Thumbpicks
Photo of Johnny Winter’s Guitar Picks

Johnny Winter Playing Technique

Johnny doesn’t use a flatpick. Instead he prefers to attack the strings with a thumbpick and his fingers. Sometimes he’ll grasp the thumbpick like a regular flatpick. “I’ll do that if I’m doing backstrokes (upstrokes) to keep the thing from falling off my thumb.”

Johnny keeps his right hand wrist fairly straight and his fingers barely move when he strums chords.

When playing slide however, he rotates his forearm slightly and mutes the idle strings with his right-hand palm and finger tips.

Winter’s left-hand posture also varies. When bending strings, Johnny generally hooks his thumb over the top of the neck for anchorage and uses his 2nd and 3rd fingers to push the string.

Johnny Winter Poster for D’Addario Guitar Strings

When playing anything that requires a wide finger stretch, Winter rotates his thumb behind the neck.

When playing slide, he mutes the strings behind the slide with his first three fingers. If he uses fingers for fretting, he keeps the slide a fair distance from the neck to avoid accidentally coming in contact with the strings.

Before I learned how to bend strings, I heard people do that on records, but I didn’t know how they were doing it” he said. “I was just using heavy Gibson Sonomatic strings, which were almost impossible to move. In those days they weren’t making lighter gauge strings. I found out later that a lot of blues guitarists were switching strings around. Some would replace the G string with a second B string. Others would substitute a high G banjo string or a high A pedal steel string for the high E and then move everything else down, putting the high E where the B normally is and the B where the G normally is, and so forth.

“After everyone figured out what was going on, the lighter gauges cam out. At first, I tried to pull on those big, fat Gibson strings with a Bigsby tremolo because that’s how I thought they were doing those bends.” Nowadays Johnny uses slightly heavier gauge strings and tunes each string down a whole step (Lowest to highest: D, G, C, F, A and D).

Johnny Winter’s Guitars used

Johnny’s first real guitar was a Gibson ES-125, without a cutaway and with a single pickup. Afterwards he used a Strat for a while, followed by a Les Paul Custom and a Gibson SG.

Johnny Winter playing a Gibson Les Paul Guitar

Johnny Winter playing a Gibson SG at Woodstock 69 Summer Pop Festivals (a photo review) by Joseph J. Sia 1970

After the Fender Mustang used on the Johnny Winter CBS album, Johnny used a gold-top Gibson Les Paul which he gave later on to Tommy Shannon

Johnny playing an Epiphone Wilshire . Used in the early 70’s on the Beatclub TV Show (Germany) and Royal Albert Hall concert
The Epiphone Wilshire can be distinguished from the Epiphone Crestwood by: The Wilshire has dot fingerboard inlays – the Crestwood has oval blocks. And the Wilshire has the stopbar tailpiece while the Crestwood has stock vibrato.

1969 Royal Albert Hall Concert in England; he’s playing an Epiphone Crestwood. It has a double cutaway body, Fender type headstock, and dual Gibson-type humbuckers.

Johnny Winter playing a Gibson Flying V

Fender XII (twelve string model), with 6 six strings, body sort of like a Mustang, and 2 sets of split pickups like a Precision bass ; used during Woodstock and Fillmore concerts and the European tour in the early seventies.

For his first official album “Johnny Winter” he used a Fender Mustang, along with a National Steel Duolian.

Johnny Winter Photos playing the National Duolian

The back of the album cover for Saints and Sinners has a distorted/”fisheye lens” picture of Johnny holding a Gibson double-neck SG with two 6-string necks.

In the end of 70´s Johnny used also a metallic (but with hollow body so very light) electric guitar made by James Trussaurt from France.

Around 1992 also considered using an ESP Mirage, but returned playing his Lazer.

During his “And Live” period, he played the Firebird into 3 stacked Fender Twin Reverbs with JBL speakers. The Gibson Firebirds were followed by the Erlewine Lazer

For slide Johnny uses his old ’63 Gibson Firebird.

On some of the tracks of the album “Hey where’s your brother”, Johnny plays an: It’s an old Super 400 Gibson! The truss rod cover being on backwards is supposed to be funny. It’s harder to indentify because of the pickguard missing.

The Super 400 was the top of the line rich man’s guitar and is 18″ wide. You can always tell a 400 from the lower models because of the split block inlays. Up until they came out with the Le Grand, no other Gibson had those except for a special model of the Les Paul that you almost never see. Even in the rough shape that this one appears to be in, they are still worth a large amount of money.

Fender Mustang – Fender’s premiere sound and quality live on in these classic models that were the heart of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s electric guitar movement.

Fender Telecaster I’m not sure whether Johnny actually used the Fender Telecaster, but he is playing it on the inner sleeve photos of “The Johnny Winter Story”.

The classic ’50’s and ’60’s Telecasters conjure up images of early Rock & Roll and Country music. The ’50’s Tele has an ash body, vintage ’50’s pickups and optional gold hardware, The ’60’s Telecaster Custom has a alder body, bound top and back, Texas Tele pickups, plus gold hardware and custom color options. These models will honk and talk with the best of them.

National Steel Standard Johnny’s favourite guitar for slide/bottleneck work, first shown on the “Progressive Blues Experiment”.

Judging from the covers of his albums he played a National tricone model on The Progressive Blues Experiment and Nothin’ But The Blues and a National (Duolian?) single cone model on Third Degree.

As a former pro who loves to play National guitars, I’d like to comment on the references to Johhny’s Nationals in the biol. On Progressive Blues Experiment, despite the beautiful cover picture of the Style 1 Tricone, he’s probably playing a single-cone Duolian (or maybe a very well-set-up Style O), and likely plays it on most of his acoustic slide recordings. The single-cone guitar has a less complex, more direct sound, than the Tricone, and is better for Blues slide. In addition, other National players I know have had the same impression from hearing his acoustic slide work. An interesting aside to this is that he may be using a blend of a pickup and a microphone when recording with his National – it’s hard to believe that just a microphone could get the present, “in-your-face” sound he gets with that guitar. Almost lastly, I believe that there is a poster circulating out there with either the Duolian or Style O Johnny plays on his records – I seem to recall seeing it somewhere, sometime over the last 10 years. I think it was part of a promotion for one of his later albums.

Ricone Roundneck and Squareneck Metalbody guitars, 1927-1942. German silver body (solid nickel alloy with nickel plating), three or “tri” resonator cones with two cones on the bass side, one cone on the treble side, T-shaped bridge cover and handrest, grid pattern soundholes on upper body, Hawaiian squareneck or Spanish roundneck styles, 12 frets clear of the body, flat fingerboard radius, mahogany neck on Spanish model, metal neck with mahagony headstock on Hawaiian model, bound single layer ebony fingerboard, slotted peghead.

Some very nice pictures of the “National 938 Model 97 Tricone Squareneck” can be found at MANDOLIN BROTHERS

Erlewine Lazer used by Johnny since the 1990’s

Actually Johnny’s first Lazer was not made by Mark Erlewine. It was a korean made Lazer by IMC/Hondo. He used this guitar at least in Guitar Slinger and Serious Business (in the cover). He made a couple modifications though. At least pickups were changed and propably the bridge too.

Johnny Winter – Biography




These web-pages describe Johnny Winter’s biography from 1960 until 1969.

Born cross-eyed and albino, Johnny Winter (John Dawson Winter III) disregarded Mother Nature’s unkindness to forge a career as one of the few great white blues-rockers.

Winter’s father was from Leland, Mississippi. A career army officer who graduated from the Virginia Miliary Institute, he was in Texas on official business when he met his wife-to-be. The new Mrs. Winter moved to Leland, but her husband was shipped overseas, so she returned to her hometown of Beaumont, Texas, where on Wednesday 23 February 1944, she gave birth to John Dawson Winter III. Mr Winter sang in a barbershop quartet and in a church choir and by age five, Johnny began playing clarinet.

Uncle John Turner (UJT) remembers: Johnny’s parents were living in Leland Miss. where Johnny’s dad was the “boss” of Stovall’s plantation. There were no good hospitals or medical care in that area, so Johnny’s mother went to her parent’s home, who were old Beaumont pioneers, to have Johnny. She stayed there a few weeks and then returned to Leland. Within a few years, they moved to Beaumont.

Johnny’s grandfather had been a cotton broker in Leland. When WWII ended, Johnny’s father took over the business but was unable to compete with the volume dealers who dominated the industry. Edgar was born when Johnny was 3, a year or 2 later, the family moved to Beaumont for good, but returned to Leland every summer. “I pretty much thought of myself as being from Mississippi till I was 11 or 12,” says Johnny.

Initially started playing clarinet at the age of 5, switched briefly to ukelele. “My father told me: The only two ukelele players I ever knew that did anything were Arthur Godfrey and Ukelele Ike, and I think you got a much better choice of makin’ it with a guitar.”

Beaumont High School

After school, Johnny entered Lamar technical college and specialized in a commercial branch. But nearly every weekend he hitch-hiked to Louisana to play in small night-clubs. Six months later, he gave up his studies and devoted himself to music.

Growing up in Beaumont/Houston, where from his earliest years he heard the rich, pungent sounds of Negro blues and gospel music all around him.

He also learned country licks from Luther Nalley, a Beaumont music store employee, as well as the current rock tunes of the late 1950s.

At age 11, together with Edgar, the two brothers performed as an Everly Brothers-style duo and even auditioned for Ted Mack’s Original Amateur hour.

His first band Johnny (Macaroni) and The Jammers 1959 (aka Johnny Winter’s Orchestra), together with his brother Edgar . Johnny won the much pubiliczed “Johnny Melody” contest held by radio station KTRM in connection with the movie “Johnny B. Goode”. Along with the publicity, Johnny got a chance to make good in the record world. After deciding on two songs, the band cut “School Day Blues” and “You know I love you” on Dart Records. They both rated high on the charts in Beaumont. This really gave the Jammers a boost. Johnny and the Jammers is made of Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter, Willard Chamberlain, Dan Polson, and Melvin Carpenter. issued the single “School Day Blues b/w You Know I Love You” (Pappy Dailey’s Dart records at the Bill Hall’s Gulf Coast Recording Studios in Beaumont) which scored a local number hit.

In 1960 Johnny Winter played in the band of “Burl Boyking” : “The Rockin’ Rebels” and recorded as lead guitarist the song “Let me come your way”

Band members of Johnny & The Jammers changed several times during this period (1960-1964) and Johnny’s band included: Richard Griffin played sax with Johnny and Edgar after Willard Chamberlain left the group. David Russell played keyboards when Edgar decided to play Sax

Johnny and the Jammers

Further the band Johnny Winter and The Jammers recorded the records “Creepy” and “Oh my darling” Rated number 7 on KRIC. Also different members of the band who backed up Ronnie Bennett on his hit “In this letter” and “Just wait and see”.

Johnny Winter and the Jammers
Johnny Winter and the Jammers
Vinyl records collectors

After the band Crystaliers was renamed into Coastaleers, Johnny records his first record: “Night Ride” b/w “Geisha Rock” with the Coastaleers.

A local disc jockey named Clarence Garlow turned Winter on to the blues through his Bon Ton Show on radio station KJET

Johnny hitchhiked to Louisiana, where he backed up local blues and rock musicians, and in the early sixties he traveled to Chicago. Where as a teenager, he pined for the grittier, more enduring part of the city’s music, while playing “twist music” on the trendy Rush Street.

Johnny Winter continued to play and record in Texan R&B outfits throughout the 60s, often with brother Edgar Winter. He gained a strong local reputation as a guitarist, commanding a good wage accompanying visiting black blues legends on stage and in the studio. Johnny records many records under fictitious group names like: “Neal and the Newcomers”, “The Crystaliers”, “It and Them”, “Black Plague”, (Edgar Winter, Isaac Payton Sweat and Bobby Mizzel (piano) as well as being a sideman for many artists and groups of the Texas Area, including: Gene Terry and his Kool cats and Gene Terry and the Down Beats , Rod Bernard, Junior Cole and

Johnny Winter performed regularly with Gene Terry and the Down Beats from Big Oak club, to the Catholic Hall in Iowa, LA.
Terry Gene DeRouen was born on 7 January 1940 in Lafayette, Louisiana. In 1942, his family moved to Port Arthur, Texas. Gene grew up listening to his father and grandfather performing Cajun music. He also attended house and barn dances with his uncle, R. C. DeRouen, a Cajun musician.

His uncle taught him how to play guitar and eventually Gene accompanied him on stage. Gene formed his own group, the Kool Kats in the mid-1950’s playing country and western songs. Gradually rhythm and blues began to enter the band’s repertoire as Gene became influenced by Little Richard, Elvis Presley and local KTRM deejay J. P. “the Big Bopper” Richardson.

The band changed its name to the Down Beats and began attracting a loyal following. Word spread to Lake Charles, LA gaining the attention of local club owners and a five year contract with Goldband Records. Gene Terry and the Down Beats recorded several singles for Goldband including classic “Cindy Lou.”
The first drummer was R.C. DeRouen which was later on replaced by Ray Tommasini. On bass and guitar were the Hall brothers.

I think they were from around Lake Charles, Louisiana. Two saxes, Mike Belile and Doug Dean. Later Mike Aiken from Groves, Texas played drums. Maybe one of the Solis brothers on piano; I’m not sure about that. Mike Aiken, the drummer went on to play with Johnny Courville(Johnny Preston, of “Running Bear” fame).

He made a good number of commercially viable records, under such synonyms as “Texas Guitar Slim”.

Johnny Winter with It and Them or the Black Plague around 1965

ohhny Winter dropped out of Lamar State College and headed north to Chicago to join his friend Dennis Drugan’s band, The Gents, but by the end of 1963 he was back in Texas. He recorded the single “Eternally” for the Ken Ritter KRCO label who then leased it to Atlantic. It became a big regional hit and Winter found himself opening for major acts like “The Everly Brothers” and “Jerry Lee Lewis”.

In 1964 he toured the south with “The Crystaliers” and “It & Them” before stopping in Houston to record with the Traits on the Universal label in 1967. During the period 1965-66 Buzzy Smith was playing piano in Johnny’s band

Johnny Winter’s band with Buzzy Smith

Huey P. Meaux remembers: my magic never worked for two talented young boys from Beaumont, Johnny and Edgar Winter, whom he recorded under the names The Great Believers (Amos Boynton – drums, Dave Russell – Bass, Edgar Winter – Keyboards, Johnny Winter – Guitar/Vocals) and Texas Guitar Slim. “We’d put them on a local television show called Jive at Five, and their records would stop selling like you turn a light switch off,” Meaux said. “People would freak out, being as they was albinos.”

This summary (in chronological order) of Johnny Winter bands and artists Johnny working with during the period: 1959-1969. A complete list of Johnny Winter recordings during this period can be found in the singles section.


  • Johnny (Macaroni) and the Jammers aka Johnny Winter’s Orchestra
  • Lead guitar for “The Rockin’ Rebels” with Burl Boykin.


  • Johnny Winter and his Crystaliers, later renamed in the Coastaleers


Johnny Winter and The Beaumonts

Johnny Winter and The Beaumonts


It and Them (no known recordings), The Gents, Black Plague


The Great Believers


Texas Guitar Slim, Diamond Records: “Broke and Lonely”, “Crying in my Heart”, Moon-lite Records: Crazy Baby


The Insight – Cascade Records, “Out of SIght”, “Please Come Home for Christmas”


The Traits


Neil and the Newcomers, recorded on Hall-Way records ‘Night Ride’, ‘Lost Without You’ and ‘How do you Live a Lie?’


Johnny Winter, Uncle John Turner and Tommy Shannon

His solo break came while hawking an album he’d recorded with “Uncle” John “Red” Turner (drums) and Tommy Shannon (bass) for an obscure regional company (Sonobeat). The Rolling Stone journalists Larry Sepulvado and John Burks caught wind of it and wrote a celebratory piece, entitled “Texas” stated, “Imagine a 130-pound cross-eyed albino bluesman with long fleecy hair playing some of the gutsiest blues guitar you have ever heard.”, catapulting Winter from local hero to headline status at New York’s Scene club and the prestigious Fillmore East.

Coinciding with a compilation of old recordings called The Progressive Blues Experiment, Johnny’s ‘official’ debut album, Johnny Winter (1969), was enthusiastically welcomed by the likes of John Lennon and The Rolling Stones, who opened their famous Hyde Park concert with Winter’s “I’m Hers and I’m Yours”. Each wrote songs for Johnny – “Rock’n’Roll People” and “Silver Train”, respectively. Buoyed by such big-time approbation and his own self-confidence (‘In my own mind, I was the best white blues player around,’ he said), Winter plunged into an exhausting, if lucrative, schedule on the hard rock circuit. He hit Woodstock and went down a storm.

Formed with ex-McCoys Rick Derringer (guitar), Randy Jo Hobbs (bass) and Randy Z (drums) the band: “Johnny Winter And”

Z was replaced by Bobby Caldwell for the live Johnny Winter And (1970), Johnny’s biggest seller outside the US. Showstoppers such as “Rock ‘n’ Roll Hoochie Koo”, “Stormy Monday” and Eddie Boyd’s exquisite dirge, “Five Long Years”, were drawn mostly from Johnny’s Texas repertoire and the McCoys’ bluesier stuff.

Between 1968 and 1981, Johnny cut a series of classic albums: Johnny Winter and Second Winter (his albums with the original blues trio plus brother Edgar), Johnny Winter And and Johnny Winter And Live with his new band featuring Rick Derringer on second guitar. Johnny Winter And Live was his best seller ever, and is still considered an essential hard rock landmark.

Johnny’s increasing dependency on narcotics, and related bouts of suicidal depression, led to long lay-offs and a fall in quality on the patchy Still Alive and Well (1973) and John Dawson Winter III (1974). Disgruntled, Derringer and the others offered their services to the steadier Edgar – who, nevertheless, teamed up with his brother for 1976’s workmanlike.

In 1981 Johnny Winter and Uncle John Turner rejoined to work on some of the songs of Uncle John’s album “Gulf Coast Blues” as well as to do a mini-tour.

Together (mostly soul and old-time rock’n’roll favourites). This merger made commercial sense, as did Johnny’s move to cut back on touring, moving to production duties for Muddy Waters ‘ great comeback albums of the late 70s. Though the past fifteen years have not seen much risk-taking by Winter, at least his steady flow of albums – particularly 1987’s Grammy-nominated Third Degree (with Dr. John) – has demonstrated that his fretboard dexterity has not deserted him.

For “Nothing but the blues” Winter was joined by by Muddy Waters and his band, but the set received only moderate critical reaction and went largely unnoticed. Winter toured and frequently played festivals as a member of Waters’ backing band, as well as touring on his own. He produced and sat in on Waters’ LPs “Hard Again”, “Im Ready”, “King Bee” and “Live Hard Again” And Muddy “Mississipppi” Waters live both won grammy awards.

Winter released a couple more albums before taking four years off.

In 1984, after a four-yeor hiatus from recording, Johnny leaped back into the national spotlight with his first album for Chicago’s Alligator Records, Guitar Slinger. It was widely hailed as his best (and bluesiest) album ever, and charted in both Billboard and Cashbox as well as earning a Grammy nomination. The album produced Johnny’s first video, “Don’t Take Advantage of Me”, which received regular play on MTV for over six months. He performed over a hundred concerts following the release of Guitar Slinger, and was featured in dozens of magazines and newspapers, as well as MTVs “Guitar Greats” special. In 1985, Johnny followed up Guitar Slinger with Serious Business, a scorching collection of what Johnny does best – rough and raucous electric blues. The album won Johnny his second Grammy nomination on Alligator Records and was introduced to over 200,000 fans on a month-long tour with George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers, playing major venues.

Johnny’s last record for Alligator, Third Degree, came out in 1986. The release features several special guests and an array of blues styles, including guest appearances by his original blues cohorts, Tommy Shannon and Uncle John “Red” Turner, as well as Mac “Dr. John” Rebennack. Johnny also played two solo acoustic cuts on the National Steel guitar (the first time he’d played the National in the studio since 1977).

Like many of his white-blues rock contemporaries. Winter suddenly found himself out of vogue. The grammy-nominated “Guitar Slinger” marked his return but in a more blues-roots vein. It, along with “Serious Business” and “Third Degree” were critically acclaimed. “The Winter of 88” brought Winter back toward rock & roll but nowhere near the popular success he had enjoyed in the seventies. He remains one of the preeminent white bluesmen of his generation.

Don Mahoney and Jeana Claire show

Johnny’s very first TV appearance was on a local childrens television show that aired in Houston and Beaumont markets called the Don Mahoney and Jeana Claire show. Don Mahoney was a blind singing cowboy/kiddie show host in the Houston area for many, many years. Jeana Claire was his sidekick and a former Louisiana Hayride backup singer. Their show ran in one form or another on Houston television from the early fifties all the into the late ’80’s (albeit reruns on Access Cable). Johnny and Edgar were on Don’s show as boys of about 10 or 12 playing ukelele and singing. Unfortunately, while Don did save some kinescopes of his shows from the fifties, Johnny and Edgar’s duo was not one of them..

During October 1968 “The Progressive Blues Experiment” was recorded on the Sonobeat label 8 and the rights were obtained by Imperial which released the album in March 1969, just before Johnny released his self-titled (aka Black Album) in April 1969

Johnny Winter – Second Winter


Album front cover of Johnny Winter’s Second Winter

Johnny Winter’s album: “Second Winter” was originally released around October 1969 and reached Billboard position 55 on 6 December 1969.

Second Winter is also notorious for a gimmicky sales device. When the recording sessions were over, Johnny Winter had enough material for an album and a half; rather than add a side of filler, Columbia simply promoted the album as the world’s first three-sided album. (In a snarky review, Rolling Stone sarcastically gave the blank fourth side an in-depth discussion.) Unfortunately this was also the last album which Johnny Winter recorded with his original band: together with “Uncle” John Turner and Tommy Shannon

Photo of Edgar Winter, Johnny Winter, John Turner and Tommy Shannon on the inside album cover

In 2004 Sony Legacy released the album “Second Winter” with two previously unreleased tracks as well as a second CD with the Johnny Winter performace Live at the Royal Albert Hall Concert in 1970

Production information:

LP: CBS 66231 / KCS 9947 (1969/1970)

Album Design: Tony Lane

Photographs: Richard Avedon

Spiritual Producer: Steve Paul

Producer: Johnny Winter

Cover text: Johnny Winter

Band members / Musicians

Johnny Winter – Guitar, Vocals


Promotional photo of Johnny Winter, John Turner and Tommy Shannon to support the release of “Second Winter”

  • Memory pain
  • I’m not sure
  • The good love – Dennis Collins – Bass
  • Slippin’ and slidin’
  • Miss Ann
  • Highway 61 revisited
  • I love everybody
  • Hustled down in Texas
  • I hate everybody
  • Fast life rider

Some tracks for this album including: “Johnny B. Goode” and “I’m not sure” have been released as singles.

The review of Second Winter by Gros Ed, from 1970

Johnny Winter—”Second Winter” (Columbia KCS9947)

Some clutz on the “Prospector” staff lost one record of this two record set before I can tell you what I can from half album. In a stroke of cheapness, this 2-record set has only 3 sides (I got the record with one side). Winter is obviously a great talent on his guitar (although his singing is zilch) and he rocks his way the entire album, thrashing each song with fantastic riffs and deafening volume. He uses his wah-wah to an excess, but since he has no sloppy playing to hide, I can’t understand why. A b o u t 45 minutes worth of hard-driving, rocking, loud music by a damn good guitarist.

Second Winter – Brazilian Edition

Probable driven by the Market conditions in Brazil, Johnny Winter’s Second Winter, was released in Brazil as a single Mono-lp released (vs the two lp release in most other countries). Oddly enough Second Winter as released as “Johnny Winter in Brazil.

This Brazilian release of Second Winter (37679) contains the tracks:

Side One:

  • I Love Everybody (Gosto de Todos)
  • Johnny B. Goode
  • Miss Ann
  • Fast Life Rider (Cavaleiro Veloz)

Side Two:

  • Highway 61 Revisited (Rodovia 61)
  • Memory Pain (a dor de uma Lembranca)
  • The Good Love (Grand Amor)

Album: Second Winter Review by: Jan Williams

On October 1969, Second Winter was released with a song on it that hit like a bolt of lightning, “Memory Pain.” In it, Johnny’s voice weaves a web of ethereal longing and raw expressive bounce. He can tell the story of a man wronged by a woman with such dry wit and pathos that it becomes an art form.

It is a weird album since there are two records to it, but only three sides can be played. Inside the album there is a note signed by Johnny himself which explains why there are only three sides. “We went to Nashville to cut our new album. The original plan was to cut as much material as possible and pick the best of what was cut to make up a regular one-sided album. After we finished, we found out that if all the songs were used we might lose some volume if only one record were used. Since it was very important to us that our album be as loud as is technically possible, we had a problem. We had to cut everything that we wanted to and everything we had planned on doing and we didn’t have anything else that we really wanted to do. We also really liked everything we’d done and didn’t want to leave any of the songs out. We couldn’t honestly give you more, and we didn’t want to give you less, so here is exactly what we did in Nashville – no more and no less.” Then there is his glorious signature, even down to crossing his t and dotting his i.

This album has some variety – some rock, some blues, bottleneck guitar, heavy-hard rock, “Johnny B. Goode,” and a positively fierce interpretation of Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited.” The strange third side with its blank flip side are all Johnny songs – good, blunt Johnny Winter songs, hard-hitting and to the point, accompanied by his crackling guitar style and a voice that cries tough, plaintive one minute, brash the next. “I Love Everybody,” a horny song, “I Hate Everybody,” autobiographical, thumbing his nose at everybody, and “Fast Life Rider” are all songs which reflect his past and future. At the end, after the last song on the third side, comes a part which is also benefitted by the record being played as loud as is technically possible. All I can say is, HEAR IT, and LOUDLY – maybe with the headphones on.

With Johnny are the original band members of Winter (Uncle John Turner and Tommy Shannon), who came with Johnny from Texas, first recorded on Johnny Winter and now on Second Winter, with Edgar Winter helping out on both.

When Second Winter arrived the so called blues purists sounded off with a scream. Johnny’s reaction was, “People really do it to ya’ – put ya’ in a category and if you do something different – they get really pissed off. They say ‘look he’s sellin’ out,’ no matter what you do that you didn’t do before it’s selling’ out.” Unconcerned with the undeserved criticism from the blues purists, Johnny was comfortable and liked the loose approach. This album serves as what was to become signature music.

Bruce Vail reviews:

Second Winter is interesting for a number of reasons. According to Clive Davis, one of Johnny’s concerns before signing with CBS/Columbia in 1969 was the quality of studio equipment and musicians. This was a period when unions kept a lot of musicians or recording professionals off records, at least in the northeast studios. But the Nashville studio used by the label was “open” – so Johnny could bring in anyone he wanted. This contributed to (or confirmed), in part, Johnny’s decision to sign with Clive, and to use Nashville to record Second Winter there. (End note: the musician situation resolved itself by the seventies, so this is essentially a music business history lesson).

Another interesting point: Dennis Collins wrote “Good Love” and played bass on the song (ahem, replacing Tommy Shannon for a brief moment!). If I remember correctly, Collins previously wrote “Living In The Blues,” a fuzz box, pyschedelic-tinged blues rock number which Johnny recorded before signing with CBS/Columbia. I don’t know what happened to Collins since 1969, but his talent and relative success lead me to suspect he continued to write and play music for some time, albeit off our collective radar screens. I would love to know what’s happened since Second Winter.

A third point: Edgar was a functioning member in the studio band that produced Second Winter, at least according to the credits (and liner photo). His solo career would take off shortly, and his full time ties to Johnny Winter would end at that time. Thus, Second Winter represents the culmination of a collaborative period Johnny and Edgar have yet to repeat.

Finally, Second Winter marked the beginning of Johnny’s move toward rock and away from blues (hence, the Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, and Little Richard covers and other musical selections), apparently at the behest of management and label execs. Johnny would not return to the blues until “Nothing But The Blues” and “White Hot and Blue”, and would not return without interruption to the idiom on record until signing with Alligator in 1984, fifteen years after Second Winter.

In the text above, I referred to a union problem involving “musicians or recording professionals” as prompting, in part, Johnny’s decision to record Second Winter in Nashville. Thanks to a gentle suggestion from Uncle John, I have discovered that my recollection was erroneous on one, and possibly two, counts.

First, it appears that only recording professionals, particularly engineers, were involved in the “union” issue I recalled. Second, that issue may – or may not – have influenced Johnny’s decision to record in Nashville.

In researching this, I relied on Clive Davis autobiography [Clive Davis with James Willwerth, “Clive: Inside The Record Business,” (Morrow 1974)]. Mr. Davis is a wonderful man, with a stellar career spanning decades. He moved on to Arista after leaving CBS/Columbia, and I hope he remains involved in the music industry if he leaves Arista. His biography is “a good read.”

I also relied on Charlie Gillett’s “Sound of the City” and other rock encyclopedias. None of these sources, however, directly answer why Johnny Winter went to Nashville in 1969. There are, however, two possible explanations.

Explanation One – The CBS/Columbia “Studio Situation”

To understand the situation Johnny Winter faced in 1969, it is important to recall the state of the music industry then. Rock and roll may have originated, as a recognized genre, in the fifties, but a dominant music format throughout the fifties and sixties was traditional pop/easy listening. In fact, the “bread and butter” of CBS/Columbia’s roster for years included Mitch Miller, Andy Williams, Barbara
Streisand, Tony Bennett, Jerry Vale, Percy Faith, and Ray Conniff – not rock and rollers.

The rise of Elvis coincided with the slow decline of “middle of the road” music (MOR) in the fifties, and he recorded for the Sun and RCA labels. The Beatles, of course, slammed a nail on the MOR music coffin in the sixties, and they were on Capitol Records in the US. At that point, every major label wanted to record contemporary artists with credibility. Failure to do so meant declining revenues and the likelihood of being bought out by more successful enterprises.

Clive Davis astutely recognized this. When he joined CBS/Columbia in 1965, the label featured Broadway cast albums (20% of the label’s sales at one point), classical music performances, and the traditional pop artists mentioned above. The label’s contemporary roster included Bob Dylan, Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Byrds, and Simon & Garfunkel. The label also had a respected country music division in Nashville.

Davis responded to changing music trends by working to: (1) have “old guard” MOR artists record contemporary songs (i.e., by the Beatles, etc.); and (2) sign “young turk” acts with immediate appeal to the increasing youth demographic. Davis succeeded in the second category by signing Donovan, Janis Joplin, Santana (the group), Chicago, The Chambers Brothers, Sly and the Family Stone, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Billy Joel, Electric Flag (featuring Mike Bloomfield and Buddy Miles), Laura Nyro, and others to either the Columbia label or a subsidiary. Many of the acts were visually flamboyant, musically challenging, and commercially successful.

Johnny Winter, of course, may be included in this list, and Edgar joined him (on a subsidiary, Epic) shortly thereafter.

CBS/Columbia, however, faced two major problems in the middle and late sixties. First, Columbia’s Artist & Repertoire (A & R) men were trained in and made their reputations on producing MOR and jazz, not rock and roll, and this prompted Davis (as head of the label’s A&R) to consider going to independent producers to get contemporary records as early as the mid-sixties. It is unclear when the label eliminated this problem, but it probably affected the company to a degree even in 1969.

CBS/Columbia, however, also faced a “studio situation.” The label owned its studios, and its engineers belonged to a union. The company and union had previously entered into a collective bargaining agreement which required that union engineers – and only union engineers – be present and work the boards at sessions involving CBS/Columbia artists, if those sessions took place in the studios themselves or in a neighboring area hundreds of miles away. (This agreement was actually less restrictive than the one before, which required that only Columbia studios could be used to record Columbia artists, but it was still a millstone around the company’s
neck in 1969.)

Other labels (e.g., Atlantic, Elektra, etc.) may have lacked adequate A&R staff, too, but they did not have a similar “studio problem.”RCA reportedly offered more money to Johnny than CBS/Columbia, but Johnny (represented by Steve Paul) apparently turned that company down, in part, because CBS/Columbia was willing to give him unprecedented artistic freedom and control in choosing songs, producing and packaging his albums, and recording his music.

In fact, Johnny addressed the “qualified producer” problem by deciding to produce his material himself. His years in the studios in the sixties provided him with the experience necessary to assume this responsibility. With respect to the “studio situation,” Clive Davis suggested that Johnny tour the label’s studios, and if he could not find one that was acceptable, Davis said Johnny was free to record in Texas, Florida, or any one of the thirty states where it was permissible to record freely.

If Tennessee was one of these “free” states, then that could explain why Johnny went to Nashville to produce and record his first release, Johnny Winter (1969), and why he returned there to do the same for Second Winter (1969). (A coda to the story is that CBS/Columbia and the union agreed to relax the rule creating the “studio situation” in 1972, prior to recording “Still Alive And Well” (1973)) When Clive Davis chose to include this in his autobiography, I initially assumed that this was, in fact, the reason why Johnny Winter went to Nashville.

Explanation Two – The Dylan Connection

CBS/Columbia, however, was one of the largest record companies extant in 1969. Nashville was the “capital” of country music in the south. The label had significant operations and used several facilities in the town because of this.

Bob Dylan was the premier contemporary artist on CBS/Columbia. On his double album, Blonde on Blonde, the credits reflect that recording was done in “CBS Studios, Nashville.” Dylan also recorded his next two albums (John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline) at studios in Nashville, which may also have been known as Columbia Music Row Studios. Importantly, the bulk of these recordings were recorded and released before Johnny Winter signed to the label.

The sound of Dylan’s work surprised many. One author said most fans never knew musicians in Nashville could sound so “stoned and bluesy.”

It is possible that the studios used by Dylan were only leased by CBS/Columbia, or that they otherwise circumvented the “studio situation” referred above. If so, Explanation One remains possible. This is impossible to verify without additional research, but silence on the part of Davis, Johnny, Steve Paul, and others is understandable even if this is true. Musicians are in a union, too, and even
those that felt no compunction against circumventing CBS/Columbia’s “studio situation” probably didn’t want the publicity associated with recording in a non-label studio for this reason.

Given the size of the label and Nashville’s importance in the music industry, however, it is more likely that “CBS Studios” were owned by the label. Thus, the question remains as to why Johnny chose to record there.

Several possibilities exist, but the most likely is that Johnny used the facility because he wanted the sound Dylan was getting. This is confirmed by looking at CBS/Columbia’s roster of the period. Of the acts listed above, Dylan, Janis Joplin (and Big Brother and the Holding Company), and Electric Flag were doing music closest to Johnny’s brand of blues and rock. Janis, of course, recorded a live
album for the label (Cheap Thrills), which offered no help from a studio perspective, and that just left Dylan and Electric Flag.

Bob Dylan, by contrast, clearly had Johnny’s ear, particularly with his Highway 61 Revisited album. Johnny would end up recording three Dylan tracks during his career – one of which appeared on Second Winter. It seems likely that Johnny decided to record in Nashville in an attempt to follow in the path being blazed by Bob Dylan, the leading artist on Johnny’s label

Johnny Winter is now pretty much the blues purist, but there was a time where he flirted with rock ‘n roll and didn’t do too badly at it, either. This is a white-hot stone killer of an album, with Winter and his band (including brother Edgar) roaring through 11 songs with style. My favorite is the last one, “Fast Life Rider,” about 8-or-so minutes of guitar rave-ups that never falter. Winter also does all right by Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited,” Little Richard and even “Johnny B. Goode,” which you never thought you’d want to hear again until you hear this incredible version. This is a Winter’s gale blowing full-blast!

Anyone who knows music,knows that there’s a point where, although you do your best to describe it,the music says lots more than your words ever will.You can compare the artist, the style, or whatever you want to others, but the music speaks for itself.This album is one of those cases…Although I’ve enjoyed this piece for nearly 30 years, it is still as enjoyable as when first released.The writing, the execution, the quality of the recording…..if you like this style of music, it’s hard to do better.Just buy it.

“Second Winter (CBS S-66231, DM 25,–) von Johnny Winter and seiner Band ist ein sehr spontanes Album, das ohne technische Tricks entstand, and vielleicht das bislang sch6nste Album von ihm ist. Nur drei Seiten dieses Doppelalbums sind bespielt, die Erklarung dafur liefert Winter auf dem Hullentext. Jedenfalls stort dieser Umstand kaum, da es eine sehr hinreissende Musik ist, die auf den 3 Seiten geboten wird. Und obendrein ist die Musik, wer hatte das fUr mdglich gehalten, ausserst abwechslungsreich, der Bogen wird vom einfachen Blues Uber Chuck Berry bis hin zum schweren, modernen Blues gespannt. and bringt neben ansprechenden Songs sehr frische and lebendige Musik, der zwar Vorbilder aus der angelsachsischen Popmusik anzumerken sind, die aber nie den Eindruck des Kopierens aufkommen lassen.

3 December 1969 Oakland Tribune

In the column “Guest Album” , Dan Farte reviews the recently released “Second Winter”. The transcript of the review follows

Today’s column, a review of Johnny Winter’s latest album, is by Dan Forte of Hayward. Readers are to submit reviews of their favorite pop albums or interviews with entertainers to the column each week. Those whose columns are published will each receive a copy of a recently released stereo pop album. Address all correspondence to: Guest Albuia, Teen Age, Oak-land Tribune, P.O. Box 509, Oakland, 94641.

“Second Winter” by Johnny Winter is literally an album and a half. As Winter explains in the liner notes, the group recorded an excess of material, planning to leave off anything that didn’t satisfy them. In the end, all 11 songs were included, but put on three sides, because squeezing them all onto one record would have lost volume. As Winter stales, “We couldn’t honestly give you more, and we didn’t want to give you less, so here is exactly what we did in Nashville — no more and no less.” “We” is Winter’s group, which has now apparently added a new member. Johnny’s older brother, Edgar, who was used to augment a few cuts on the first Columbia album, plays alto sax and keyboards.

The other members are Uncle John Turner en drums and Tommy Shannon on bass — both great instrumentalists. Winter plays lead mandolin and handles all vocals. All members are from Texas. “Memory Pain.” minus Edgar, is an old blues which Winter has speeded up. This cut immediately displays the togetherness of the group. “I’m Not Sure,” with Edgar on harpsichord, seems confusing at the start. but after a short “hoochie koochie” type of break, the group goes back to the original tempo, and gels going a lot better. “The Good Love” has its composer, Dennis Collins, on bass. This cut features Johnny using a wah-wah pedal, and shows influence of Jimi Hendrix.

Side two shows another side of Winter, with three old rock and roll tunes. “Slippinl and Slidin’ ” and “Miss Ann” both written by Little Ri-hard, don’t come across very well. The group is more than competent in this field, but Johnny’s singing is an attempt to copy Little Richard. It would have been better if the group had done it in Winter’s style, like the next track, “Johnny B. Goode,” On this cut the group doesn ‘t try to said like Chuck Berry, as the Rolling Stones and other groups have done. This is easily one of the best cuts on this album. Another great one is Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited.”

This is a hard – driving blues with some of the best slide-guitar ever, It far impasses the original. Side three opens with “I Love Everybody,” a Johnny Winter original. as are all songs on this side which features “I’m Not Sure.” This is a fine blues, slightly reminiscent of Muddy Waters’ “Two Trains Runnin’.” Similarly, “Hustled Down in Texas” is close to “Got My Mojo Working,” also written by Muddy Waters. Johnny again uses a wah-wah pedal, plus some fuzz effects. “I Hate Everybody” shows the group’s talent in still another field — jazz. It features great guitar work by Johnny, and a few saxes and an organ played by Edgar. It continues into a drum introduction for “Fast Life Rider,” which is minus Edgar.

Shannon plays some great, fast bass, and Red Twiner pounds out powerful driving drums. Stereo speaker switching makes it appear as though two guitarists are trading riffs. The song lasts more than seven minutes, and Johnny, aided only by drums throughout much of the song, shows why Mike Bloomfield once called him the greatest white blues guitarist, Personally, I doubt if any blues guitarist — white or black — could carry his pick, if possible, Winter has out-done his first Columbia al-, and also “The Progressive Blues Experiment” on Imperial. It’s too bad there isn’t a fourth side, but these three sides are plenty. Besides, another side would raise the price.

3 December 1969, Warrendale PA

“Second Winter” – Johnny Winter

Johnny Winter’s first LP was a big hype, a put-on, and so is his second one. But this time it’s for a different reason This is the first three-sided LP to be released in R n’ R history Details are in the album liner notes. The music is quite good, sometimes on the verge of greatness It features two outstanding Winters originals “Hustled In Texas” and “Fast Life Rider ” He also gets down to Little Richard’s “Slippin & Shdm.” Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” and Dylan’s “Highway 61 ” This time Winters lets loose with his guitar and it feels real good

6 December 1969 Pasadena Star News

“We couldn’t honestly give you more, and we didn’t want to give you less, so here is exactly what we did in Nashville.” So comments Johnny Winter on his unusual three-side offering, “Second Winter” on Columbia. Both Winter’s voice and guitar groan, grunt, shriek and roar through an electrifying serving of blues tunes, many written by Winter himself. if there was any doubt, “Second Winter” brilliantly demonstrates that Winter is in a class by himself among blues guitarists. If you like it fast wild and heavy, this is your album.

11 January 1970 The Abilene Reporter News

SOUNDS Reporter-News Record Review

SECOND WINTER. Johnny Winter. Columbia.

There’s nobody around who can beat Johnny Winter when it comes to getting rock and blues type offerings out of his guitar. Put his finger work with his Little Richard-type vocals and a trio of musicians and you get some real interesting musical renditions which I can guarantee won’t lull you to sleep. THE ONLY THING which keeps Second Winter from being at the top of the heap right now is that the album suffers from what used to be called the sports reporter-amusements reporter syndrome back in the old days of journalism: the musicians didn’t know when to quit. Winter says on the jacket: “The original plan was to cut a much material as possible and pick the best of what was cut to make up a regular one-recorc album.”

But cutting material woulc have hurt one goal, making it as loud as is technically ossible.” Besides, they liked all the material: “We also really liked everything we’d done and didn’t want to leave any of the songs out. We couldn’t honestly give you more, and we didn’l want to give you less, so here is exactly what we did in Nashville —no more and no less. THE RESULT Is a record album which is much better than average. Winter really stands out on such songs as “Slippin’ and Slidin’,” “Miss Ann,” “Johnny B. Goode,” and ‘Highway 61 Revisited.” He’s at his best on the guitar in “I Hate Everybody,” where he clear, quick stepping notes bring to mind George Barnes Jazz guitar style.

Organ background by Edgar Winter sure helps the song, too. The good stuff is dulled by a few other songs, such as the X rated lyrics of “I Love verybody.” At times the side vith “Memory Pain,” “I’m Na Sure,” and “The Good Love’ sounds more like a shouting match than a musical feast, too A little cutting, and the album would have been tops in its field — BOB ARMISTEAD

Sunday 7 February 1970 The Sunday Times, Fitchburg

Youth Beat, The National Report on What’s Happening

WINTER WISHES — Wish we could hand out Johnny Winter’s supersmash LP, Second Winter, to everyone who wrote in with a good reason for wanting it, but what with almost 800 ‘requests, it can’t be done. We’ll pass along one more, though, to Alice Johnson, of Antioch, 111., who told us she wanted the record so she could give it to her kids “so they’ll see that mom isn’t so square after all.” Knew it all along, but if the kids need convincing, we’ll supply some.

17 February 1970 The Prospector El Paso

Record review by Gros Ed

Johnny Winter — “Second Winter” (Columbia KCS9947)

Some clutz on the “Prospector” staff lost one record of this two record set before I could get it so I’ll tell you what I can from half the album. In a stroke of cheapness, this 2-record set has only 3 sides (I got the record with one side). Winter is obviously a great talent on his guitar (although his singing is zilch) and he rocks his way the entire album, thrashing each song with fantastic riffs and deafening volume. He uses his wah-wah to an excess, but since he has no sloppy playing to hide, I can’t understand why. About 45 minutes worth of hard-driving, rocking, loud

Second Winter Legacy Release

Reviews of the re-release of Second Winter

The remastered edition of Johnny Winter’s classic second “triple-sided” album, Second Winter is a gem in and of itself. Forget the deluxe packaging, extensive liner notes and inclusion of the previously “lost” live concert, Live At Royal Albert Hall as a bonus CD.

This is a must-have album for every blues fan. Classics like “I’m Not So Sure,” “Highway 61 Revisited,” and the definitive version of the oft-covered “Johnny B Goode” are staples of a bluesman whose career has touched and/or influenced many of the greats. From the traditional blues of “I Love Everybody” to the experimental “Fast Life Rider,” and touching on newer sounds like an electric mandolin and textured keyboards in the progressive “I’m Not So Sure,” as well as including two bonus tracks, “Early In The Morning” and an instrumental version of Ray Charles’ “Tell The Truth” which smokes, there is absolutely nothing here to disappoint.

While the remastered version isn’t quite as unique as the original (and only) three-sided LP version, the sound quality improvements of the music more than make up for it. Purists will, of course, not be as impressed by the sound improvements of the remastering but the sound has definitely benefitted from the remaster and is extremely clean-sounding.

Also included here is an April, 1970 show from Royal Albert Hall in London, capturing the group at the height of their 1970 tour. Improvising their way through the slow, melodic B.B. King classic “It’s My Own Fault, Baby” to the smokin’ “Tobacco Road” and hitting the Rock ‘n Roll national anthem, “Johnny B Goode,” the show highlights the talent of a great live band, particularly the live improve skill of one of the most polished guitarists of our time.

The Legacy edition remaster of this classic album, along with the bonus tracks and the live show make this a must-have package for any fan of the blues.

Second Winter Expanded Edition

Johnny Winter’s 1969 follow-up album to his self-titled smash debut for Columbia made history as the only three-sided LP ever put out. He wanted to release everything he recorded during his Nashville sessions, but was told that he’d lose volume if it was confined to a single disc.

Besides its historic value, it’s vintage Winter, with blistering guitar solos on “Highway 61 Revisited” and “Johnny B. Goode” and some of the best material the Great White Wonder has ever written. It’s also his last album made with the great rhythm section he used in his early days in Texas.

What’s new about the reissue? First, it’s digitally remastered, for better — and worse. There are two new studio tracks. And disc two this time consists entirely of a “lost” concert at the Royal Albert Hall from 1970, with Winter at his finest

Second Winter Legacy Edition

Second Winter is a hotbed of blues-rock. With the first set of guitar rifts blasting, “Memory Pain” past the grille of your speakers, somehow you just know that this blues-rock guitarist that hails from Mississippi and who has a made-for-blues voice would be otherworldly. And so he has become, a saint amongst the illuminati of blues-rock aficionados. With solid schooling, Johnny Winter was 70s blues-rock, the like that many owe their styles to.

Johnny Winter’s second Columbia album was a strange one in that the 2-album set featured 3 sides of music with the 4th side blank. But contained on those 3-sides was music so intense, you were forced to take notice. Winter was a shaft of glory sprung from the halo of the Blues and any song from Second Winter validates that.

This Legacy issue of Second Winter dynamically improves on the album’s original release by including not only the original material but also 2 unreleased bonus tracks including an instrumental “Tell the Truth”, a Ray Charles song. To sweeten the pot, Legacy has also included a second disc that exclusively features a 1970 Royal Albert Hall show. This 2nd disc represents the first time that this show has been released to the public.

The concert, a smoker of a show, comes from a set done at Royal Albert Hall in 1970. Winter is no stranger to live shows, which is how he is ultimately set free, like a captive animal who finally gets the roam of the jungle. Within the expanse of this show is a rousing live version of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B Goode”, a song that is also found on the studio part of this album. However, there are 2 extraordinary performances of “Tobacco Road” and of “Frankenstein.” “Frankenstein” is a song that achieved high charting status as a funky instrumental piece for Edgar Winter later in the 70s. It’s done here in an embryonic, but very entertaining, very different way. I find it to be ultimately more rewarding than Edgar Winter’s studio version. It’s raw, structured, but oh so good, clocking in at around 9-minutes. “Tobacco Road” occupies much more of the bits found on this CD, an 11-minute intensity that makes the listener long for the days of blues-funk played in a live setting such as is found here.

Rounding out the 2nd disc are tracks like the 12-minute extended work of “It’s My Own Fault”, the Sonny Boy Williamson song, “Help Me”, and the 11-minute blast of Johnny Winter’s own “Mean Town Blues.” There are 9 blistering songs here, all played to the fullest extent allowed by Fire Marshalls lest the Hall be burned down and become history. The band consisted of Johnny’s brother, Edgar Winter, whose White Trash ensemble turned out great material but who narrowed his output to plant his later band, The Edgar Winter Group, into the lofty singles arena; and the impeccable rhythm section of Tommy Shannon on bass and “Uncle” John Turner on drums to complement the inimitable Johnny Winter. This lineup, my friends, may be the most intensive and incendiary of any live blues-funk-rock band to date.

Working backward from the bonus of the live addition CD to the original album, Legacy has unearthed and included 2 unreleased cuts, “Early in the Morning” and an instrumental “Tell the Truth” that is also found in the live set of disc 2 albeit in vocal rendition. Both of these tracks were recorded in 1969 but not included on Second Winter until now. They both fit quite well as a result. In the studio, Johnny has an uncanny talent of capturing the heart of a song recorded thereby creating an element of the live performance. With the slide added, Johnny knew few equal. He could make the guitar and the slide implement become one as if they were originally created one for the other, the Adam and Eve of sound.

The sound on this Legacy issue is a noticeable improvement over the earlier release of the same title on CD. This is true of most, if not all, of earlier re-issued albums’ first appearance on CDs. The sound and packaging were deplorable in many instances. Legacy’s approach is an admirable one as they not only remaster the music but also augment and bolster the original album with bonus cuts from the same sessions and live performances. With improved packaging, Legacy reissues become definitive in that they offer a complete overview of the period that the album was created in. Completists and purists should be very pleased. The packaging is a tri-fold digipak that houses the two discs as well as a 24-page booklet with plenty of new notes and comments by the band of the time. This is slip-cased by a clear plastic Legacy dust cover.

With a searing blend of covers and originals, Second Winter becomes essential to any fan’s blues-rock library. Johnny Winter’s second Columbia album brought with it the promise of a champion. That promise eventually was realized on subsequent Winter releases like Nothin’ But the Blues; White, Hot, and Blue; Johnny Winter And; Still Alive and Well; John Dawson Winter III; and Saints and Sinners found on Blue Sky and eventual Alligator releases. I find the re-release of this set momentous and highly satisfying and can recommend it emphatically.

“Rounding out the 2nd disc are tracks like the 12-minute extended work of “It’s My Own Fault”, the Sonny Boy Williamson song, “Help Me”, and the 11-minute blast of Johnny Winter’s own “Mean Town Blues.” There are 9 blistering songs here, all played to the fullest extent allowed by Fire Marshalls lest the Hall be burned down and become history. The band consisted of Johnny’s brother, Edgar Winter, whose White Trash ensemble turned out great material but who narrowed his output to plant his later band, The Edgar Winter Group, into the lofty singles arena; and the impeccable rhythm section of Tommy Shannon on bass and “Uncle” John Turner on drums to complement the inimitable Johnny Winter. This lineup, my friends, may be the most intensive and incendiary of any live blues-funk-rock band to date.”

“The concert, a smoker of a show, comes from a set done at Royal Albert Hall in 1970. Winter is no stranger to live shows, which is how he is ultimately set free, like a captive animal who finally gets the roam of the jungle. Within the expanse of this show is a rousing live version of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B Goode”, a song that is also found on the studio part of this album. However, there are 2 extraordinary performances of “Tobacco Road” and of “Frankenstein.” “Frankenstein” is a song that achieved high charting status as a funky instrumental piece for Edgar Winter later in the 70s. It’s done here in an embryonic, but very entertaining, very different way. I find it to be ultimately more rewarding than Edgar Winter’s studio version. It’s raw, structured, but oh so good, clocking in at around 9-minutes. “Tobacco Road” occupies much more of the bits found on this CD, an 11-minute intensity that makes the listener long for the days of blues-funk played in a live setting such as is found here.

Johnny Winter – Johnny Winter aka Black Album


Johnny Winter’s first official album aka the Black Album is released by CBS and scores Billboard ranking 24 on 10 May 1969.

This album is a “Must Have” for any blues music fan

17 May 2004: Sony will rerelease the album “Johnny Winter” on CD titled: “Johnny Winter Expanded Edition” with the previously unreleased recordings: “Country Girl”, “Dallas”, “Two Steps From The Blues”.

Sony Legacy’s remastered and expanded reissue of Johnny Winter’s self-produced debut album for Columbia records-recorded in 1969-is nothing short of a revelation. Unlike his most of his peers who purposefully wed blues to rock that made it palatable to pop audiences, Winter’s approach to the blues was pure and savage. He approached rock and roll from the heart of the blues. His guitar tone was like barbed wire dipped in lighter fluid and was as precise as a stiletto.

On this recording and Second Winter Johnny played the blues pure and simple,. Whether it was the stinging raucous Delta music as played acoustically on “Dallas,” or his savage electric attack, on “Mean Mistreater,” “Be Careful With a Fool,” or on Good Mornin’ Little Schoolgirl’-complete with horns and piano by brother Edgar-Winter’s blues were easily separated from the masses. His uncompromising completely mythical and romantic fascination with the music was propulsive and profound.

A listen to “Leland Mississippi Blues,” or the strolling tough National Steel blues of “If You’ve Got A Friend,” give as complete a portrait as is necessary of a man who not only came out of the Texas blues tradition, but extended the whole Southern legacy and brought it deep into mainstream American culture while employing and paying homage to its creators-Willie Dixon plays bass on this record! Containing five bonus tracks, this is one of the most welcome reissues in the blues canon to come down the pipe in quite a while, and if there is one Johnny Winter recording to own, it should be this one. Thom Jurek

Musicians on Johnny Winter’s black album are:

LP: CBS Stereo 63619 (1969)

Released in the UK in MONO M 63619

The Johnny Winter “Black Album” has been re-issued as “The First Album Johnny Winter”

Producer: Johnny Winter

Cover text: Steve Paul

Johnny Winter’s first album has also been released as a limited edition on a vinyl 180 grams edition.

Liner Notes:

The purpose of this is emotional. Because it is based on my feelings. I am writing it. Johnny’s feelings. Because I am writing about him. About blues. Which Johnny feels is emotional. Rather than technical. Even emotional rather than musical.

Most people never get what they deserve. In their entire life. Johnny’s been into blues since he was eleven. For himself. All the time. And for whoever would listen to it. In the beginning. Not too many people. In the beginning. For Johnny. And for all blues music. Johnny was in Chicago six years ago. Hanging out with Michael Bloomfield at his Fickle Pickle coffeehouse. And it was several years ago that he played with B. B. King in a black club down South. Somehow, even then, these people gravitated together. The present fame was not the common bind. The feeling was. Today they all run into each other again. And it is still the feeling that brings them together.

Tommy Shannon and “Uncle” John Turner are the other members of Johnny’s group. Winter. They like blues. So much so that when I first met them in Texas. Nine months after their group had been formed. Their apartment consisted of the living-room floor of a friend’s house. They had given up good-paying gigs in order to play the music they felt was best. And they help Johnny play the music he wants to play. They are part of the good feelings I have about Johnny Winter. And they are his group.

When we finished this album in Nashville, the one thing Johnny felt about it was that it was exactly what he had hoped for. His feelings expressed through music. Somehow feeling creates its own time and energy. Earthly success may come late but the feeling has been there for quite a while.

If it weren’t for ROLLING STONE, I would have never taken that trip to Texas. In search of a name and a dream. The name was Johnny Winter. And the dream was that he would be true. It was a daydream and those are meant to come true. So far so good. The dream of the music comes true inside this album.’ Any further comment can only be made by your listening to it.

Johnny is albino. In an age when everyone is trying to look more and more like themselves. And less and less like everyone else. Johnny Winter is very lucky. He definitely looks like himself. It was not always that easy. He was born into a world. Where everybody wanted to look like everybody else. That is not why he sings the blues. But there must have been some feelings involved.

Johnny plays basic blues. Color them black. Real black and nothing else. Color them black black. Johnny looks white. Color him white. Real white and nothing else. Color him white white. By themselves black and white, like the laws of opposites and energy, seem to be attracting nowadays. In Johnny’s case it’s been a longtime attraction. Resulting in a long-awaited explosion. That of a great blues player. And a human being. With feeling. Getting what he deserves. A chance to let other people feel through his music. As he has felt from other blues people. Whatever they choose. But definitely felt. His message is merely his feelings. All he wants you to get from his message is your feelings. And some pretty good playing too.

There is no summary. There is no conclusion. To what we are speaking of. Because it is all too real. To end here. Let it start here.?

Steve Paul

French release on vinyl of Johnny Winter’s Black Album, on the Versailles Label Ver 34160 in 1975, with a nice cover photo of Johnny playing the twelve-string Fender Guitar

Still the best Johnny Winter album ever, blues and nothing but the blues. The incredible opening guitar solo of “Be careful with a fool”, the slide in “Dallas” and the Chicken skin music of “I’ll drown in my own tears”

Review by: Jan Williams

I agree with you the Johnny Winter black album is by far the best. Be Careful with a Fool is the best song Johnny ever recorded. I love the way you can just hear Johnny’s guitar breathe during that long solo. I’ve only heard him do this song once live and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

But words can’t express the importance of each song on this album. Each is a masterpiece. I haven’t been the same since I first heard it. It is as much a part of me as my skin or soul. It is one album that must be heard and will never leave you.

Johnny Winter a white flame ignited by black blues, an advertisement by CBS to promote his first album.

Another advertisement for Johnny Winter’s self-titled album, from Billboard Magazine 18 April 1969

Johnny Winter is without doubt the finest white bluesman ever to pick up a guitar. “Be Careful With a Fool” features some of the fastest electric licks in this or any other universe, with no compromise in taste and style. At the other end of the spectrum, “Dallas” showcases Johnny’s deft acoustic bottleneck playing, plus an edgy attitude. Be careful when and where you play this CD; somebody might get hurt!

While “Progressive Blues Experiment,” “Nothin’ But The Blues” and “Let me In” are all excellent blues CDs, his first for Columbia is the best. With an allstar band including Willie Dixon -b, and Walter Horton harmonica, and brother Edgar Piano, Johnny lays down some serious real blues on this one. “Dallas” is the very best I have heard in the Robert Johnson vein. “Be Careful With A Fool” is amazing and “I’ll Drown In My Tears” gets at least five repeat plays every time I put it on. If there is a list of essential blues albums, this one most definitely must be on it.

Review of the expanded release of the Johnny Winter Album

Johnny Winter is not only an astonishing instrumentalist, but also a rousing singer. His only problem over the years has been an occasional tendency to get stuck with substandard songs in hopes of scoring some rock crossover action. But that clearly wasn’t the case on his superb 1969 self-titled album recorded mostly in Nashville. The reissued version of Johnny Winter (Sony/Legacy) sounds a bit cleaner than its predecessor, but the enhanced sonic quality only brings out Winter’s guitar flourishes, power and fire. The core group included booming bassist Tommy Shannon, who would later go on to glory as part of Double Trouble with Stevie Ray Vaughan, plus “Uncle” John Turner on percussion. The backing group included his piano and alto sax-playing brother Edgar heading a great horn section and a soulful trio wailing underneath. Winter displayed his blues prowess on such vintage tunes as “Back Door Friend,” and “Good Morning Little School Girl,” while blues giants bassist Willie Dixon and harmonica soloist Big Walter Horton came aboard for a dazzling rendition of “Mean Mistreater.”

There are three bonus tracks on the reissue, a version of “Two Steps From The Blues” that unfortunately fades down just as things get heated, as well as a good version of “Country Girl” and the outstanding “Dallas,” in which Winter and the band squeeze a powerful performance into a less than four minute framework. Winter’s Columbia recordings after this one became less interesting, mainly because the careful balance established on Johnny Winter between blues sensibility and rock pyrotechnics was steadily eroded.

Johnny Winter has veered from blues to rock n’ roll and back blues again for some forty years. This 1969 album is one of the Texan’s best and bluesiest.

“Johnny Winter” finds him at 25, backed by Tommy Shannon (Stevie Ray Vaughan’s bass player in the 80s), drummer John Turner, and occationally his brother Edgar (Winter’s brother, not Turner’s!) on piano and saxophone. Chess stalwart Willie Dixon even pays a visit, as does harmonica ace Walter Horton who blows the harp on a great “Mean Mistreater”.
And while most every other white blues singer in the late 60s was trying to make the blues more palatable to the mainstream pop audience by toning it down a little, Winter makes no concessions to pop sensibility at all. His guitar playing is pure and savage, yet he never resorts to meaningless shredding, and his prowess on the acoustic slide guitar is impressive…just listen to his self-penned “Dallas”, a perfectly authentic slice of Delta blues.

This exquisitely remastered 2004 reissue adds three bonus tracks, including a slightly longer version of the aforementioned “Dallas” which finds Winter backed by bass and harmonica (the version originally issued is a solo performance). “Country Girl” is a gritty mid-tempo boogie, and “Two Steps From The Blues” is a surprisingly sleek, soul-flavoured rendition of the Bobby “Blue” Bland number. It clashes a bit with the rest of the album, but it also gives Johnny Winter a chance to show off his non inconsiderable abilities as an R&B-crooner.

There is barely a weak track on this fine record. Contained here is some of the best and certainly most authentic blues ever recorded by a white bluesman, and “Johnny Winter” is the perfect introduction to the albino bluesman, as well as being one of his two or three best albums. And this expanded edition features a newly written essay in addition to the original liner notes, as well as the best sound ever.

  • I’m yours and I’m yours
  • Be careful with a fool AKA Treat me right
  • Dallas
  • Mean mistreater
  • Leland Mississippi blues
  • Good morning little school girl
  • When you got a good friend
  • I’ll drown in my tears
  • Back door friend
  • Country Girl – Expanded Edition
  • Dallas – Expanded Edition
  • Two Steps From The Blues – Expanded Edition “Two Steps From the Blues” is the title track of Bobby “Blue” Bland’s masterpiece album with Joe Scott doing the arrangement. The song was written by “Texas” Johnny Brown.

A Dutch newspaper announces Johnny Winter’s first CBS album as “Wittere Blues Bestaat Niet”

Ongetwijfeld één van de beste en meest dynamische bluesmensen van het ogenblik is Johnny Winter. De uit een zeer muzikaal ouderpaar geboren Johnny zag in Beaumont, Texas, op 23 febreari 1944 voor het eerst het aurdse licht. Enkele jaren na de geboorte van Johnny verhuisde de hele familie naar het gebied rond de Mississippi delta waar Johnny Winter op twaalfjarige leeftijd voor het eerst kennis maakte met de blues. Op vijftienjarige leeftijd vormde Johnny, die zichzelf inmiddels gitaar had leren spelen, zijn eerste band.

De formatie bestond uit Johnny zelf en zijn broer Edgar. Korte tijd later bleek dat de combinatie niet zo geslaagd was. Johnny zegt hierover: “Edgar is zeker geen slecht musicus maar hij is te netjes en beredeneert alles veel te veel om zo een logische opbouw van een bepaald nummer te krijgen. Ik-zelf laat mijn emoties de vrije loop waardoor het verrassingselement in een muziekstuk veel groter wordt en volgens mij ook meer inhoud krijgt.”

Na het ontbinden van de formatie speelde Johnny zes jaar lang in diverse bars in de zuidelijke staten van Amerika tot op een dag de grote ontdekking van “the great Mr. Winter” volgde. Verantwoordelijke man hiervoor was Steve Paul, een bekend nachtclub eigenaar in New-York, die na een bandje van Johnny gehoord te hebben alles in het werk stelde om die “honderddertig pond wegende, scheelkijkende albino” zo spoedig mogelijk naar New York te halen. Een grote reclame-campagne zorgde ervoor dat Johnny’s naam, bij diens aankomst in New-York overai een bekende klank had. Als klap op de vuurpijl bood CBS Johnny Winter een vijfjarig contract wat zeker als een bijzonderheid gezien moet worden. Johnny kan dan ook met een gerust hart de toekomst tegemoet zien.

Saturday 17 May 1969 Dallas Morning News

A short review of Johnny Winter’s first album

Johnny Winter: Real Blues

JOHNNY WINTER (Columbia). This is the authentic debut album of the much talked-about albino bluesman. And it’s doubtful that much production work had to go into it, for Winter’s voice speaks for itself, He can sing as black as midnight and his style is straight blues, hard and heavy. His experiences and blues background are mirrored in his voice. In his own compositions (especially “Dallas” and “Leland Mississippi”) as well as his true-to-form Interpretations of “Mean Mistreater,” “Good Morning Little School Girl,” Drawn in My Own Tears.” Johnny Winter is a discovery. He’s from Texas and he sings blues.

Johnny Winter – John Dawson Winter III


John Dawson Winter III represents a step forward for Johnny, with more emphasis on his exceptional blues-rock guitar work. The record features five new Johnny Winter compositions as well as songs written especially for Johnny by such notables as John Lennon and Rick Derringer. The LP the first by Johnny for the Blue Sky Records (a Columbia Records Custom Label), also server as an introduction for Shelly Yakus as Johnny’s producer. This album reaches #78 in the Billboard charts on 7 December 1974.

Producer: Shelly Yakus

Recorded at: The Record Plant East, NYC Recorded at: The Master Cutting Room.

Production team:

  • Percussion: Richard Hughes, Randy Jo Hobbs, Rick Derringer, Paul Prestopino
  • Handclaps: The Group
  • Piano, Solina Strings, Harpsichord, Organ, Horn Arrangement: Edgar Winter
  • Background Vocals: Johnny Winter, Tasha Thomas, Rick Derringer Carl Hall, Monica Burruss, Jackdaw, Dennis Ferrante
  • Piano: Kenny Ascher
  • Additional Guitar: Randy Jo Hobbs
  • Pedal Steel: Rick Derringer
  • Banjo, Dobro, Lap Steel: Paul Prestopino
  • Buried Highpart: Dennis Ferrante
  • Trumpet: Randy Brecker, Bob Millikan, Lou Soloff
  • Tenor Saxophone: Mick Brecker
  • Trombone: Dave Taylor
  • Baritone Saxphone: Lew Del Gatto
  • Producer: Shelly Yakus
  • Engineer: Eg Sprigg, Dennis Ferrante
  • Assistant Enginner: David Thoener

This album John Dawson Winter III, has also been released as a Quadraphonic LP

Johnny WInter’s band:

  • Johnny Winter – Guitar, Vocals
  • Randy Jo Hobbs – bass
  • Richard Hughes – drums

Tracklisting of JDWIII with full details

Rock & roll people
Writer: John Lennon (Lennon Music/ATV Music Corp./BMI/1974)
Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter Guitars: Johnny Winter Bass: Randy Jo Hobbs Drums: Richard Hughes
Percussion: Richard Hughes and Randy Jo Hobbs
Handclaps: The Group

Golden olden day’s of rock and roll
Writer: Vic Thomas (Pocketful of Tunes, Inc. & Papa Toad Music, Inc./BMI/1973)
Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter
Guitar: Johnny Winter
Bass: Randy Jo Hobbs
Drums: Richard Hughes
Percussion: Randy Jo Hobbs and Richard Hughes
Handclaps: The rlre p Piano: Kenny Ascher
Backing Vocals: Johnny Winter, Tasha Thomas,
Carl Hall, Monica Burruss
Horn Arrangement: Edgar Winter
Trumpet: Randy Brecker Trumpet: Bob Millikan Tenor Sax: Mike Brecker Trombone: Dave Taylor Baritone Sax: Lew Del Gatto

Self-destructive blues
Writer: Johnny Winter (Winter Blues Music, Inc./BMI/1974)
Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter Guitar: Johnny Winter Bass: Randy Jo Hobbs Drums: Richard Hughes

Raised on rock
Writer: Mark James (Screen Gems-Columbia Music, Inc. & Sweet Glory Music, Inc./BMI/1973)
Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter
Guitars: Johnny Winter
Bass: Randy Jo Hobbs
Drums: Richard Hughes
Percussion: Richard Hughes and Randy Jo Hobbs
Harpsichord: Edgar Winter
Lap Steel: Paul Prestopino
Backing Vocals: Jackdaw and Dennis Ferrante

Writer: Johnny Winter (Winter Blues Music, Inc./BMI/1974)
Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter
Guitars: Johnny Winter
Bass: Randy Jo Hobbs
Drums: Richard Hughes
Piano and Solina Strings: Edgar Winter

Mind over matter
Writer: Allen Toussaint (Marsaint & Warner-Tamberlane Music, Inc./BMI/1974)
Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter
Guitars: Johnny Winter
Bass: Randy Jo Hobbs
Drums: Richard Hughes
Percussion: Randy Jo Hobbs and Richard Hughes
Backing Vocals: Johnny Winter

Roll with me
Writer: Rick Derringer (Derringer Music, Inc./BMI/1974)
Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter
Guitars: Johnny Winter
Bass: Randy Jo Hobbs
Drums: Richard Hughes
Percussion: Rick Derringer and Paul Prestopino
Backing Vocals: Johnny Winter and Rick Derringer

Love song to me
Writer: Johnny Winter (Winter Blues Music, lnc./BMI/1974)
Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter
Guitars: Johnny Winter
Bass: Randy Jo Hobbs
Drums: Richard Hughes
Banjo and Dobro: Paul Prestopino
Pedal Steel: Rick Derringer
Backing Vocals: Johnny Winter
Buried Highpart: Dennis Ferrante

Pick up on my mojo
Writer: Johnny Winter (Winter Blues Music, Inc./BMI/1974)
Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter
Lead and Rhythm Guitars: Johnny Winter
Additional Guitar and Bass: Randy Jo Hobbs
Drums: Richard Hughes
Percussion: Richard Hughes and Randy Jo Hobbs
Handclaps: The Group

Lay down your sorrows
Writers: Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann (Screen Gems-Columbia Music, Inc. & Summerhill Songs, Inc./BMI/1974)
Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter
Guitar: Johnny Winter
Bass: Randy Jo Hobbs
Drums: Richard Hughes
Piano, Solina Strings, and
Organ: Edgar Winter
Backing Vocals: Tasha Thomas, Carl Hall, Monica Burruss
Horn Arrangement: Edgar Winter Trumpet: Randy Brecker Trumpet: Lou Soloff Tenor Sax: Mike Brecker Trombone: Dave Taylor Baritone Sax: Lew Del Gatto

Sweet papa John
Writer: Johnny Winter (Winter Blues Music, Inc./BMI/1974)
Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter
Guitars: Johnny Winter
Bass Drum: Richard Hughes

An Advertisement for Johnny Dawson Winter III published in Billboard Magazine

JOHNNY WINTER “John Dawson Winter III” (CBS – Blue Sky Import).

Once again, the king of riffs turns up his amp and lets rip with volumes of violent, speedy guitar phrases, fronted by blues vocals.akin to scraping a hairbrush across your tonsils. The pace is frenetic, the sound weighs tons and there’s a small gap on the 492nd groove where you can actually stop to breathe. Comparing the many Winter albums is pointless each is a further demonstration of fiery finger ability, rather than an attempt to create rock ‘n’ roll classics. He IS a rock ‘n’ roll classic. Included here is the usual popular clan, featuring Edgar Winter, Randy Hobbs, Richard Hughes and, of course, organic adviser (and manager) Steve Paul. Songs are by. Winter, Lennon, Toussaint and Barry Mann. Extremely white lightning. ***LG.

Lack of dynamics

JOHNNY WINTER: “John Dawson Winter III”(Blue Sky, Import)

AT LEAST it’s better than “Saints And Sinners” Come to that, 35 minutes of belching and farting would have been better than “Saints And Sinners,” but the replacement of Rick Derringer by Shelly Yakus as Controlmeister has wrought some significant, if minor, improvements. Most noticeable to these is the ditching of the cluttered, overproduced fell of the last opus in favour of a simpler and more open feel, though the dull, undynamic sound isn’t overly appealing. Since most of you are dead anxious to hear about the album’s new Lennon song,

“Rock’n Roll People,” and since Winter and Yakus have stuck it right up front where we can all get at it, let us do so. Actually, it’s dreadful, and it’s quite obvious why Lennon was not particularly anxious to sing it himself. Lines like “my father was a mother/my mother was the sun” aren’t too staggering, and Winter doesn’t seem particularly thrilled with it himself. Things have come to a sorry pass when John Lennon gives his best songs to Ringo Starr.

The magic invocation of “Rock And Roll” zooms in again on the very next track, “The Golden Olden Days Of Rock. And Roll”, which is another of those take -me -back -to -when -m en-were -men -and -rock-wuz -a-gigfit-for-heroes type efforts. It’d be okay on a juke box, but it’s deffo short on the of lustre. Winter’s guitar playing is pretty sluggish throughout, actually. On “Self-Destructive Blues” (great slide, though) he runs through one of those patented medium 12-bar shuffles he’s been knocking out ever since they first allowed him into a studio, but that blazing edge seems to have dulled and he just sounds like any other fast-fingered white blues guitarist.

Only four tracks have anything real to commend them. “Stranger” is a rather nondescript ballad, but Winter uses a very fetching soft rippling rhythm guitar against a Leslie speaker lead guitar sound, similar to the treatment of “No Time To Live” on the “Johnny Winter And” album. “Love Song To Me” is a bouncy piece of country hoke with mildly amusing lyrics about how anybody who spends money ou Winterproducts can be a friend of his, and there’s agreat Derringer rocker called “Roll With Me.” .

My own personal fave is “Sweet Papa John”, a kind of country blues thing with multiple overdub lead guitar againsta solitary bass drum. Pete Erskine sez he likes “Get Next To My Mojo.” I can’t- get too enthusiastic about “John Dawson Winter III.” There’s nothing actively wrong with it, but then it doesn’t cause mach of a jump on thetcstatometer either. Basically, Winter hasn’t made a genuinely excellent album since “Stilt Alive And Well,” and I’m beginning to worry about the boy. This album is recommended to Winter completisls only except for those folks who absolutely have to own every song that John Lennon ever wrote. Charles Shaar Murray

John Dawson Winter III Johnny Winter Blue Sky PZ 33292

by Charley Walters

Johnny Winter, his brother Edgar and Rick Derringer form an American rock triumvirate that knows little competition.. John Dawson Winter III further refines the oldest’s progression from an overanxious white bluesman with a strained voice into a tasteful and raunchy rocker. Winter the guitarist is a constant powerhouse who leaves few spaces in his frequent solos. Delivering cluster after cluster of rapidly picked notes or soaring chords, he has developed a discernible, if not virtuoso, style to replace the awkward pastiches of Chuck Berry and B.B. King that flawed his early work.

Interestingly, Winter opts for less use of distortion than do most guitarists of this like. He composes smartly. Knowing that even the simplest change can revitalize an otherwise staid 12-bar blues, Winter inserts a time-tested ascending chord sequence into the ninth and tenth bars of “Pick Up on My Mojo.” Yet he can also succeed with a humorous country/western aside, and the haunting, gently sung “Stranger, a pop piece reminiscent of Edgar. But it’s never a one-man show. Randy Hobbs’s bass combines treble tones with the mandatory bottom sound, and muscular drum rolls from Richard Hughes ;propel the meatier tracks which dominate the album. Wisely, Winter continues to borrow from other writers: Derringer, John Lennon and Allen Tousraim are all well represented

John Dawson Winter III is not without flaws his vocal on “Sweet,Papa John,” a blues patterned after the earliest Muddy Waters sides, returns to the thin huskiness he has mostly mastered, and the horns on two cuts would have been best omitted. Still, Winter displays an unmistakenly maturity that few rock artists reach.

Johnny Winter in an interview with Allan Jones: So what about the new album, which you’ve recently completed and which includes a new John Lennon song: “Rock and Roll people”?

I was really glad to get that song, because John’s been one of my favourite people for a long time. And I’ve been hustling for a song from him for three or four albums. When I did the “Still Alive and well” album we called him up and asked if he had any extra rock ‘n’ roll songs. And he said that if he did have any, he was keeping them for himself because he was just as short of material. Then he was recording at the same studio as us and my producer talked to him and mentioned that I was recording there, and asked again if he had any songs we could use.

“Rock ‘n’ roll people” he’d written for himself, and had done it. But it hadn’t come together right, and he didn’t like it for himself, so he gave me the tape and it was just perfect for me.

Some background information provided by Jan.

It took 4 months to complete this LP. There were tons of tapes, acetate demo recordings and sheet music left from this assignment. Van Morrison submitted 15 songs. Everyone wanted to send Johnny their music. Not everyone receives such a response getting material. Fortunately for us Johnny wrote more songs on this album than he had on any previous records. The five song included 3 blues songs, a ballad, and a country western song (a C&W sound that was a completely new sound from him), a country song with a touch of self mockery.

John Lennon wrote the song that appears on this album. He wrote it for himself but didn’t like the way he did it that much. Johnny’s producer, Shelly Yakus, was working on the sessions for John’s Walls and Bridges LP and told John Johnny was doing a record downstairs and asked if he had anything to contribute. He said, “Year , I do,” and gave them a demo of the song. Johnny liked it so it was included. John has always been one of Johnny’s favorite people and he was very glad to do the song – “Rock and Roll People,” sort of a fast shuffle. Johnny recognized that the song had crazy lyrics.

At the time of John’s murder much sadness was felt worldwide, after the initial shock my thoughts turned to this song and I wondered how the news hit Johnny. I am sure he is very honored and proud to have one of John’s songs on his album.

Johnny gives us a good example of his past experiences in this album. Songs range from basic three piece tunes to the orchestration pieces. This LP showed the old Johnny Winter we know so well to the Johnny Winter we were unfamiliar with. It is way beyond categorization. It seems he goes in every direction he was capable of. He will always keep doing what he has done in the past but keeps himself free to experiment and broaden. All he has ever wanted musically is to broaden what he has been doing and have people accept the things he does well. Seems a most humble request. I try to keep this in mind.

JMHO I have always felt Johnny’s greatest demon has been that struggle of the blues playing the blues he lives for and the rock and roll that is inside him too. For his whole career he has been struggling to please his fans and at the same time satisfy himself. It feels the result we witness today may be because of this internal struggle. We are fortunate he has the strength and courage to keep fighting and winning no matter what physical and mental challenges he has to endure each day, no matter what it takes to do what he was born to do – sing and play guitar – in a way that will never be repeated again, and with this comes that crossroad few are either fortunate or prepared to find.

JOHNNY WINTER was in a very good mood. He’d been rehearsing with his new band for the European trip, the new album was about to be mastered and, aside from the fact that he wasn’t yet sure what he would wear onstage in England, everything was going smoothly.

Everything, that is, except this interview. One day the reporter was ill, another day the snarling New York traffic prevented our date with destiny finally after several attempts, Johnny Winter and your reporter managed to converse.

Anyway he was pretty excited about the trip to London “I was trying to figure out last night when was the last the I was there … seems like it was 1971; it’s been quite a while. People always told me that I would think it was strange over there because the audiences were quieter and more subdued, but I didn’t find a that way at all. They were exactly the same as American audiences if you do a good job and played rock and roll music, people would rock and roll, and ” if you played quiet music they would sit there and listen.

They don’t toss as many fire-crackers.

No, that would be nicer he laughed. “You know, that never really happened at all until last year or so. It seems as though every concert that I’ve done, or every concert I’ve gone to . . . and it’s not all the kids, it’s just some of them who come to the concert to raise hell, and don’t care. But all that fire cracker and bottle throwing stuff in the past year or two has really gotten worse and worse It’s weird that you brought that up because I was talking to Teddy – my road manager – about that the other night, and I said to him if anything ever happens to me with that stuff, and I get really hurt or something – – – I don’t know.

I’ll have to put chicken wire around me onstage. Because its really scary, you could really get hurt bad. We had a bottle thrown at the drums once and it put a dent in the drum set – you can imagine what would happen if that hit someone in the head. And when the spotlights are on you you can’t see anybody. I don’t think they really want to butt you, they just want to throw things. Maybe they ought to have some kind of search thing and not let kids into concerts with firecrackers … bottles, things like that. It’s really only the high energy music that does it though.

It’s like me in the early 195O’s when they wanted to ban rock and roll because it incited riots and people would go crazy- “Like, we just want people to have a good time. Like a party we don’t want to do anything destructive. I don’t know what it is about good time music that makes people go crazy and want to tear up things. I just consider it good time music.

AS FAR as the new album is concerned, it’s finished except for the mastering- Johnny’s written more songs for this record than be has on any previous album. Five of them Three are pretty blues based, he says, some of them are blues/rock and some of them are blues the way he used to do it a long time ago. This album is really strange because it’s got some of the really older Johnny Winter stuff that I haven’t done in a long time and its got some very different things that people are not gonna believe are me . Two of the songs I wrote- one of them is a country and western tune about myself called “Love Song To Me” – just about how much I love myself.. and I wrote another really pretty ballad.

And some of the tunes have really large, lush productions with strings, synthesizers, keyboards … vocal groups, the whole bit And then there are some real basic three piece tunes. It’s the whole extreme from the old Johnny Winter to well, I don’t know if you would call it the new Johnny Winter but it’s sure different. “But I’m trying to get to the point of being beyond categorization, you know. People are always saying, well, what are you, what are you. … Are you a rock and roll player or a blues player? And what do you really want to do?

What direction do you want to go in? I want to go in every direction that I’m capable of. I don’t want to quit doing what I’ve been doing, I like that too but I don’t want to feel confined. Where if I do a slow song, or a ballad, or a country song, or use a hundred piece orchestra or even just do a blues people would say ‘Well, Johnny shouldn’t be doing that, that’s not his style.’ I don’t want to go off into another direction, I just want to broaden what I’ve been doing and have people accept the things that I do well.”

THE ACTUAL recording part didn’t take too long but Johnny said he’d been working on the record for about four months, writing the songs first, doing some recording … then doing some more songs and coming back into the Record Plant and recording them. “Usually our albums take us about two weeks to do,” Johnny laughed, because I hadn’t been writing that many songs, I’d been doing older things on my other albums like old rock and roll standards. It took me more time to try and be more creative this time.” The title will be “John Dawson Winter III” his real name.

I’m using that because it kind of fits the picture on the album cover … I kind of look like a John Dawson Winter the Third … I love making records, Winter continued, “because if you do a good concert you give people a good time and maybe get a good review and then it’s over. But with a record you can listen to it fifty years from now and see what you were doing then and you feel like you really created something. It’s a lot of fun, but I don’t fed quite as comfortable in the studio as I do in front of an audience. I work a lot off the audience, you can tell what they like right then. and you know when they’re turned on, and that turns me on.

It’s harder in the studio, it doesn’t build as much. “I like to listen to the albums again and again …but not my old ones; I might not listen to some of them for years and years . It’s not like I go home and listen to my albums all the time. . What he does listen to, he says, is a lot of old stuff; even from the thirties and the forties. .. even the fifties and sixties. “The last few years have been kind of barren musically as far as I’m concerned,”he said. “I don’t buy that many records and don’t listen to the radio much.” One of the songs on “John Dawson Winter III” will be a John Lennon contribution.

“John Lennon wrote a song, really for himself,” Johnny said, “and he just didn’t like the way he did it that much. And well – John’s always been one of my favourite people and he was working at the Record Plant too, and Shelly – my producer – told him that I was doing a record downstairs and asked if he had anything that I might be able to use. And he said, `yeah … I do’ . and gave us a demo of the song and I liked it so we did it. It’s called ‘Rock & Roll People’ and it’s kind of a fast shuffle.” “Rick Derringer also wrote a tune for it, called “Roll With Me”, the last couple of days that we were in the studio.

And Allen Toussaint wrote “Mind Over Matter”. We approached a lot of people for songs, and there were over 200 that my management people listened to before we made all the selections.” I asked him if there was anything that he hadn’t done musically that he harboured a secret fantasy about. “Well, there are two things that I’d like to do and one of them is to put out a stone country album sometime and then when I’m in the mood for it I’d like to go back and do an album of nothing but blues. I wouldn’t like to do either of them right now, but some-time in the future I’d like to do those two things.”

With Johnny on his European tour will be Randy Jo Hobbs on bass, Richard Hughes on drums, and Floyd Radford on rhythm guitar. (Floyd previously played with Tin House and White Trash … it’s all sort of in the Blue Sky/Steve Paul/Winter family). Winter himself is very enthusiastic about the way the new guitar player in particular is working out. It’s really strange, because we hadn’t been together about a week, and I wouldn’t have taken him on if it hadn’t been right. I hadn’t seen him since when Steve Paul was managing Tin House, but we got together and practiced a little bit, and it just really worked out.

Plus Floyd is turning into a pretty good writer, which I really need. I never considered myself much of a songwriter – although lately I have been doing more …” . For guitar aficionados, Johnny takes two instruments with him when he travels, and they’re both the same kind – Gibson Firebirds. “I take one that I play all the time, and the other in case anything happens. If it gets stolen, or a string breaks during the show I can just change it without wasting time. Once I get used to one guitar it’s really hard for me to play another one.

I’ve been with this one for four years – probably won’t ever change.” Do his fans get close to him at all? Lately he’s been out a lot in New York City at a variety of clubs and concerts. “It depends on where you go. Most clubs aren’t too bad, people are older, and they I’ll come over and say ‘Hi, I like your music,’ and stuff like that. I just don’t go to places like teenage hangouts where the kids are fifteen and sixteen :. forget it. Or go to a concert and sit in the audience. You really can’t talk to anybody because you get pencils shoved in your face or kids saying ‘can I have some hair? How about a finger? or ‘Is this the hand you-play guitar with?

I’ll take that.’ So I just don’t do that anymore. I try and stay away from places like that because you can’t really get close to the fans in that kind of a situation, or be friends with them. “It’s too bad, I used to really try – you know, people would ask me ‘Do you think being big is going to change your head?’ and I was determined that I wouldn’t change, and I would go out and be the same as I was. But it’s just impossible. You can’t do that, and it’s too bad. ‘ But things aren’t the same. Things that were fun -just aren’t anymore.

If you go to a concert and try to listen – you know, somebody you really want to hear – there’s people shoving pencils and papers at you from the time you come in until the time that you leave. Well, you don’t get to hear the band, so what’s the use of going? You really have to change your lifestyle and just not do some of the things that you used to like. That really bothered me at first, and I finally had to accept it.”

AS FAR as his image is concerned the blues/freak-/superstar discovered by Steve Paul in Texas and then all that bit with Kicking the Heroin Habit – Johnny would rather that, when he returns to England, people talk to him about Now. “I’m so tired of talking about all of that. I guess people over there will ask me about some of it, but I never tried to hide anything that was happening to me, any of the things I was going through. So I’m pretty sure that everyone over there knows what was going on. I guess I’d talk about it some, but I’d really rather talk about what’s going on now than things that are past.

It’s hard to talk about something with any feeling after you’ve said it a thousand times.”

Rolling Stone Magazines review: ‘Johnny Winter plays his guitar in a virtuoso style that few if any have mastered’

Charley Walters:

John Dawson Winter III further refines the oldest’s progression from an overanxious white bluesman with a strained voice into a raunchy rocker.

Winter the guitarist is a constant powerhouse who leaves fews spaces in his frequent solos. Delivering cluster after cluster of rapidly picked notes or soaring chords, he has developed a discernible, if not virtuoso style to replace the awkward pastices of Chuck Berry and BB King that flawed his early work. Interestingly Winter opts for less use of distortion than do most guitarists of this ilk.

Johnny Winter, his brother Edgar and Rick Derringer form an American rock triumvirate that knows little competition. John Dawson Winter III further refines the oldest’s progression from an overanxious white bluesman with a restrained voice into a tasteful and raunch rocker.

Winter the guitarist is a constant powerhouse who leaves few spaces in his frequent solos. Delivering cluster after cluster of rapidly picked notes or soaring chords, he has developed a discernible, if not virtuoso, style to replace the awkward pastiches of Chuck Berry and B.B. King that flawed his early work. Interestingly, Winter opts for less use of distortion than do most guitarists of this ilk.

He composes smartly. Knowing that even the simplest change can revitalize an otherwise staid 12-bar blues, Winter inserts a time-tested ascending chord sequence into the ninth and tenth bars of “Pick Up on My Mojo.” Yet he can also succeed with a haunting, gently sung “Stranger,” a pop piece reminiscent of Edgar.

But it’s never a one-man show. Randy Jo Hobbs’s bass combines treble tones with the mandatory bottom sound, and muscular drum rolls from Richard Hughes propel the meatier tracks which dominate the album. Wisely, Winter continues to borrow from other writers: Derringer, John Lennon and Allen Toussaint are all well represented. Shelly Yackus’s crisp production shows the proper measure of control.

John Dawson Winter III is not without flaws — his vocal on “Sweet Papa John,” a blues patterned after the earliest Muddy Waters sides, returns to the thin huskiness he has mostly mastered, and the horns on two cuts would have been best omitted. Still, Winter displays an unmistakable maturity that few rock artists achieve.

Once again the king of riffs turns up his amp and lets rip with volumes of violent, speedy guitar phrases, fronted by blues vocals. The pace is frenetic, the sound weighs tons and there’s a small gap on the 492nd groove where you can actually stop to breathe. Extremely white lightning.

Charles Shaar Murray:
My own personal fave is “Sweet Papa John”, a kind of country blues thing with multiple overdub lead guitar against a solitary bass drum.

JOHN DAWSON WINTER 11 (Blue Sky Sky 80586). Well the man’s back again with another album – the only time we really get to hear him apart from the old gig and his annual appearance on OGWT. You should know the format by now – hits it straight at you does our Johnny, no back door subtlety here. The second track, Golden Days of Rock and Roll sums up Johnny’s attitude ex actly, and sums up the album come to that John ny couldn’t woo a bulldog with that grinding voice of his, but perhaps he isn’t trying to, just to get it excited would be enough. M. T.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 12 November 1974 review of John Dawson Winter III

Johnny Winter ist zurück, und darüber darf man sich freuen. Der jetzt dreißigjährige Texaner erregte zuerst 1969 weltweites Aufsehen. und zwar zu-nächst nicht mit seiner Musik, sondern mit dem Vertrag, den eine Plattenfirma dem vom Fachmagazin “Rolling Stone” gelobten Newcomer anbot: 300 000 Dollar für einen unbekannten – solche Hypotheken auf eine völlig unsichere Zukunft hatte es bis dahin noch nicht gegeben.

Ganz abgesehen einmal davon, wie er nun sang und spielte, ließ sich im sensationslüsternen Pop-Business mit Johnny Winter allerdings schon einiges anfangen: Ein spindeldürrer Albino mit wehendem Strähnenhaar war bis-her noch nicht über die Rock-Bühnen getanzt – schon gar nicht mit so staksigen, verrückten Bewegungen. Daß er privat ein schüchterner, lieber Junge ohne alle Starallüren ist, sprach sich nicht herum. Seine Erfolge mit Platten und Auftritten bei Konzerten und Festivals (unter anderem Woodstock) wurden unterbrochen, als er drogensüchtig wurde.

Die fast zwangsläufig sich einstellende Entfremdung auf der (von Managern verfügten) Jagd nach Publicity sieht Winter heute als Grund dafür an (sich konnte mit niemandem mehr befreundet sein”). Zwei Jahre ‘verbrachte er in Entziehungsanstalten; 1973 nahm er wieder eine Platte auf; in der Bundesrepublik stellte er sich jetzt zum erstenmal nach seiner Gesundung wieder in zwei (ausverkauften) Konzerten vor. Johnny Winter kommt nun aber nicht mit dem Tragik-Image eines James Taylor, der Feuer und Regen” gesehen hat, sondern als lustvoller, über-schäumend vitaler Rock- und Bluesmusiker auf der Höhe seiner.

Kunst. Rockmusik macht Winter mit aanstekkender Fröhlichkeit und besonders guter Entfaltung der als Register eingesetzten Aufrauhung seiner Stimme. die Schreie musikalisieren kann, wie nur die besten schwarzen Sangen. In langsamen Bluesstücken ist sein Gesang nicht ganz so überzeugend: die Stimme wird beim Aushalten der Töne manch-mal etwas bruchig. Trotzdem ist der Bluts seine eigentliche Stärke – und zwar die des Gitarristen Johnny Winter. Wie er seine Improvisationen über dem unverwüstlichen Kadenzschema aufbaut, die Technik, die ihm dabei zu Gebote steht – das ist einmalig. Jeder einzelne Durchlauf der zwölftaktigen Harmonie-folge (Chorus) ist ein kleines in sich abgeschlossenes Kunstwerk, in dem schnellere Bewegungen als raffiniertes Steigerungsmittel eingesetzt werden.

Auch die Improvisation im Verlauf des ganzen Stücks ist durch gewisse Strukturentwicklungen noch als große Steigerung angelegt. Dazu kommt, daß er in Floyd Radford einen zweiten Gitarristen in der Gruppe hat, der im in nichts nachsteht. Wenn die beiden am Ende eines Stücks nach langen Soli in Duos mit gleichberechtigten Stimmen zusammen spielen und die vorher aufrechterhaltene Aufteilung in Melodie-und Akkordgitarre aufgeben, dann kommt eine mitreißende kreative Spontaneität ins Spiel, über der man alle Biues-Jam-Sessions etwa von Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper und Eric Clapton vergessen kann.

Johnny Winter, dessen Gitarrenkunst man als Substrat aus dem “feeling” von B. B King und der elektro-intensiven Technik von Jimi Hendrix bezeichnen kann (mit beiden hat er gespielt), ist zum Blues nicht durch intellektuelle Reflektion gekommen, sondern durch eine Jugend, in der es nicht gerade sonnig zuging. Auch wenn er keine Existenzsorgen hatte – sein Vater ist Baumwollplantagenbesitzer – war er doch mit seinem Augenfehler und seinem Außenseiter-Aussehen stets die Zielscheibe von Spott und Hänseleien.

Er konnte keinen Sport treiben, wurde mit weiblichen Kosenamen an-geredet und mußte in der Schule isoliert in kurzem Abstand vor der Wand-tafel sitzen, um seine Fastblindheit (häufige Nebenerscheinung des Albinismus) auszugleichen. Musik als Kompensation – Johnny Winter weiß selbst, dass diese Psychologie-Schablone auf ihn paßt. Die Identifizierung mit den gesellschaftlich unterprivilegierten schwarzen Schoepfern des Blues konnte ihm nicht schwerfallen.

Ein Kritiker drückte es so aus: “Vielleicht hat es die Entfremdung, die sich ‘daraus er-gab, doppelt weiß gehoren zu sein, bewirkt, daß er schwarz aufwuchs”. ULRICH OLSHAUSEN

Johnny Winter
CBS 80 586
Von Jogi

Es ist vierzig Grad unter Null, der Schnee liegt bis in Höhe des fensterkreuzes. In der Ferne heult schaurig ein Wolf, die Schlittenhunde bellen angstlich und zerren an ihren Leinen. Grossmütterchen sitzt vor dem groben Kachelofen und paßt auf, daß die Bratäpfel nicht anbrennen. — Winter also, aber irgendetwas fehlt.

Doch da klingelt’s, halberfroren lehnt unser alter Briefträger in der Tür und überreicht mir mit zitternden Fingern ein Plattenpäckchen. — Juhu, Winter! John Dawson Winter, genauer gesagt. Der Dritte, wohlgemerkt. Und als ob das noch nicht genügen würde. hat er sich zur Feier des Plattencovers in einen Smoking gestürzt und schielt über einer Samtschleife keck in die Gegend. Mensch, Johnny, wie haste Dir verändert.

Doch legt man dann die Platte auf, ist er trotz aller Mimikry immer noch das alte Rock’n’Roll/ Blues-Urviech, das so schön gequält schreien und so ohrenbetäubend die Gitarre malträtieren kann. Diesmal scheint er’s besonders stark mit dem Rock’n’Roll zu haben: Die LP beginnt mit John Lennons „Rock’n’Roll People”. Johnny, resp. John Dawson III, kräht heiser sein „Sweet, sweet Rock’n’Roll”, läßt ein Marathon-Solo vom Stapel und schon sind wir plötzlich hei den „Golden Olden Days Of Rock’n’Roll”. Ei-ne saubere Nummer, die man schön laut spielen muß, damit die Chormäuse und die Bläser (u.a. die Gebrüder Brecker) auch voll zur Geltung kommen.

Zum nun folgenden „Seif-Destructive Blues” fällt mir nicht viel ein, und wenn ich sage „Blues a la Winter”, dann weiß meines Erachtens nach jeder. wie’s sich anhört. „Raised On Rock” ist da schon interessanter. Zu einem alten Deep Purple-Riff dröhnt Johnny davon, wie schön es ist, mit Rock’« Roll groß zu werden. Na ja, er verdient ja schließlich auch seine Kohlen mit der Musik und nicht schlecht. (Neidisch Jogi, Alter? )
Bei „Stranger” hat Old Johnny wieder den Blues. Aber der hier klingt interessanter, denn er spielt seine Gitarre wohl über einen Leslie. Das sirrt und schwirrt ganz schön und kriegt durch Streicheruntermalung den letzten Schliff.

So und nun schnell zur Seite zwei. Auftakt macht „Mind Over Matter”, eine funky’ Nummer von Allen Toussaint. Danach ist mit „Roll With Me” Winter-Sidekick Rick Derringer dran. Ein simples Rock-stückchen, aber mit Pep. Mein Favorit ist Johnnys nun folgender „Love Song To Me”. So frech hat das noch keiner gebracht. Zu einer flotten Country-Weise (Rick Derringer, Pedal Steel) singt Johnny unverfroren: Keep on rockin’ and a rollin’ don’t you never settle down keep my records playin’ all the time spend your money on my concerts everytime I come to town and baby you can be a friend of minne. Tja Baby, so einfach ist das, und so link, und so wahr, und so ehrlich, und so verlogen.. . Kommen wir zum Schluß: „Pick Up On My Mojo”, ein Blues a la Winter. Siehe oben. Dann, „Lay Down Your Sorrows”, eine Ballade mit Bruder Edgar an der Orgel, Bläsersätzen und den obligatorischen Chormäusen. Den Abschluß macht „Sweet Papa John”, ein Exkurs in Slidegitarren-Technik.

Mit Sweet Papa John meint Johnny sich selbst und wenn er singt: „They call me sweet papa cause my candy is so strong. Eat it!”, dann wissen wohl alle Damen, sollten sie Johnny mal treffen, woran sie sind, oder? Ansonsten frohes Uberwintern mit Winter!

JOHNNY WINTER «John Dawson Winter III» (CBS 80 586) Blues-Gitarrist Johnny Winter und seine Begleiter Randy Jo Hobbs (Bass) und Richard Hughes (Schlagzeug) steilen elf neue LP-Tracks vor – darunter fünf Winter-Kompositio- nen, John Lennons «Rock & Roll People» und «Roll With Me» von Ex-Winter-Bandmitglied Rick Derringer.

Neben Rick war auch Johnnys Bruder Edgar bei den Plattenaufnahmen mit von der Studio-Partie. Dabei entstand wieder ein weisser Winter-Blues im Kraftfeld zwischen Rock-Rhythmus und gefühlsbetonten Texten. Johnny Winter entwickelt einen mitreissenden Blues-Rock – ganz ohne grossangelegte Arrangements oder komplizierte technische Effekte.

Elf Stücke mit dynamischem Zusammen-spiel von Gitarre, Gesang und Bass in meist zügigem Rhythmus. Gegen Ende der ersten LP-Seite kommt Johnnys Leidenschaft gleich bei drei aufeinanderfolgenden Stücken zum Ausdruck: Lange, schwungvolle Gitarrenfiguren von starker Intensität.

Rrrrock’n’R000ll!! Johnny-Boy, der unverwüstliche Gitarren-Albino, hat mal wieder gar nicht schlecht zugeschlagen mit diesem Album. Wenn man mal von der Gänsehaut absieht, die sei-ne Gitarren-Solis noch immer hervorzaubert, ist es vor allem Johnny’s tierische Stimme, die für den Winter-Sound massgeblich verantwortlich ist.

Ansonsten gibt’s auf dieser LP beinahe nichts weiter als guten alten Rock. Guter… – wohlgemerkt! Dass John Lennon den Titel “Rock’n’Roll People” geschrieben hat, berichteten wir bereits in der vorigen ME-Ausgabe. Und wenn Mr. Winter meint, dass dies sein bisher gelungenstes Album sei, dann kann ich ihm da auch eigentlich nicht wider-sprechen.

Verstehen kann ich nur nicht, warum auf so eine: Platte ausgerechnet noch ‘ne Country & Western-Nummer (“Love Song To Me”) drauf sein muss. Für Amerika ist das ja vielleicht noch ein Gag… aber für Europa – ich weiss nicht. (***) (lutz)

Amerikanischer Sänger und Gitarrist. Singt im Blues-Rock-Stil. Geboren am 23. 2. 1944 in Beaumont (Texas). Wurde entdeckt durch einen Artikel in der amerikanischen Rockzeitschrift “Rolling Stone” 1968. Der New Yorker Clubbesitzer Steve Paul nahm ihn unter Vertrag und brachte ihn zu einer Plattenfirma. 1969 erschien seine erste LP “Johnny Winter”. Er trat beim Woodstock-Festival auf, spielte mit Jimi Hendrix und Janis Joplin und wurde so innerhalb eines Jahres Amerikas meistgelobter weißer Blues-Gitarrist.

1971 engagierte er für seine Gruppe die ehemalige Teenbeat- Band McCoys mit Sänger und Gitarrist Rick Derringer, Bassist Randy Hobbs und Schlagzeuger Randy Z. Bis 1974 war Rick Derringer der wichtigste Mann für Johnny. Er komponierte die meisten Songs und produzierte sämtliche Platten. 1974 übernahm er diesen Job als festes Gruppenmitglied bei Johnnys jüngerem Bruder Edgar.

Seitdem spielt Johnny Winters Gruppe in dieser Besetzung: Bassist Randy Hobby (geb. 22. 3. 1948 in Winchester), Schlagzeuger Richard Hughes (geb. 31. 3. 1950 in Trenton) und Gitarrist Floyd Radford (geb. 1. B. 1951 in Atlanta). Neueste LP: ,.John Dawson Winter 1l1′. Autogrammadresse: Office of Press and Public Information, 51 West 52nd Street, New York 10 019, USA

JOHNNY. WINTER: JOHN DAWSON WINTER III (Blue Sky Sky 80586). Well the man’s back again with another album — the only time we really get to hear him apart from the old gig and his annual appearance on OGWT. You should know the format by now — hits it straight at you does our Johnny, no back door subtlety here. The second track, “Golden Days of Rock and Roll” sums up Johnny’ attitude exactly, and sums up the album come to that. Johnny couldn’t woo a bulldog with that grinding voice of his, but perhaps he isn’t trying to, just to get it excited would be enough. M. T.

Johnny Winter – HOT


One of the first, if not the first unofficial Johnny Winter albums. Recorded 1 Aug 1969 at the Hollywood Bowl.

Pig’s Eye 5

This recording as “Hot Winter” is also on available on: TMOQ 73027 and Trademark of Quality #1886 (1969)

Fair recording quality

Includes a loose-leaf cover page showing a Johnny Winter with Firebird ( The picture was probable from the Still Alive and Well phase and from the Midnight Special show, judging by the sequinned outfit) biting the left breast (and his hand somewhere else then the guitar) of Susan Winter as percussionist/backing singer!


  • Johnny Winter – Guitar, Vocals
  • Edgar Winter – Keyboards
  • Tommy Shannon – Bass
  • John Turner – Drums

Side 1

  • Help me
  • Leland Mississipi Blues
  • Mean Town Blues

Side 2

  • It’s my own Fault
  • I hate Everybody
  • Tell the truth
  • What I Say

Johnny Winter – The Progressive Blues Experiment


Johnny Winter mirrored on the back of National Steel Guitar

Most Johnny Winter Fans consider “The Progressive Blues Experiment” one of Johnny Winter’s best albums if not the best.

Originally “The Progressive Blues Experiment” was recorded on the Sonobeat label during October 1968 and the rights were obtained by Imperial which released the album in March 1969, just before Johnny released his self-titled (aka Black Album) in April 1969.

In 1968, Johnny began playing in a trio with bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Uncle John Turner. Their shows at Austin’s Vulcan Gas Company and Houston’s Love Street Light Circus, attracted the attention of a writer for Rolling Stone magazine, who had been writing an article about the Texas hippie scene. The author devoted three paragraphs to Johnny, whom he referred to as “the hottest item outside of Janis Joplin”. The article brought nation wide attention to the album “The Progressive Blues Experiment”, a collection of songs that Johnny’s trio had recorded live at the Vulcan Gas Company, which was quickly picked up for national release by Imperial.

Johnny Winter had grown up in Beaumont, Texas, and recorded many records for local labels in the early ’60s, but real success had eluded him. In 1968 he decided to try the blossoming hippie scene in Austin with at a hard-driving blues/rock band called simply “Winter”, Tommy Shannon and John Turner supplied the backing and the group played many shows around town. Bill Josey heard of this terrific band and in checking with Johnny found he was free of contracts. Josey immediately signed him to a short term deal and recorded several tracks at the Vulcan Gas Co..

A single was released, #197 “Mean Town Blues/Rollin’ N’ Tumblin'”, but other people were amazed by this incredible guitar player and the Johnny Winter publicity campaign started rolling. Rolling Stone did a story on Texas that featured Johnny (Larry Sepulvado of Mother Magazine wrote quite a bit of that Texas issue for R.S.). Steve Paul, of NYC, got interested and put Winter under an exclusive management contract, then the record company bidding began. Meanwhile Sonobeat pressed up a couple hundred demo LPs of “Winter” and passed them around.

Some were sold through local stores and the mail, but it was a simple white jacket advance album designed to stir up record company interest. After the dust had settled, Johnny was with Columbia and the Sonobeat LP had been bought by United Artists. It was issued on Imperial as “The Progressive Blues Experiment” and several years later reissued on UA as “Johnny Winter — Austin, Texas”

The Progressive Blues Experiment (PBE) and related albums/recordings

Sunset 50 264 (UK)
Sunset 50 301 (France)
Sonobeat RS-1002 Progressive Blues Experiment: advance copy of the LP Release (very rare)
Toshiba LP-8706 White Label Promo of the Progressive Blues Experiment . Test pressing in black vinyl
Toshiba LP-8706 This is a rare release of the Progressive Blues Experiment in Japan on Red Vinyl.
MACH 7 DMM Direct Metal Mastering version, Rock Machine Johnny Winter with Fender Mustang on the front cover of: Progressive Blues Experiment from England.
TOCP-7069 Johnny Winter Austin Texas
Liner noted by: Lester Bange – CREEM Magazine
Album cover photography by Robert Failla, Rainbow

Johnny Winter – And Live album


“Johnny Winter AND Live” is Johnny’s first Live album and was recorded at the Fillmore East on 3 October 1970 and is reviewed in the Billboard Magazine on 13 March 1971 , Page 57 and enters the Billboard charts in position 114.


  • Johnny Winter – Guitar, Vocals
  • Rick Derringer – vocals, guitar
  • Randy Jo Hobbs – bass
  • Bobby Caldwell – drums
Album cover of Johnny Winter And – Live

Producers: Johnny Winter, Rick Derringer

Recorded live at: Bill Graham’s Fillmore East, Pirate’s World – Dania Florida

This album was first released on vinyl LP, due to the audio length constraints of the LP, several of the had to be cut. Today these unedited tracks of Johnny Winter’s performance including the guitar solos performed by Rick Derringer are available Youtube. 

A different version with longer duration of a couple of songs has been released as: “Johnny Winter – Live at the Fillmore East”

CBS Germany Press Release

Es gibt Tausende von Johnny Winter-Fans in unserem Land. Sie alle warten, nach der etwas mißglückten Tournee Anfang Februar dieses Jahres, mit Ungeduld auf seine neue LP. Hier ist sie, und sie wird diejenigen entschädigen, die bei seinen Konzerten nicht ganz auf ihre Kosten kamen. Es sind Live-Aufnahmen aus dem Fillmore East und aus dem Club Pirate’s World in Florida. “Johnny Winter And” hat folgende besetzung: Johnny Winter und Rick Derringer, Gesang und Gitarren – Randy Jo Hobbs, Gesang und bass – Caldwell, Schlagzeug. Denen, die noch nicht mit Johnny Winters Lebenslauf vertraut sind, möge die Kurz-Charakteristik nützlich sein, die Ulrich Olshausen in der Frankfurter Allgemeinen veröffentlichte:

Winters Karriere hat manche Ähnlichkeit mit der von Janis Joplin. Auch er stammt aus gesicherten Verhältnissen in Texas, brach ein kurzes College-Studium ab, um als Musiker “on the road” zu gehen, und sang in Bars und Clubs, “was immer die Betrunkenen hören wollten”. Wie Janis, gehört er zu den großen weißen Elues-Sängern, die genug Persönlichkeit besitzen, aus dem Blues etwas verwegen Neues zu machen, ohne die Vorbilder und das Genre zu verleugnen. Nach seinem Artikel in der Zeitschrift Rolling Stone”, der sich auch mit dem Aussehen des markanten, seidenmähnigen Albinos befasste, baute sich um Winter die Aura eines neuen Superstars auf .

Die Plattenfirma, die ihn nach einem erfolgreichen Konzert im Fillmore East in New York zum Vertragsab-schluß angelte, muß den höchsten Vorschuß bezahlen, der je für einen Debütanten ausgegeben wurde.

Jazz Podium July 1971 (Germany)

Ist der schwarze Blues etwas anderes geworden, seit es den weißen Blues gibt? Who’s got a right to sing the biues? Jeder weiße Bluesmann wird seine Gitarre hinlegen, wenn – sagen wir – T-Bone Walker anmarschiert, Janis Joplin legte einen Kranz nieder an Bessie Smiths Grab, einige Zeit vor ihrer Uberdosis. Sind die Bluespioniere also anerkannt? Sind sie die “gutbezahlten Stars”? Nein. American Folk Blues stirbt, und nicht umsonst: “Thank you … I have the Blues a lang time …

I have many Blues .., right now I have the type of Blues to make you feel kinda happy and gay”, sagt Willie Dixon in der Jahrhunderthalle. Die Blues-Baß-Runden, die er gegen Champion Jack Dupree boxt – besonders in “School Day” – sind neben Jacks Gesang und Piano – sein fast romantisches Klavier auf “Sittin and Cryin”‘ – das Größte des Abends. Und der weiße Blues? Hier kommt er: Johnny Winter, der große Farblose des Blues, ganz und gar blaß und ausgelaugt, wie man sich das weiße Amerika vorstellt. Trifft das zu? Wenn dieses Bild unseres Verbündeten stimmt, dann tut’s auch Johnny Winters Blues.

Wollen wir es annehmen, allein schon weil es ihn auf CBS-Records gibt! Texas hat sich den Winter redlich verdient. Die Musik: da erinnert vieles an Haley und Elvis, ich meine “Gefühls”-mäßig, nur ist Winter cooler: wie sensibel werden die Rock ‘n’Roller 1990 sein? .lt’s My Own Fault” ist das stärkste der hier versammelten musikalischen Selbstbekenntnisse. Das Publikum hat auf beiden Festen etwas zu Pfeifen und Grbhien. Günter Buhles

New Musical Express 15-Jul-1972:

The band (And) were miraculous live. The sight of taill, spectral milk white Winter bounding across the stage to tower over the dark, stocky little Derringer, defiantly blowing hot licks and slick tricks right back at him, is one of the definitive images of the rock and roll concertm and the beautiful blistering sound track of those gigs can be heard on: Johnny Winter And Live.  For my money Johnny Winter is the finest working white blues guitarist (an outrageous claim but not indefensible.


ME/SOUNDS 9/93: *

Without doubt a true live classic. Recorded in 1971, mainly at the legendary Fillmore East, the Texan bluesrock albino presents himself from his best side. Tender and bitter blues stands against tough rock ‘n’ roll remakes like “Great Balls Of Fire”, “Long Tall Sally” or “Johnny B. Goode”. Despite occasional disharmonies the virtuose guitar fights between Winter and Rick Derringer seek for ones of same birth. In intensity, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” is far beyond the Rolling Stones original recording.

It opens up with a knock-down, drag-out drum explosion from the unsubtle but muscular Bobby Caldwell, leading into a death-before-dishonour rock and roll version of “Good morning little schoolgirl”.
It is followed by a gorgeous version of John Lee Hooker’s “It’s my own fault” with one of the most stunning guitar solo’s ever heard.

Review: Daniel Larsen

Johnny Winter and Live: Wow!!! What a hell of a live performance!! Johnny’s slide and lead playing on his gem really pushes Rick Derringer to have to play his ass off! From the opening track of “Good Morning little School Girl”, you these guys mean serious business up on the stage, at that time! Their version of Jumpin’ Jack Flash” makes me forget who really wrote this song (nothing personal Mick and Keith). They tend to take this classic to the next level, which most artist can’t even come close to doing in their lifetime! The first track on side two, Rock and Roll Melody: Great Balls of Fire, Long Tall Sally, into A Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On is nothing to be reckon’ with! Again Johnny has Rick pushed to a blistering edge, when he does his solo on “Great Balls of Fire”!!! Also what’s amazing is all the lushful playing Johnny does behind Rick to really compliment his! The whole band brings the end of this amazing R&R Melody to a “full tilt peak” at the end of “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On”!!! You can really hear the crowd’s response to this classic performance afterwards as well (Damn!! I wish I was there!!)!

“Mean Town Blues” is quite a follow up to the R&R Melody, you talk about Johnny’s blues playing and singing, it’s all there in this track. I once heard Buddy Guy mentioned he was the blues, well nothing personal Buddy, but I think Johnny deserves that under his belt! To me, Johnny is “truly the blues”! Why? He’s really lived a hard blues life, plays and sings it like he’s going to die the next moment, and is presently in a state of very ill health and condition, while all these other cats like Buddy Guy and BB King are reaping their rewards of digging in dirt to finally enjoy their gold mine they currently have and are well enjoying. Ok, enough of the side line talk, and I want to finish up with the last track “Johnny B. Goode”, a great track and performance to end this classic live album with! The only thing I have to say is, I wish it was a double album with more juicy songs from the tour they did that year!!!

A showcase of the high energy and versatility that help propel him to a short lived ride at the top, “Johnny Winter Live” has to go down as one of the classic ‘live’ rock albums. From the frenzied pace of “Good Morning Lil’ Schoolgirl” to one of the finest live blues cut ever in “Its My Own Fault” Johnny shows a talent that one must be born with; one that can’t be ‘learned’. Johnny’s versions of Chuck Berrys classic “Johnny B Goode” and the Rolling Stones “Jumpin Jack Flash” still brings out the goose-bumps after 25+ yrs. If you never buys another Johnny Winter album, thats fine…just don’t leave “Johnny Winter Live” out of your rock collection!

If you like hot electric blues and great rock and roll by a dual lead guitar band, it doesn’t get any better than this classic live album. Johnny and Rick compliment each other better than any other two lead guitarists that I’ve heard. They really play together, and you can just about feel the electricity between them. The album kicks off with Good Morning Little Schoolgirl. It’s a blues standard, and Johnny cranks up the heat on this rockin’ version. Next up is a lengthy (but worth every minute) version of the slow blues number It’s My Own Fault. Johnny does a fiery solo, followed by a subdued solo by Rick. (I think he did it that way for a contrast.)

The Stones’ Jumpin’ Jack Flash is given the Johnny treatment, and rocks hard. Number 4 is the Rock & Roll Medley, which is Rick’s showcase. He covers Great Balls of Fire, Long Tall Sally, and Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On all within one tune, with split-second tempo changes. I’m sure the place really was shakin’! Johnny’s Mean Town Blues is next, done at hyperspeed when compared to the studio version. In this one he features his slide guitar expertise.

The album closer is Johnny B. Goode, which is the perfect song for Johnny Winter. When he belts out “Rock and Rolllll” you know what’s coming! I was fortunate enough to see this band live in Chicago in 1970, and it was one of the best concerts that I can recall. Johnny and the band were much better than Goode, as this CD shows.

Johnny Winter And: Live (Columbia 30475, 1971)-If Jimi Hendrix is the definitive interpreter of Bob Dylan (“All Along the Watch Tower,” “Like A Rolling Stone”), then Johnny Winter is the definitive interpreter of the Rolling Stones. “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” is as final a statement in Rock Music as can be hoped for. Add a corrosive “Johnny B. Goode” to the mix and the listener is transported to some Hard Rock Nirvana where Britney Spears and N’Cync are no where to be found. Oh, did I mention Winter could sing the blues?

A promotional advertisement for Johnny Winter AND Live album as published in Billboard Magazine

A transcript of this ad: People stomp their feet, clap their hands and shout their heads off on Johnny Winter’s new live album with an intensity you won’t hear on other live albums. And with good reason: Johnny Winter And’s performance on those nights was some of the rockin’est music ever played. The ambience and feeling of the record-ings are also remarkable. You can feel the warmness and energy of Winter’s music as soon as the record starts playing. A good many people who think they know what Johnny Winter sounds like are going to be surprised by this album. Of course we think the biggest response to his live performance will just be a couple of words. Like:”Hey Mister, you got the new Johnny Winter album?

The Dutch newspaper “De Telegraaf” reviews Johnny Winter AND Live and Edgar Winter’s White Thrash

Transcript of this newspaper article

Van het Albino-front valt redelijk nieuws te melden. Johnny Winter en Edgar Winter zijn na een lange periode van gezamenlijk optrekken uit elkaar gegaan en zij hebben beiden een nieuwe groep ge-ormeerd. Dat zat er al lang dik in, want de muzikale ideeën van Johnny en Edgar liepen van meet af aan nogal uiteen. Toch heeft Edgar Winter vriJohnny Winterel alles aan broer Johnny te danken. In zijn kielzog koerste hij naarstig mee naar wereldroem en hij was ook niet vies van ‘t storm-achtige onthaal dat Johnny Winter overal werd toebedeeld.

Het verschil zat ‘m voornamelijk hierin: Johnny is de pure bluesknakker gebleven, Edgar wilde kennelijk meer. Deze weken zijn er twee LP’s uitgekomen van de gebroeders – met-de-witste-haar-dos, “White Trash” van Edgar en “Johnny Winter And” van Johnny, die naast een even spierwitte hoofdtooi nog over een ontstellend schele blik beschikt. In 1968 werd er over Johnny in Rolling Stone geschreven en dat was de aanleiding tot een session met Mike Bloomfield en Al Kooper. Die session werd aangevuld met enkele goeie jongens van Fleetwood Mac. Johnny’s naam was gemaakt en hij speelde met Jimi Hendrix, Steve Stills en andere muzikanten van wereldklasse.

Nu de beide albinootjes tegelijkertijd een LP hebben uitgebracht, waarop de broertjes elkaar niet zo overduidelijk beïnvloeden (Johnny speelt slechts één nummer “I’ve got news for you” mee op Edgar’s “White Trash”), slaat Popscore’s voorkeur toch naar Johnny Winter door. Johnny is de echte, rauwe, pure jemigen gebleven, de gi-gantische stamper die je met zijn muziek volkomen door elkaar schudt. Wat ons betreft mag hij echter nu “Johnny B. Goode” en “Jumping Jack Flash” wel eens van zijn platen weglaten, want nu kennen we het wel. Maar zo’n rock’n roll-medley (met Great Balls of Fire, Long tall Sally en Whole lotta shakin’ on) gaat er altijd wel in.

Het beste nummer — met uitstekende gitaarsolo’s (van Johnny zelf en sologitarist Rick Derringer) —is zonder twijfel het “It’s my own fault”. Broer Edgar zoekt het een beetje op de soultoer: achter-grondstemmetjes, een boel blazers, die erg veel naar Chicago en Blood, Sweat & Tears luisteren, waardoor zijn muziek niet zo levensecht aan-doet. “Fly away” bij voorbeeld is een zeer geciviliseerd nummertje dat — wat ons betreft — door Blue Mink gezongen had kunnen worden. (Er zit wel een Janice Bell bij de stemmen; misschien een zuster van Madeline). “Save the planet” heeft veel weg van een spiritual van een paar opgejaagde Edwin Hawkins-singers en daar zaten we echt niet op te wachten.

Wel erg goed is “Playing that rock ‘n roll” en het gaaf-gezongen “Dying to live”. Van de beide CBS-LP’s gaat de voorkeur toch maar weer naar Johnny en dat zal de pas-opgerichte fanclub (Johnny Winter Society, Wittenstraat 159, Amsterdam t.a.v. Peter Nonneman) wel plezier doen.

Rick Derringer – Guitar



, ,

In June 1970 Rick Derringer abondened the McCoys to join Johnny Winter’s new band “Johnny Winter And” as a second lead guitarist.

Rick Derringer All American Boy

Rick Derringer Trivia

Rick Derringer started life as Rick Zerringer…. born and rasied in Union City, IN/OH…. same hometown and high school as Curtis Enis. Along with his brother Randy + Dennis Kelly + Randy __ (I have forgotten his last name at this moment) were the members of the McCoys. They played every little event you could imagine in 1963-64-65… while they were still in high school. 1965 was the year of HANG ON SLOOPY I believe…. Dennis Kelly dated my sister for a while… and various folks from our hometown (Greenville, OH – 12 miles from Union CIty) often hung out with Zerringers and their friends.

Neither my sister or I have any recollection of Rick dating anyone named SLOOPY…. or even dating much…. he was actually a pretty shy kid when the band wasn’t on stage. The McCoys were really formed and nutured and pushed like hell by a “stage mother” who drug them all over western Ohio and eastern Indiana to get them exposure and stage time. Randy Zerringer dated a girl from Winchester, Indiana (10 miles west of Union City) who was from a very wealthy family…. and everyone called her SNOOTY…. to her face…. in a nice way… cause she really wasn’t… but her parents were…. and her parents really hated it when the McCoys became successful . Randy later produced “offspring” with SNOOTY…. not sure if they ever married. That’s all I/we remember on this issue. Jerry R. Lease

Rick Derringer and Rock’N’Roll Hoochie koo 

Bruce comments on Rock and Roll Hoochie Coo

My impression – as a fan, outside the loop – is that Johnny doesn’t particularly care for ‘Coo. This is based on the following:

  • The song was written by Rick. Johnny collaborated with Rick from about 1971 (And, And Live, “Still Alive and Well”, “Saint and Sinners”) to 1975 (JDWIII), and played with Rick and Edgar collectively in 1976 (Together), but he hasn’t done much with him since then, despite Rick’s genial and persistent efforts to do so (releasing blues CDs, retaining Teddy to manage him, touring together – but NOT playing together, working with Edgar on a regular basis, covering Mean Town Blues, etc.). In a recent interview, Johnny Winter was asked how Rick was doing and he responded by noting that he doesn’t keep up with Rick. All this indicates a professional association cooled for some time.
  • The song was contemporary rock and roll, not blues. Johnny hasn’t done much straight ahead non-oldie rock and roll songs in some time, the last effort at mainstream music being Winter of ’88, with the last real rock and roll album being Raisin’ Cain (1980).
  • The song appeared on only one studio album by Johnny Winter (And). Despite inclusion on Edgar Winter’s Roadwork, it was not included in any live album released in the seventies (And Live, Captured Live, or Together).
  • The song was a huge radio hit, and became identified as the signature song, of Rick, a few years later. It did receive airplay on FM between 1971 and 1973, and to a much lesser extent after Rick’s version was released.
  • The song was not included in any “best of” compilation by CBS/Columbia/Blue Sky until the CD era, with Rock and Roll Collection (after Johnny was no longer under contract). CBS/Columbia albums omitting ‘Coo include the Johnny Winter Anthology (which, ironically, included the otherwise unreleased flip side of the ‘Coo single, 20th Century Man”).
  • Johnny did not play ‘Coo in concert when I saw him in 1975, 1980, 1981, 1989, Recent info from list members indicate that my experience may be limited, with bootleg and video performances confirming that he has played it live over the years.

“Hang on sloopy”

HANG ON SLOOPY was written by Bert Russell and Wes Farrell. The June 1996 issue of the Ohio State Alumni Magazine had a story about the song.

The origins of Hang on Sloopy. There apparently was a woman named Betty Sloop that frequented a tavern in New Orleans where some band (not the McCoys) played regularly, and the band wrote the song in her honor. She became a nurse or something and lived in Florida. I think the NPR thing was in commemoration of her death. The song itself is pretty unremarkable – but it persevered through about 5 different recorded versions before the McCoys covered it.

A Photo of Rick Derringer in recent years, probable 2009

Rick Derringer’s All American Boy and Spring Fever remastered

Rick Derringer’s (born: Richard Zehringer 5-Aug-1947) first solo albums “All American Boy” and “Spring Fever” have been remastered and rereleased on a single CD

The biography of Rick Derringer

Rick Derringer first gained popularity with his band, The McCoys, and their chart topping hit record, “HANG ON SLOOPY”, at 16 years of age in the summer of 1965. Immediately following the demise of The McCoys in 1969, Rick merged his talents with albino blues rocker, Johnny Winter forming “JOHNNY WINTER AND” (the “AND” referring to The McCoys). It was the beginning of a long association with both Winter brothers as singer, player, songwriter, and producer (he’s produced every Gold or Platinum recording that they’ve made). In 1971 Rick was featured on 3 of the brothers’ records including “JOHNNY WINTER AND – LIVE” and “EDGAR WINTER’S WHITE TRASH” … “AND – LIVE” included the second recording of Derringer’s song “ROCK AND ROLL HOOCHIE KOO” which was first released as a single from “JOHNNY WINTER AND”. The following year, the busy Derringer joined full-time and also produced their Gold LP, “ROADWORK”.

Derringer’s first solo album, “ALL AMERICAN BOY” was released in 1973 and included his rendition of the already famous “ROCK AND ROLL HOOCHIE KOO”. In the same year Rick was again included as guitarist/writer and producer of Johnny Winter’s “STILL ALIVE AND WELL”, and as player/producer of Edgar’s biggest hit album, “THEY ONLY COME OUT AT NIGHT”, the latter featuring the number one, GRAMMY nominated monster hit “FRANKENSTEIN”. Several more albums resulted in the 70’s until, in 1976, Derringer decided to go solo with the “DERRINGER BAND”, which included throughout several incarnations, then unknown musicians Neil Geraldo and Myron Grumbacher, who went ahead to become famous with Pat Benatar. Rick released four albums before disbanding in 1983, the year he made his last solo LP of that era, “GOOD DIRTY FUN”.

During the 70’s Derringer could also be found guesting on various albums with the likes of Alice Cooper, Richie Havens, Todd Rundgren, and Steely Dan among others. With the end of his solo project, he threw himself into working on a variety of recording sessions as guitarist/producer and songwriter. He worked with artists such as Cyndi Lauper, Barbra Streisand, Mason Ruffner, Kiss, and Madam X – just to name a few! It was in this period that he discovered the talent and produced the first five albums for funnyman, Wierd Al Yankovic. It was from these albums that Rick was to win his first GRAMMY for “THE BEST COMEDY ALBUM”, Wierd Al’s “IN 3-D” which included the Michael Jackson parody, “EAT IT”. Wierd Al and Rick went on to win their second GRAMMY for “THE BEST VIDEO” with Al’s second Jackson parody “WHO’S FAT”. It was through his work with Cyndi Lauper and Wierd Al Yancovic that Rick was selected as producer and songwriter (“I AM A REAL AMERICAN”) for the WWF (World Wrestling Federation). He also designed a guitar for BC RICH handmade guitars called the STEALTH, and later returned to work with his old friend Edgar Winter in 1990 for the LP, “EDGAR WINTER AND RICK DERRINGER LIVE IN JAPAN”.

“BACK TO THE BLUES”, a solo album recorded for the Shrapnel, BLUES BUREAU INTERNATIONAL label in 1993, marks Derringer’s triumphant return to what he does best, hard edged blues. His newest release, “ELECTRA BLUES” stays true to the blues tradition and runs the gamut from grinding slow blues to steaming shuffles with an intensity and prowess that reveals his roots and shows how far he’s come throughout the years. Poised for success, the future is looking better than ever for Derringer. His next CD called “TEND THE FIRE” is already out in Europe and receiving rave reviews. Derringer says , “this might be the best music I’ve ever recorded,” and this might be the time when a world-wide audience that’s always been there, could finally help him achieve the ultimate success that he has, for so long, deserved.

Rick Derringer on Johnny Winter during an interview with Tom Guerra:

Guitar great Rick Derringer talks candidly to Tom Guerra for Vintage Guitar magazine about his days performing as a bandmate of Johnny Winter in “Johnny Winter AND,” and producing some of Winter’s most popular albums. Look for a new book on Derringer and other 70’s rock guitarists, due to hit the stores in late 2001.

TG: Hi Rick, great to talk to you again. When did you first become aware of Johnny Winter?

RD: It was through Steve Paul, (owner of The Scene nightclub in NYC). Steve had read that now-famous Rolling Stone article (on Johnny Winter) and had mentioned to everybody that he was going to go and find the guy, and sure enough, he found Johnny and brought him back to New York. The first time I saw Johnny play was at the Fillmore East, and I think it was in 1968. I didn’t meet Johnny that night, but did a few months later when Steve brought both Johnny and Edgar to see The McCoys at a club called The Tarot Club.

TG: How was it decided that The McCoys become the AND in Johnny Winter AND?

RD: Well, both Johnny and Edgar were sufficiently impressed when they saw The McCoys that night, and that’s when Steve hit us with the idea that both Johnny and The McCoys should do something together. The McCoys were in a bad situation… our music had become characterized as “bubblegum” and we didn’t want to be seen like that. We wanted a way to gain some credibility since we thought we were pretty good players. Johnny came on the scene with some real respect, so we looked at this as an opportunity to get what we were looking for, some respect ourselves (laughs)!

TG: Johnny Winter said your playing complemented his and he enjoyed playing with you. How did you guys figure out who was going to play what?

RD: We didn’t, and that’s why it worked. I’ve always been a guy who’s pretty supportive, its just my nature, so I came in to the situation with the attitude that I wanted to support Johnny and make it work. I was the kind of guitar player who had grown up when electric guitar playing was still in its infancy, so I first learned how to play rhythm. This allowed me to be very supportive of Johnny, who was and is known primarily as a lead guitar player, and frankly, is not a rhythm guitar player. So our roles became very defined very easily because of the nature of our styles. I took the rhythm place, which a lot of people didn’t know how to do the way I could, and this was really the first time that Johnny had a rhythm guitar player. On the other hand, when he gave me a solo, I certainly knew how to take advantage of that opportunity.

TG: When you played with Johnny, what were you guys playing for guitars and amps?

RD: I was playing mostly my Les Paul and my Gibson 355. Johnny was mostly playing his Epiphone in those days, that little solid body model. For amps, we both were playing through Marshalls.

TG: You produced several of Johnny’s best albums, including “Johnny Winter AND”, “Johnny Winter AND Live”, “Still Alive and Well”, “Saints and Sinners”, “JDWIII” …What was working in the studio w/ Johnny like?

RD: I produced all of his stuff that was either gold or platinum (laughs)! Johnny was great in the studio; he was there to make the music that he wanted to make. We lived right beside each other and had a rehearsal studio that was just ours, with nobody else using it, it was part of Johnny’s house, so we could rehearse every day. We played all of the songs on the first Johnny Winter AND every day before we recorded them, so that when we got in the studio, it was totally easy, as we knew exactly what we wanted to do. My job at that time was to communicate Johnny’s wishes to the engineers and to the people in New York. He felt that on his first projects with Eddie Kramer, being from Texas, he needed “somebody to translate” (spoken with Texas accent). He felt like his wishes weren’t getting through. So as a guitar player and a guy who has some common sense and a friend of his, I was able to communicate his wishes to the hierarchy.

TG: Johnny did some of your songs, did you write them for him or have them already written. What did you think of his versions?

RD: I wrote “Rock N’ Roll Hoochie Koo” for Johnny and that band, we also did “Out on a Limb,” “Ain’t That A Kindness,” my brother wrote a song called “Am I Here?”, we did a lot of our songs. Johnny was the boss, so what I felt about them wasn’t really relevant. But when I got the chance to go back and record them myself, then I was able to go back and reflect about what I was able to improve.

TG: And your recording of “Hoochie Koo” just got an award, right? Congratulations…

RD: Yes, it just received an award from BMI on one million airplays.

TG: You did a tour with Johnny a few years back (in 1997), how was that? RD: That was great, it brought Johnny back to life in some ways… Without anybody to give him some competition or to push him, Johnny, like anybody, might get a little bored or sink into complacency. Those shows allowed Johnny to hear us go on before him every night, and once again hear me trying to do the best I can. I’m a pretty competitive guy, and Johnny really responded. Each night, he got a little better better, his solos got a little hotter and I think it worked out pretty well.

TG: You’ve been playing a lot of blues over the past ten years or so…how did playing with Johnny influence your blues playing?

RD: Frankly, it wasn’t that great of an influence. The influence Johnny did have on me was his slide playing. The first time I heard Johnny play at the Fillmore East, I wasn’t really impressed. He had come on the scene with everybody telling me how great he was, and I didn’t hear it. Johnny overplayed, and because of his eyesight problems, he would sometimes go to the wrong fret and hit the wrong note. I was a little kid from Ohio that was into perfection, and I just didn’t get it! I was hearing a bunch of mistakes, when all of a sudden, he strapped on the slide guitar, and I said, “Now I get it.” There was nobody at the time who was playing slide guitar like Johnny, and nobody, or no white guys at least, that was playing country blues like that on the acoustic guitar. And it was at that point that I realized what Johnny had to offer.

He taught me some things specifically, more than just from listening to him. We sat down and he showed me things like the open tunings he used, and some different fingerings. He showed me all the things that I now know about slide guitar and country blues.

TG: Getting to your own career, how are things going and when can the readers of TG expect another album?

RD: Well you know, my whole life has changed a lot over the past couple years. In the nineties I was doing those Blues Bureau records, but over the past two years, I have really gone back to my Christian roots and have been born again. I know some people will be surprised to hear it, but I’ve found that my music, whether its blues or rock, or whatever you want to call it, can be channeled into a positive direction that actually helps people. Because of this I’ve been working on an all-Christian album. I’ve just finished a 12 song demo, which I’ve been taking around to all of the big Christian labels in Nashville. Some of the biggest Christian artists have agreed to help me with it, including Charlie Peacock, Phil Keaggy, John Elefante, Leo Ahlstrom from NewSong, and Myron LeFevre. My family is involved and my wife Brenda is a great, great writer. She helps me with the writing of everything and also sings with me. I owe a lot to Brenda. Also, our kids Lory and Marty also sing on the record.

And what makes me happy now has changed as well…Its one thing to play in a bar or at a biker festival, and hear a guy who’s been drinking beer all day come up and tell you how good you are. For a long time in your life that will make you happy. I started The McCoys in 1962, so I’m approaching my 40th year in the entertainment business. So, after awhile, you can only get so much happiness from a guy who’s drunk come up and tell you you’re great. For me, I go in and play a few Christian songs for an audience, and now I have people come up and not tell me I’m great, but tell me that my music is helping save their lives, helping them in the Lord, and helping them end their vices. That makes me feel good!!! I never knew music could have that power before. I’m approaching a whole new part of the music business and a whole new life for me, and that’s what I’m looking forward to. A few years back I went through a terrible time, and I started praying for the answers and I got them. And part of that was finding Brenda…I know it makes me sound like I’m running for Miss America or something, but its for real, and its helping change peoples lives. I’ve been playing a new version of “Still Alive and Well” that says “Jesus Christ has risen up to Heaven from the grave, and he’s still alive and well.” Some people are afraid of going this route, but its not scary, its only positive good stuff. It’s not a cult and you get a lot back. I want Johnny to come to one of my concerts and hear my testimony…

TG: Are there any other things regarding your experiences with Johnny Winter that you’d like to share with the readers of TG?

RD: No, just that I had a great respect with Johnny and still do. He’s really great, and I really enjoyed my time with him. We both learned a lot together!

Rick Derringer and the McCoys

Formed in Union City, Indiana, in 1962, this group was initially comprised of guitarist Rick Zehringer, his brother Randy on drums and bass player Dennis Kelly. Starting out as “Rick And The Raiders”, then “The Rick Z Combo”, the group later added organist Ronnie Brandon, becoming the McCoys soon after Randy Hobbs replaced the college-bound Dennis Kelly.

The quartet became a highly popular attraction throughout America’s Midwest, and gained the attention of producers Feldman/Gottherer/Goldstein who brought them to Bert Berns’ “Bang Records”. The group’s very first release was a simple, hard driving tune called “Hang On Sloopy”, which shot to the top of the U.S. charts and reached the top 5 in the UK in the summer of 1965. For a follow-up, the band chose a similar arrangement for a tune called “Fever”, a remake of Peggy Lee’s Top Ten hit in 1958. A series of successive releases in a similar gutsy style fared less well and a cover of Ritchie Valens’ “C’Mon Let’s Go” was their only other Top 40 hit.

By 1969, the group had discarded its bubblegum image with the progressive album “Infinite McCoys”, and became the house band at New York’s popular Scene club.

  • 1965  “Hang On Sloopy”
  • 1966 “[You Make Me Feel] So Good”
  • 1968 “Infinite McCoys”
  • 1969 “Human Ball”

The club’s owner, Steve Paul, later paired the group with an up and coming blues guitarist named Johnny Winter and billed them as “Johnny Winter And…” (“And” referring to “The McCoys”) featured the Zehringer brothers and Randy Hobbs, with Rick handling the production. It was about this time that Rick changed his last name from Zehringer to Derringer.

In 1971, Rick was featured as lead vocalist on three albums, “Johnny Winter And”, “Johnny Winter And – Live” and an L.P. by Johnny’s brother Edgar Winter called “Edgar Winter’s White Trash”.

Eventually, Derringer joined Edgar’s White Trash band full-time and produced the gold LP, “Roadwork”. Derringer’s solo album, “All American Boy” was released in 1973 with the now already popular “Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo”, this time as a single. Rick was writer/producer of Johnny Winter’s “Still Alive and Well” album and player/producer of the hit album, “They Only Come Out At Night”. The latter featured the No. 1, Grammy nominated monster hit, “Frankenstein” and “FreeRide”.

In 1976, Rick created the Derringer Band and during the latter half of the seventies, released four albums, “Derringer” , “Sweet Evil”, “If I Weren’t So Romantic I’d Shoot You” and “Face To Face”. In 1983, Rick returned to his solo career with the LP, “Good Dirty Fun.”

Throughout the 70’s and 80’s Derringer appeared as a session musician on numerous albums with artists Alice Cooper, Richie Havens, Todd Rundgren, Steely Dan, Cyndi Lauper, Barbra Streisand and Kiss.

In the mid-80’s, Derringer discovered Weird Al Yancovic, producing music for his Grammy-winning albums and videos. Derringer’s productions of the Michael Jackson parodies, the No. 1 hit “Eat It,” and “Who’s Fat,” have been among Yancovic’s most successful recordings.

Rick was selected to be producer/writer/performer of the World Wrestling Federation LPs. Hulk Hogan’s theme song, “I Am A Real American” was written and performed by Rick as a part of these projects.

By 1990, Derringer was once again sought after by Edgar Winter and performed for the LP, “Edgar Winter and Rick Derringer Live in Japan”. In the late 1990’s, many shows found Rick and Edgar on stage together and they joined for an all-star re-union with the White Trash Horns at 1999’s Montreaux Jazz Festival. In 1999, Rick collaborated with Edgar as songwriter/guitarist on his “Winter Blues” CD.

The year 2001 saw Derringer venture back into rock and roll with former Vanilla Fudge members, Carmine Appice and Tim Bogert, producing a CD called “DBA – Derringer, Bogert and Appice”, with vocals, writing and instrumentals shared by all three. Rick has followed closely on the heels of this project with a recording entitled ‘Aiming For Heaven,’ with help from his daughter Lory and son Marty.

Albums Rick Derringer recorded with Johnny Winter

  • 1971 – “Johnny Winter And” [member/co-producer]
  • 1971 – “Johnny Winter And Live” [member/co-producer]
  • 1973 – “Still Alive And Well” [player/writer/producer]
  • 1974 – “Saints And Sinners” [played various instruments/producer]
  • 1974 – “John Dawson Winter III” [played various inst./producer]
  • 1980 – “The Johnny Winter Story” [german greatest-hits double lp]
  • 1980 – “Isle Of Wight And Atlanta Pop Festival – The First Great Rock Festivals Of The Seventies” – ‘Johnny Winter And’ does “Mean Mistreater”

Rick Derringer’s Discography

Below the list of Rick Derringer albums which I consider as essential and must haves.

The McCoys / Human Ball – 1969

All American Boy – 1973

Spring Fever – 1975 with Johnny Winter on Slide Guitar on the track: Skyscaper blues

Derringer – 1976

Derringer Live – 1977

If I weren’t so romantic, I’d shoot you – 1978

Guitars and women – 1979

Derringer – Live in Cleveland

Rick Derringer “Live in Cleveland is a special broadcast only record and was not sold to the public. This vinyl lp was released on “Blue Sky” records: ASZ 265. Derringer – Live in Cleveland’s tracks include:

  • Let me in
  • Teenage Love Affair
  • Sailor
  • Beyond the Universe
  • Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo
  • Roll with me
  • Rebel Rebel

Johnny Winter Timeline Jul-Sep 1969



Johnny Winter in July 1969

Tuesday, 1-6 July 1969: Fillmore West

Poster of Fillmore East, July 1969

Johnny Winter, Lonnie Mack, Rockin’ Foo, Lights: Brotherhood Of Light

Tuesday 1 July 1969 Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times reviews the Toronto Pop Festival with the header “Pop Festival Hailed by Toronto Fans”,

TORONTO — Tiny Tim sang “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” and waved his ukulele at more than 27,000 screaming fans. Texan Johnny Winter twanged his blue guitar and got four standing ovations. The Blood, Sweat and Tears rock group didn’t bleed and they didn’t weep—but they doubtless – contributed some perspiration with their rhythmic rock. All in all, the two-day, $200,000 Toronto Pop festival was termed. a success by organizers Ken Walker, 23, and John Brower, 22. “Not to plan an even bigger festival next year would deprive many beautiful Toronto people of — something they obviously enjoy,” said both.

4-5 July 1969 Atlanta International Raceway

Performers at the ’69 Atlanta International Pop Festival included:

  • Delaney & Bonnie
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Joe Cocker
  • Johnny Winter
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Janis Joplin
  • Sweetwater

Thursday, 3 July 1969 – Newport Jazz Festival at Festival Field.

16th Annual Newport Jazz Festival, Thu, Fri, Sat and Sun, July 3, 4, 5, 6. Johnny played on Sunday 6 July and shares the evening with Herbie Hancock, B.B. King, Buddy Rich, and Led Zeppelin.

Newspaper reports: Artists participating include Grammy ”Award winning pianist Bill Evans. he will add Jeremy Steig on flute to his trio for the occasion; the exciting and popular Young-Holt Unlimited, recently on the charts with “Soulful Strut”; the definitive jazz vocalist, Miss Anita O’Day; returning to Newport after a long absence; guitarists Kenny Burrell and George Benson; dynamic and influential young drummer Sunny Murray; altoist Phil Woods and His European Machine; trumpeter, Freddie Hubbard and his Quintet; and Sun Ra and his Solar Arkestra.

Blues fans will get a double treat on the Mixed Bag Concert when Johnny Winter, a young guitar sensation from Texas, meets veteran blues man B. B. King, the originator of the modern blues guitar style.


  • Intro
  • Leland Mississipi
  • Black cat bone
  • Mean town blues
  • Slide jam
  • Dallas [!! with slide guitar!]
  • I love everybody [rare]
  • It’s my own fault
  • Everyday I have the blues [13 minutes jam with B.B. King]
  • Five long years [17 minutes with B.B. King]

A review of the Newport festival, published 12 July 1969 in the Corpus Christi Times, written by Kathy Orloff

Newport ’69 Made a Very Loud Thud

The best thing about Newport ’69 is that it is over, and that hopefully it will never happen again. The “Pop Festival to end all pop festivals” probably has had at least in the Los Angeles area and at least for quite some time. There were two things that interested me there: The music and the electric yo-yo that glows in the dark. The rest was so awful I wonder how the promoters (Mark Productions Dd.) had the nerve to appear. The plastic not-so-fan-tastic “fair” offended me deeply fur these reasons: The music was used to exploit products, the air was thick with crass commerciality and there was no feeling of self-respect or of consideration for people. their feelings or their needs.

The music was at worst mediocre and at best exhilerating. Featuring over 30 of Rock’s top acts, the three-day show included Jimi Hendrix, Spirit. Don Ellis, the Edwin Hawkins Singers, Ike and Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Taj Mahal, Creedenee Clearwater Revival, Stcppenwolf, Albert Collins. Brenton Wood, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Eric Burdon, Jethro Tull. Cat Mother, Love, Sweetwater. The Rascals, the Chambers Brothers, Booker T. and the MG.s. the Grassroots, Johnny Winter, Marvin Gaye. Poco. the Byrds and Three Dog Night. Impressive? certainly. But the conditions for the enjoyment of so heavy a bill of fare were so limited as to negate the meaning of the entire event.

Maybe there are some who went and had a great time. They have yet to speak up. THE FESTIVAL was held it Devonshire Downs in the sub-urb of Northridge, adjacent to San Fernando Valley State College. The “specially imported shade trees” promised turned out to be potted twigs. Twenty-seven acres of camp-ground promised was never delivered. The stage was raised so high that unless you were right under it, the performers looked like mites. But you had to step way back to even see over the edge. It got so crowded i wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of people got crushed.

The “psychedelic midway” sold everything anyone would ever need to became an instant hippie—from blacklight posters to leather hats, bikinis, and genuine “Newport ’69” roach clips. In most cases the whole image was simply uncool. Sanitair facilities (portable toilets) were not nearly sufficient. The tab for the whole debacle was $6 a day, $15 for three days or $7 at the gate. Friday’s crowd was luke-warm and detached. There seemed to be some kind of contest going on to see which young lady could get the most naked while still remaining somewhat clothed. By Saturday, the croud grew more hostile: fights; broke out and the grounds were filthy with trash, sawdust and garbage which covered the small area of rent-a-grass and larger burlap covered infield.

By Sunday arrests were being made, volunteers Were treating the wounded (most of whom consisted of those whose bare feel picked up broken glass) and skirmishes were more frequent, THE SOUND system might have been good, but open fields have never been conductive to good acoustics and it was lost toward the fringes. The constant churning of a police helicopter didn’t help, After dark. the copter criss-crossed the area with powerful search lights, almost blinding all those people who were supposedly surrepticieusly. lighting Up dope or swigging wine, AS FOR THE performances I did see or hear, which was the case with the majority), some were incredibly good. Ike and Tina Turner were electrifying. Taj Mahal and Joe Cocker and the Grease Band scored handily. Jethro Tull and Creedence Clearwater Revival were splendid, Eric Burden appeared with his new band (War), and they sounded well fitted to each other.

Happiest surprise of the festival was Cat Mother and the All Night News Boys, a New ‘York band being produced by Jimi Hendrix for Polydor. At their Forum date in April they were so loud I was driven to take refuge in the lobby. But their festival set was one of the best of the whole affair, and you couldn’t ask for more in a real rock ‘n’ roll band. Newport ’69 made a definite comment on pop culture and the effect of fads and the meaning of the new revolution itself’. Once you can sell a product that tries to create something that was once spontaneous, that something has lost its meaning, The Monterey Pop Festival was pure magic. It will never happen again, I doubt that it could have ever happened in Los Angeles.

This is just not the place, At Monterey there was a real, honest love thing ping. Those that came gave as much to the musicians as the musicians gave to them Monterey was a true happening, as was the San Francisco “be-in” and several other events at the time. They were natural outgrowths of n naive exuberance and an tetimate respect and toleranee for all What happened in L.A. had to be created. It was artificial and plastic. And because of that, It was doomed before it started. You Can just sell so much before yo» have to cell yourself. And that is what Newport ’60 had to do was at times erotic. but it was never warm, It used people. it used the music, and most horrihly, it used a movement which at one time generated the most beautiful of all vibrations: Those of love and peace.

4 Jul 1969 – Life Magazine

Review: It’s Hard to Fake the Blues (Probably one of Johnny’s worst)

6 July 1969 New York Times

First poster announcing the Woodstock 1969 festival

On the 6th of July in the New York Times there is an advertisement for the Greatest Pop festival ever: Woodstock Music and Art Fair, Presents An Aquarian Exposition in Walllkill N.Y. 3 Days of Peace and Music

8 July 1969 Elyria OH Chronicle Telegram

The Telegram announces the Cleveland concert , scheduled for 25 July 1969

2 major names in rock world coming to Cleveland July 25

Two major names in the rock world today will he starred in a concert at 8:30 p.m. on July 25 at Cleveland Public Auditorium. “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” is the name given by Belkin Productions, Inc., sponsoring organization, to the concert which will feature the Creedence Clearwater Revival and Johnny Winter. The Revival is riding the crest of popularity currently, with two hit singles on the charts and two other hits that have been on the charts during the past five months. ACCORDING to a recent review in the Christian Science Monitor, this group produces a “psychedelic sound. . .with earthy blues rhythms and rocking, jarring harmonies.” it’s considered one of the principal exponents of the present country-rock sound.

The Revival’s first million-selling singles were “Susie-Q” and “I Put a Spell on You,” These two songs were borrowed from early r & b artists. Johnny Winter has been described as “the most exciting personality and probably the best blues guitarist in the rock field.” He’s become the Joe Namath of the entertainment business, it’s claimed. Johnny received a $500.000 bonus for Signing his first Columbia recording contract. JOHNNY HAS recently appeared at major festivals in Detroit, Newport and New York, completely devastating audiences with his driving, black-blues sound.

This guitarist with the long white hair is something to see and hear say those who have. ABC recording artists SILK will open the show. Tickets are available by mail order from Burroiv’s, 439 Euclid Ave., Cleveland.

Friday 11 and Saturday, 12 July 1969: Laurel Pop Festival , Laurel Race Track in Maryland

Johnny Winter performs on Friday 11 July 1969

Laurel Pop Festival in Laurel Md in 1969. Washington Post contained an article about the Festival written by the reporter Bob Woodward (Watergate Scandal). Johnny was a no name at the time. The Festival include Jeff Beck, Jethro Tull, and Headlined by Led Zeppelin.

Johnny came out and played cuts from Progressive Blues Experiment and Johnny Winter (Columbia).

He was Playing with Uncle John Turner and Tommy Shannon. Before his set was over, everyone was standing on their chairs. A couple of times between songs he asked the crowd up front to back up and stop pushing. The Newspaper story speaks of the New white blues player that was the hit of the festival.

Saturday 12 July 1969 The Times Herald Record

A newspaper advertisement announcing the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, An Aquarian Exposition in Town of Walkhill, near Middletown, N.Y. Three Days of Peace and Music

Tuesday 15 July 1969 Chronicle Telegram

A newspaper advertisement for “Blood, Sweat and Tears” and “Johnny Winter” at Cleveland

20 July 1969 New York Times

Three newspaper advertisements promoting pop music concerts

  • the Woodstock Music and Art Fair.
  • The Atlantic City Pop Festival
  • Diana Ross and the Supremes

Friday 25 July 1969 – Cleveland Public Hall

Belkin Productions present: Creedence Clearwater Revival plus Johnny Winter, tickets 3.50$ and 5.50$. Tickets on sale at Record World, Midway Mall, Elyria. This event was also known as “Midsummer’s Night Dream”

Friday 25-27 July 1969 – Midwest Rock Festival 1969, Wisconsin State Fair Park, West Allis, WI, USA

Johnny has his show on the 27th.

The show had a flatbed trailer as a stage set on the field in front of the racetrack grandstand.

Music Bands/Performers on Friday 25 July 1968

  • Buffy St-Marie
  • Kenny Rogers & The First Edition
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Pacific Gas & Electric
  • SRC
  • Sweetwater
  • The Shag

Music Bands/Performers on Saturday 26 July 1968

  • Blind Faith
  • Delaney & Bonnie
  • John Mayall
  • MC5
  • SRC
  • Taste
  • The Shag

Music Bands/Performers on Sun 27 July 1968

  • Joe Cocker
  • Jim Schwall
  • Johnny Winter – WINTER
  • MC5
  • SRC
  • The Bob Seger System
  • The Litter
  • The Shag
  • Zephyr

Saturday 26 July 1969 – 1969 Forest Hill Music Festival at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium

Blood, Sweat and Tears. Johnny Winter

Sunday, 27 July 1969 – Midwest Rock Festival 1969, State Fair Park Racetrack, West Allis, Wisconsin

Johnny Winter and his band perform on Sunday 27 July


  • Leland Mississippi
  • Divin’ duck
  • Black cat bone
  • It’s my own faulty
  • Mean town blues
  • Johnny B. goode

Sunday 27 July 1969 – New York Times

An ad promoting the Woodstock Music & Art Fair

29 July 1969 – Winter Blues – Look Magazine

Winter Blues, By Thomas Barry. A Texas albino called JOHNNY WINTER wows the pop world with music that is old, new borrowed — and blue.  

Monday 28 July 1969 – Agility marks Blues by Johnny Winter at Forest Hills Fete – New York Times

Mike Jahn writes a full column review of Johnny Winter’s performance at the Forest . Hill Event. This article is called: “Agility marks Blues by Johnny Winter at Forest Hills Fete”.

Agility Marks Blues By Johnny Winter At Forest Hills Fete


Johnny Winter, the Texas blues guitarist and vocalist, seems to be singing with ever larger gulps of blues. When he first played here last December he was impressive for his agility in presenting both country and urban blues styles with force. But at that time he had just arrived from playing in and around Texas and seemed somewhat awed by the increased attention he was receiving. Appearing Saturday at the Forest Hills Music Festival, Mr. Winter showed the same agility, but far more power and confidence than previously. Most important, he showed much interest in playing blues-oriented, old-style rock. One of his songs, “Black Cat Bone,” is an original.

This song lies on the thin border where country blues meets the early rock of guitarists like Chuck Berry. It combines the crisp feel of bottleneck guitar-playing with the heavy hand of early rock. He played this song Saturday, and closed with a Chuck Berry song, “Johnny B. Goode.” He uses his raspy voice and aggressive playing well on material of this sort, which Is directly derived from standard blues.

Through this growing interest in songs like Mr. Berry’s, and the increased confidence and force given him by seven months of popularity, Mr. Winter’s playing has improved greatly. The hard blues and old rock style has become very popular this year, and Mr. Winter’s experiments in it were his best moments. Mr. Winter was backed by John Turner, drums, and Tommy Shannon, bass.

Tuesday 29 July 1969 Elyria Chronicle Telegram

Review the Cleveland show

Review the Cleveland show

Johnny Winter’s singing was over-powering at times, but his playing was always good. A standing ovation brought him back to do “Johnny B. Good” as encore, delighting the crowd

It seems certain that Johnny made many new fans Friday night in Cleveland. He recently received a half-million dollar bonus when he signed with Columbia Records.

The full transcript

Creedence Clearwater Revival leaves the audience spellbound By Jan Elkovich Darkness descended upon Cleveland Public Auditorium Friday night and red stage-lights came up on four young-men, the Creedence Clearwater Revival. They Were ordinary-appear-ing youths in levis, sweat-shirts and boots, with longish hair. Two wore beards. Yet when they began to sing the hall rocked with sound and the audience was spellbound. FROM THE first note of “Born to the Bayou” to the final crash of cymbals in the last number, the audience was enveloped in the magic that has skyrocketed the CCR to the top.

Their current hit, “Green River,” was their second number and the jam-packed auditorium echoed and vibrated to the sound, as the audience thrilled. The group’s performance included their popular hits “Bad Moon Rising,” “Proud Mary,” “Lodi,” and “Pully-Al.” Creedence Clearwater Revival has that intangible substance of stardom which makes the difference in greatness. FLAXEN-HAIRED Johnny Winter, the blues guitarist. was the other part of Belkin Production’s “Midsummer’s Night Dream” concert. Backed by his red-haired drummer, Johnny stunned the audience into silence. Clearly no one had expected the delicate-appearing young man to have such a strong voice.

His singing was over-powering at times. but his playing was alWays good. A standing ovation brought him back to do “Johnny B. Good” as encore, delighting the crowd. It seems certain that Johnny made many new fans Friday night in Cleveland. He recently received a half-million dollar bonus when he signed with Columbia Records.

LEAD-IN BAND for the show was Silk, a Cleveland group which shows promise. They opened with psychedelic rock. Master of ceremonies was Chuck DunaWay, WKYC disk. jockey.

Johnny Winter in August 1969

Hit Parader, August 1969

On Cover: Johnny Winter’s Texas Blues

Friday 1 August The News

Brad Ritter previews the show at Hollywood Bowl, calling it “Winter May Warm Bowl … or half of it.

Winter May Warm Bowl … Or Half of It Blood,

Sweat and Tears no doubt will put on a good show tonight at the Bowl. Keep In mind that those sitting beyond the halfway mark in the huge arena probably won’t be able to tell if its good or bad. But it will he interesting in watch for the reaction bo Johnny Winter, the albino blues singer who has received varying critical reviews.

Winter has been around, but never got far. Then came the blues revival and someone found Winter, put together a substantial promotion campaign and shoved him into the big time. Some critics say he was a poor choice: he shows a lack of individual style; that he borrows from various blues singers and winds up with a combination that adds up to little.

But Critics sometimes get pretty hung up and it’s the people who listen to music, and buy recordS, who determine who makes if. and who won’t. Brad Ritter

Friday 1 August 1969 Hollywood Bowl

In the concert series of “Summer, Show and Stars” at the Hollywood Bowl, Blood Sweat and Tears, Kaleidoscope with Guest Star: Johnny Winter

  • Help me
  • Leland Mississipi Blues
  • Mean Town Blues
  • It’s my own Fault
  • I hate Everybody
  • Tell the truth
  • What I Say

This concert of Johnny Winter has been released on the bootleg “Johnny Winter HOT”

Friday, 1 August 1969 – Sunday 3 August 1969 – Atlantic City Pop Festival.

Atlantic City Race Track, Atlantic City, N.J. August 1-2-3 Fri, Sat and Sun. Johnny was supposed to play on Fri. Aug 1, due to equipment problems he never appeared on stage, other rumors tell that because Johnny Winter is an albino, that he could not play because of the sun.

The schedule of the Atlantic City Pop Festival was:

Friday 1 August 1969

  • Iron Butterfly
  • Johnny Winter
  • Crosby, Stills & Nash
  • Chicago
  • Procol Harum
  • Joni Mitchell
  • Mother Earth
  • Santana Blues Band
  • Booker T & The M.G.s

Saturday 2 August 1969

  • Jefferson Airplane
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Crazy World of Arthur Brown
  • Grateful Dead
  • B. B. King
  • Butterfield Blues Band
  • Byrds
  • Hugh Masekela
  • Lighthouse
  • American Dream

Sunday 3 August 1969

  • Janis Joplin
  • Canned Heat
  • Mothers of Invention
  • Moody Blues
  • 3 Dog Night
  • Sir Douglass Quintet
  • Joe Cocker
  • Little Richard
  • Buddy Rich Big Band
  • Dr. John the Nighttripper

The Commercial Appeal Mid-South Magazine 1969 with Johnny Winter

Saturday 9 August 1969 Cumberland MB, Times News

Birthplace of the ‘Blues’ to be Modernized, Beale Straat Updated


“lve been trying to get the old man to move away from here for years,” smiled Maurice Hulbert Jr., a lanky young man in his 20s. Leaning against a printing press, one ear cocked to the unsteady beat of an air condi-ioner, Hulbert nodded toward his father. “He talks about it sometimes,” the son continued, “but they will carry him out in a box. Beale Street is in his blood.” “It all started here a long time ago,” explains Hulbert Sr., a nattily attired Negro in his 70s. “This is the cradle of the only original American art form. This is where the blues were born.

This, mister, is Beale Street.” Hulbert says the name with pride. He’s the mayor of Beale Street, the old-timers tell you, and he remembers things as they once were. This year marks the 150th birthday of this bustling Mississippi River port and “The Mayor” has seen a lot of its history written right here on Beale. Once it rivaled Greenwich Village for color and notoriety. Both have slipped a long way, Shade your eyes to the sun and squint through the time-worn window of Hulbert’s print shop and you can see Beale Street as it is today — the way his son sees it. “Nothing here,” says the young man, downing a soft drink.

“Nothing but old buildings and memories of a lot of things that probably never happened in the first place. There’s still good music — Booker T. lives here and Johnny Winter and Albert King are in town this weekend, but they’re not on Beale Street. Nothing is.” Whatever it once was, Beael isn’t much today. The official Memphis guidebook calls it dilapidated, which is being kind. The Memphis Housing Authority sees Beale not as it is or was but as it will be after a $240 million urban renewal project plows under the rubble and gives birth to a ” ‘blue-light’ district of night clubs and restaurants reminiscent of Beale Street’s colorful past.”

Whatever that means, it’s bpuad to be an improvement. But the old ways die hard in places like this and the future can he frightening to the hardy handful of Beale Streeters who were here shortly after the turn of the century when W. C. Handy used to spread his music sheets on the cigar counter of Pee Wee’s saloon. Handy wrote “The Memphis Blues” at Pee Wee’s, getting his inspiration from the street, but that was a long, long time ago. “The white kids like the blues,” says Hulbert the elder, shutting the door to his shop behind him and stepping into the mind-bending heat, and Handy would have liked that.

His music was for everybody. If you ask me, he was way ahead of his time. Walking along Beale, past the long-boarded-up Daisy Theater, where the rank smell of urine fills the air, the ghosts of happier times are everywhere — and Handy’s spirit dominates the street. His statue casts a giant shadow from its perch in Handy Park, where pigeons land disrespectively on the stone likeness of the great man’s trumpet and sleeping drifters take cover from the sun. “Back around 1910,” Hulbert recalls, “things were really happening around here.

Handy was at his best and there was gambling and corn whisky and policy houses and plenty of women and good times. Lots of things went on here that wasn’t right with the law, but they were right as far as we were concerned. As the kids say now, we were doing our own thing.” Which may explain why, on a blistering Saturday with the temperature nudging the 97-de-gree mark at noon, a half-dozen white kids from half a country away walk down Beale, shading their eyes from the sun, searching for the truth. “I didn’t come all the way down here to see a lot of broken – down buildings and cracked-up sidewalk,” explains Bob Thomas, a New. Yorker who says he’s skipping his col-lege graduation to be here for a blues festival.

“I came to hear the music, but I figured that as long as I’m here I might just. as well see the street. This is where `sour was born, in the truest sense of the word. When you listen to Winter or Jimi Hendrix, or Janis Joplin or Charley Musselwhite, you know their roots are here, even if they have never been near this street. If it hadn’t been for Handy, there wouldn’t be much worth listening to today.” And so it is that the late W. C., a quiet genius whose music made other people rich, has taken his place today as the man who closed the generation gap. Those who remember him well don’t seem too surprised by his most recent accomplishment.

“Handy wasn’t much when it came to getting paid,” recalls Robert Henry, a 79-year-old pool room onerator. “I remember when his band used to make $2.50 a night right across the street from my place. Funny thing was, the white folks always liked Handy the most. The blacks never did think too much of him until he packed up and moved to New York. “But Handy’s music was the real thing. The songs of the fields, the long days in the sun, the hard times, it was all there. Handy told it like it was a long time before anybody thought up that expression. First time heard it, I thought they must have had Handy in mind when they made it up.”

A block or so away, in a house that’s scheduled to be torn down to make way for that $240 million project, Otto Lee, a member of Handy’s last band, collects pictures and clippings of his former friend and waits for the bulldozer. “I used to call him Professor Handy,” Lee says in a cadet; pleasant voice. “There were other bands, but Handy was the master. He wanted to have a band that would make headlines from Beale Street to Broadway; but it never worked out. Professor Handy would have liked things the way they are today. He was such an honest mad who believed in love and kindness that he would have liked playing for these young folks.”

Just around the corner, in an old hotel that has seen better days, Sun Smith, a blind trumpeteer well into his 70s, fingers his horn while sitting in the breeze of a fan and gets ready to go to work. “I play some new songs, like Chicago'," Sun says, slipping his mouthpiece into his instru-ment, "but mostly I play Handy's music. 'St. Louis Blues',Memphis Blues’, ‘Beale Street Blues’, those are the songs people like to bear, especially the young people. The blues never did go away, but now they’re really back. The blues are gonna outlast me.” The blues outlasted Handy, outlasted Beale Street as he knew it and. will outlast the street as it is today.

The blues, it would appear, are gonna’ outlast us all.

Friday, 15 August 1969 – Saturday, 16 August 1969: Electric Theatre / Kinetic Playground, Chicago.

The Billboard Magazine wrote about this:

CHICAGO The Arbors, Date artists, who just finished a successful engagement at Club Atlantis of the Regency Hyatt House in Atlanta, are making their way back home to Chicago via New York. where they have a number of commercial sessions lined up.. . .

The poster announcing this concert at Aaron Russo’s Kinetic Playground, with Paul Butterfield, Johnny Winter and special guest: “The Flock”

Columbia’s Johnny Winter, Elektra’s Paul Butterfield and the Flock are on tap at Aaron Russo’s Kinetic Playground Friday (15 August) and Saturday (16 August). . . . Doug Lee hosted a Decca Records party for the London House opening of Young-Holt Unlimited. Also on hand from Decca were Frank Scardino, Denny Miller and Shim Weiner. . . . The Judy Roberts Trio has replaced the Eddie Higgins Trio at the London House. Higgins re-signed as headmaster after 12 years.

Mercury’s Buddy Miles Express held the spotlight July 31 at the Blues Concert at the Northbrook Sports Complex. Also featured were the Joe Kelly Blues Band and the Stanley Moss Blues Band. WCFL’s Barney Pip served as master of ceremonies…. Top Old Town performers entertained at North Park Study Center’s fifth annual benefit Folk Sing, which was held recently at Second City.

Friday 15 August Pacific Stars and Stripes

Hollie I. West writes Big Money Whites singing Black

By HOLLIE I. WEST the Washington Post WASHINGTON

The white youth Of America; have picked up a new fad — playing the blues. Shaggy-haired kids in the, cities and small towns are learning blues chord changes almost as fast as they are learning their guitars. No longer do American youth look to Broadway as ‘a ‘model for vocal stylings. The new demi-gods are gnarled black blues singers who paid their dues in the tangled maze of this country’s racial mores. This new interest has been called a . “rebirth of the~ blues.” More accurately, though, it should be referred to as an awakening, the blues has not died in black communities. The gospel-in-fluenced. sounds of soul music, or rhythm and blues, may have superseded the blues in popularity in the urban ghettoes, but black southerners still like their blues in large doses. More than anything, perhaps, this widespread popularity of the blues among whites is part of the youth revolution of our time.

The young are trying not to be confined to the kind of jack-in-the box thinking about race and sex that their parents accepted. For many of them, the blues is not a back alley music played by loose-moraled blacks. Their curiosity about ‘the blues may represent a blessing and an act of folly and cruelty. The blessing is obvious.. Forgotten blues performers who never would have seen the light of a commerical day without the blues awakening have been brought out of obscurity and, and earning enough from their music to support themselves, The cruel irony of these developments, however, is that the black bluesmen, the pioneers and originators, always find themselves in the second billing position on programs with white bluesmen.

And the difference in money paid to blacks and whites is so lopsided that it staggers the imagination, _ Janis Joplin, ballyhooed for the last year as the top rock star, is given space on the covers of the national slick magazines and earns $10,000 for a night’s concert work, But Willie Mae Thornton, one of Miss. Joplin’s thief stylistic models, remains in the financial minor leagues, earning in a year what Miss Joplin may make in several days. Compared to her model, Miss Joplin is a poor excuse for a blues singer. She is probably well on her way toward ruining. her voice under the strain of trying for the harsh, raucous sounds that black performers use naturally.

The publicity given to Miss Joplin’s career had not been equalled until Columbia Records helped bring Johnny Winter on the national scene earlier this year. Winter has immersed himself in a variety of styles, none of which he has brought any originality. The journeys the imitative route through the music of Ray Charles, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. Despite the absence of a fresh musical approach, Winter was signed for one of the most spectacular contracts in the history of the recording industry — an initial fee of $300,000 and a long term contract calling for $600,000. B.B. King, the most creative bluesman on the current scene, has not seen such money for a recording contract.

Record company officials know a good thing when they see it. They recognize the music of Johnnie Taylor and James Brown cannot be sold en masse to white teen-agers because it has too much black-ness. Exceptions can be made for the watered down black sexual imagery of Jimi Hendrix, who has surrounded himself in an absurd melange of electronic sound and guitar burnings, or the Chambers Brothers, a mediocre former gospel group that sings a pallid combination of soul and rock. The general rule is to sell white groups that are engaged in a latter day version of black face. This is an important part of the history of American music and there is little black blues musicians cane do about it.

Avant-garde black jazz musicians solved a similar problem by enveloping their music with so many Afro-Asian influences that it would be completely outrageous for white musicians to imitate them. This avenue is not open to bluesmen who must keep their music simple, for the blues cannot incorporate outside musical influences as easily as jazz. What can be done about the inequities of contracts and artist fees for black innovators and white imitators? Probably not much in the foreseeable future. Record companies, particularly major ones such as Columbia and RCA Victor, can do much more in the way of promoting black musicians.

But with a company like Columbia reaping 60 per cent of its record sale profits from rock music, the prospects for change are not bright. White musicians recognize the inequities, but few are doing anything about it. There is the policy of the rascals to play only concerts where the audience is 50 per cent black, but they are rare among whiter groups. What other group would give up the prospect of earning $15,000 to $20,000 for each concert date? The situation seems beyond repair. Money talks and businessmen listen.

Sunday 17 August 1969 – Oakland Tribune

Folk Rock Musicians borrow from the Blues too, by Craig Modderno

The current blues revival also has brought quick success to such relative newcomers as the Steve Miller” Blues Band and blues singer Johnny Winter.

Winter said in a recent Newsweek article of this $300k record contract: “I went from total nothingness to everything. I’d been put down for years for singing the blues and suddenly everyone liked me and wanted to hear me

Full transcript of this article

By CRAIG MODDERNO Tribune SWF Writer “Rock is like a battery,” says Eric Clayton of Blind Faith, one of the leading blues guitarists, “It always has to go back to blues to get recharged, to restore its energy.” The musical sounds of country basic hard rock and electrified blues are taking over today’s rock-pop music scene. The Beatles’ c o u n t r y-flavored “Get Back,” Bob Dylan’s debut album as a country singer, “Nashville Sky-line,” and the recent popularity surge of Johnny Cash and Glen Campbell demonstrate the financial acceptance of ‘what pop arts once laughingly mimed to as hillbilly music. But the big change in the rock field Is the rebirth of the blues.

Once the lifeblood of jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong and the big bands of Duke Ellington and Woody Herman in the 1920s, the blues background is the Mississippi Delta and its form is a simple three-line terse structure. When The Beatles, Dylan, The Rolling Stones and The Animals emerged on the rock scene, their strong back-ground in the blues was a widely overlooked part of their music. Now the artists who influenced these rock groups — Bessie Smith, Muddy Waters, John Lee Booker and Jimmy Reed — are once again hearing their music through the songs of Canned Heat, Ten Years After and Steppenwolf.

Today’s blues singers are experiencing an enormous popularity at dancehalls and their music keeps the cash boxes ringing. Blues artists no longer are confined to small nightclubs; they now perform in huge — and crowded — ballrooms, often with the smell of marijuana seeping through their over-amplified sounds. Blues artists such as Chuck Berry, B.B. King, Lightin’ Ilopkins, Elvin Bishop,and Albert King receive standing ovations when they headline shows at Fillmore East and West. The current blues revival also has brought quick success to such relative newcomers as the Steve Miller Blues Band and blues singer Johnny Winter.

Winter said in a recent Newsweek article of this $380,000 record contract: “I went from total nothingness to everything. I’d been put down for years for singing the blues and suddenly everyone liked me and wanted to hear me.” When Duke Ellington was asked what types of music exist, he replied: “There are only two types of music — good and bad music. Paul Butterfield of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, one of the first American rock musicians to play the blues, says, “Blues is any kind of music that comes from feeling.”

Soul music has been described to this writer by Smokey Robinson as “the inward emotion or feelings of anybody as expressed in a song.” If soul and blues are not the same musiea1 expression, then the great singing of Ray Charles, James Brown and the late Otis Redding combines the two musical forms to create their own unique singing styles. For years the blues have been expressed only through the cadences of black men and women whose songs generally described the aches and pains of living in the Mississippi Delta. One of the best black blues singers, 44 year-old Albert King disagrees on their limitations.

Anyone can have the blues.” says King. “A little baby crying in his crib for his bottle; if he doesn’t get it, he’s gut the blues.” Blues singer-guitarists Eric Clayton and John Mayall from England. Paul Butterfield and Mike Bloomfield of Chicago, and Canada’s David Clayton-Thomas received critical acclaim in the rock music industry for their records before the current blues demand. The Grateful Dead and the Jefferson Airplane, the last remaining San Francisco groups from the psychedelic rock splurge in 1967, recorded sonic blues songs in their earlier albums. While the Airplane’s “Young ‘Girt Sunday Blues” and Blues From an Airplane” seem rock-oriented, the group’s lyrics and vocals project a strong identification with the blues.

The Dead, however, took a modern blues favorite, “Good Mornin’ Little School Girl,” and two original tunes, “New Minglewood Blues” and “Viola Lee Blues,” and provided them will the dynamic electric beat that is a forerunner of the blues today. Janis Joplin, 26-year-old former lead singer with Big Brother and the Holding Company, belts the blues for fun and profit. “When you sing a song that means something to you,” Janis says, “you turn everything back inside yourself and just sort of explore.” Mississippi-born B.B. King, 43-year-old undisputed champion of the blues, says, “Janis Joplin sings the blues just as hard as any black person.”

But Steve Katz, lead guitarist of the jazz-blues Blood. Sweat and Tears, wonders how Miss Joplin’s success in the rock field has affected her feelings for her music. “When you’re making $10,000 a night. you can’t sing of hard luck and trouble,” says Katz. “Janis is selling something she no longer is. How can you be a blues superstar? It’s such a contradiction in terms.” The music of the Creedence Clearwater Revival best demonstrates the fusion of rock and blues today. Their songs describe life amongst bayous, green rivers and small obscure towns. Cast in country settings of the Delta area, songs describing the pain of the blues.

The Working Man” and Pent-house Pauper.” are delivered through a hard, driving rock beat of three guitars and drums. “I guess all the time I’ve been living on the bayou in my head,” explains El Certito’s John Fogery, leader-songwriter of Creedenee and perhaps the best of the male rock-blues singers. “When I used to get super uptight at the world, I used to drive on the freeway and open my lungs and scream.” he says. That’s what singing the blues is all about.” It’s impassible to predict how long blues will stay in the rock spotlight. But now the rock music fan has been exposed to this foundation of American popular music.

Whatever music style evolves. the blues will be a major contributor.

Sunday, 17 August 1969: Woodstock 1969

Aug 15,16,17 (Bethel. New York) Johnny performs on the third day, playing “Mean Town Blues”. Sun 17th Aug at the Woodstock festival, along with Country Joe and the Fish, Alvin Lee and Ten Years After, Joe Cocker, Sha-Na-Na, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Band, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and Jimi Hendrix. Like many of the performers there, it is not known if Johnny got paid for his performance: he was suppose to have gotten $3,750.

When Michael Wadleigh, director of WOLFEN, and Bob Maurice were filming the festival, they wanted to include footage of Johnny for the upcoming Warner Bros. film, WOODSTOCK.

Johnny Winter at Woodstock 1969

A movie commemorating the event for those that were able to attend and for those who could not. Regrettably, disagreements occurred over the contract that Steve Paul had drawn up for Johnny and before things could be resolved, the parties concerned went without the footage.

Likewise, Johnny was left out of the WOODSTOCK and WOODSTOCK II albums that were issued by Cotillion Records in 1970 and 1971. In fact, the recordings remained dormant until 1994 (the 25th Anniversary of Woodstock), when Atlantic Records included Johnny?s “Mean Town Blues” on WOODSTOCK DIARY and WOODSTOCK: 3 DAYS OF PEACE AND MUSIC-THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION.

Woodstock 1969, Jimi Hendrix

The Woodstock programme of 17 Aug 1969:

programme of 17 Aug 1969:

  • Joe Cocker @ 2:00pm
  • The BIG STORM – not a band, but Mother Nature wanted to have an act in Woodstock nonetheless
  • Max Yasgur – the farmer whose land Woodstock was held on
  • Country Joe and the Fish
  • Ten Years After @ 8:00pm
  • The Band @ 10:30pm
  • Blood, Sweat and Tears @ 12:00am
  • Johnny Winter
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young @ 3:00am
  • The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
  • Sha-Na-Na
  • Jimi Hendrix @ 8:30am

Johnny Winter’s performance at Woodstock 1969 has been released on the DVD’s: Woodstock 1969 Director’s cut and Woodstock Diaries 1969.

About Woodstock: Johnny: “I woke up and wandered onstage”

Many have forgotten that Texas guitarist Johnny Winter was at Woodstock since he didn’t appear on the Woodstock albums.

His main recollection is of crawling up to sleep on a pile of garbage in a press trailer.

“Then I woke up and wandered onstage with the band just to see what was going on,”he said. “Whoever was scheduled to be on wasn’t on, so the audience saw us and wanted us to go on.”

At the time, ‘Winter’s’ manager (Steve Paul) had blown off an agreement to be in the film and on the record. The movie cameras did take footage of Winter, but none of it was included in the final film. ‘Woodstock, Three Days Of Peace and Love’. The filmmakers said Winter’s act was too strange, he remembers. “Too strange for Woodstock! That was all about flaunting traditions, so that must have been pretty strange.”

The songs performed by Johnny Winter:

  • To Tell The Truth”
  • Johnny B. Goode
  • “Six Feet in the Ground”
  • Leland Mississippi Blues or Rock Me Baby?
  • Mama, Talk To Your Daughter
  • Mean Mistreater
  • “I Can’t Stand It” with Edgar Winter )
  • Tobacco Road…( with Edgar Winter )
  • Meantown Blues (encore)

Various movies of this historic pop-festival are available, I’m not sure if Johnny Winter appears in anyone of them, below a summary:

Creation Of Woodstock 1969 Music Festival – Interviews w/ founders & developers of fest. & clips by Ritchie Havens, Leslie West, Mountain, Arlo Guthrie, Janie Joplin, & Sly & Family Stone. Archival photos & rare & never-before-seen film footage. 60 min

Woodstock – 3 Days Of Peace & Music – Woodstock set the standard for all rockumentaries to come. Sensing that the now-legendary 1969 Woodstock concert would be something more than a mere “happening”, director Michael Wadleigh brought along a battalion of cinematographers and assistants. As a result, what could have been an aloof, detached record of the landmark concert is as “up close and personal” as it was possible to get without actually being there. Utilizing widescreen, splitscreen, and stereo-sound technology to the utmost, Wadleigh puts us right in the middle of the 400,000 screaming, mud-caked spectators, then zooms in to loving closeups of the stars.

Edited by Martin Scorsese (among many others), the finished product won the 1970 Oscar for Best Documentary-and was also stamped with an “R” rating due to some innocuous (by 1990s standards) nudity and profanity. The talent lineup includes Canned Heat, Richie Havens, Country Joe and the Fish, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, David Crosby and Stephen Stills, Jefferson Airplane, Joe Cocker, Arlo Guthrie, John Sebastian, Sly and the Family Stone, Ten Years After and Sha Na Na. The original 184 minute running time was expanded to 224 minutes for the 1994 video version, featuring previously excised footage of Janis Joplin. One of our favorite shots in Woodstock has no music at all: the final image, as a group of dour policemen survey the garbage and debris left behind by the Woodstock Naton.

The Compilation album Woodstock – 3 Days Of Peace & Music released on four CD’s contains “Mean Town Blues” performed by Johnny Winter.

Woodstock: Director’s Cut

23 August 1969 Charleston, WV Gazette

Reviews and comments the trend on the Pop festival in 1969

By Ray Brack The incredible influx of 800,000 rock freaks to Max Vasgar’s upsale New York dairy farm for the Woodstock Art and Music Fair last week was a predictable climax to a summer-long series of bummer pop music festivals, In vain attempts to remix the ingredients that produced unforgettable vibrations at the historic Monterey (Calif.) pop music festival in 1967 (Janis, Jimi, Otis and grass on the grass were the magical mystery elements), pop promoters have been booking ever heavier casts of rock talent into gigantic open-air circuses ever since. The impressarios hit their festival stride this summer. scheduling a dozen or more major rock extravaganzas at or near most of the nation’s large population centers.

First indications that the 1969 festival season was to be a “down” scene came from the Newport Festival at Devonshire Downs in the northern end of California’s San Fernando Valley. (The festival took its name from its proximity to Newport Beach. and should not be confused with the older festivals at Newport, R.I.) tHE PROMOTERS of this June 20-22 festival promised to deliver a mind-expanding rock bill that included Jimi Hendrix Experience, Joe Cocker, Janis Joplin, Albert King, Edwin Hawkins Singers, Creedence Clearwater Revival. Steppenwolf, Buffy St. Marie, Albert Collins, Johnny Winter, Booker T. and the MG’s. Rascals, Byrds and Three Dog Night.

Incredibly, all those big votes showed, and so did 150,000 kids. That is io say. 130,000 gut into the old fair-grounds where the action was. Thousands of others were turned away. (For two months Newport was to hold the record as the largest pop festival ever held.) Unfortunately, the promoters drastically underestimated the pulling power of a conglomerate of contemporary rock performers. Only a fraction of the crowd that made it into the festival grounds ever heard the music, because the sound system was woefully inadequate, The audio problem was aggravated by the thudding overhead of an omnipresent police helicopter.

Even fewer people could see the performers sight lines being limited by a low, six-foot stage_ And 100-foot queues marked the inadequate number of stinking overflowing portable toilets at all times. WHILE THE VIBES turned sour inside, the scene outside the festival grounds soon waxed violent. Since tickets cost 5$. hundreds of youngsters came to the festival admittedly to crash the gate. During a disorganized assault on the festival’s $11,000 worth of hurricane fencing, severe hassling with police commenced. Some of the kids blew their cool and launched rocks and bottles. The cops counter-attacked with batons.

When the three-day casualty tally was taken, it showed 300 injured (15 policemen) and 75 arrested. An estimated $50,000 in damage had been done to homes and businesses in neighboring Northridge. Producer Mark Robinson claims the whole atrocity lost him $150,000. A week later the festival spotlight focused on Denver, where promoter Barry Fey had hooked another heavy pride of talent into his Denver Pop Festival at Mile High Stadium. Big names were again Jimi Hendrix, Creedence Clear-water, Johnny Winter and Joe Cocker, with the Mothers of Invention added. A lot of lesser-known groups were also on hand.

Again, it was a small group of gate-crashers who provoked a peace-office riot. At the final concert, while a group called Zephyr played doggedly on the cops began lobbing tear gas canisters at a flying wedge of would-be crashers. The wind wafted the gas clouds inside the stadium and thousands of paying customers prostrated themselves on the playing field to avoid the fumes. Zephyr played on Totals: 30 arrests, nine inju-ries including three policemen. Notable in the Denver episode was police deployment of a portable tear gas generating machine called “Pepper-Fog.” This weapon sprays a mixture of tear gas and Mace.

It was turned on a crowd of son kids from which a water-melon rind was launched at police. Reported the Denver Post. “The vast majority of those who suffered from tear gas were guilty of no more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.” WITH TWO HUMMERS a matter of I record, everybody expected fireworks at the Atlanta International Pop Festival at the Atlanta Raceway on July 4 and 5. All the elements of disruption were present. There was another hyper-magnetic bill, including Blood Sweat & Tears. Booker T. and the Canned Heat. Chicago. Chuck Berry. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Johnny Winter, Led Zeppelin and a dozen other excellent acts.

There were the high ticket prices ($8.50 per person at the gate). And there were the cops. This time cracker cops. Atlanta shocked the world of rock. Nothing happened. The city reinforced its claim as the most progressive big town in America. The cops were cool and hip. The kids payed their money and generated the mightiest mass groove since Gandhi. The talent took care of business. And the promoters took care of toilet facilities. it Was the summer’s only “up” scene and showed that a rock-style circus maximus can be pulled off if handled right. Caught up in the love scene, the Atlanta fuzz even took a tolerant view of grass.

In one documented instance, two back-up musicians for Johnny Winter returned to their hotel room just as two narcs were uncovering a stash of weed. The cops told the musicians to stick around and they’d be back in the morning. They returned at dawn with nothing more than a gentle lecture. THAT SAME WEEKEND, the fifth annual Newport Jazz Festival started to wail. Famed impressario George Wein had decided to mix rock with the jazz. And with the rock came the kids. Attendance hit a record for the festival. Thousands of the youngsters perched an a hill outside the festival grounds and when the rock got going in earnest (most observers say it was during the Jethro Tull set) they swooped down, toppled the fence integrated themselves with the blazer-straight jazz buffs and threw the festival up for grabs.

The same thing happened the following night while Sly and the Family Stone were on stage. The upshot was 60 arrests and this vow from Wein: “There will never again be any rock at any of my festivals because of these petulant and destructive youths.” Now the stage was forbodingly set for what promised to be the biggest bum-mer of the summer, the Woodstock Mu-sic and Art Fair scheduled for Aug. 15-.17. The promoters, all under-30 cats from New York City. were thinking big. They were signing the heaviest cast in the history of rock, a bill they expected to draw crowds up to 100,000 in a single day.

Like Robinson, they were seriously underestimating the pop-cultural imperative of acts like Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, Tim Hardin, Richie Havens, Laura Nyro, Ravi Shankar, Canned Heat, Creedence Clearwater, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, The Band, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Iron Butterfly, the ubiquitous Joe Cocker and Johnny Winter, Crosby. Stills and Nash and the Who. (Worried about this bill’s pulling power, they added Jimi Hendrix at the last minute!) THE FESTIVAL hassles began long before kids all over the country began poring over roadmaps looking for the site. Originally scheduled to be held at Woodstock. N. Y., the fair was moved 15 miles away to Wallkill when Woodstock natives became restless at the prospect of hosting 100.000 freaks.

No sooner had the promoters gotten their Wallkill permit and site lined up than a local group called the Wallkill Concerned Citizens Committee sought an injunction to block the festival, charging that the event would overburden the town’s ability to deal with sanitation, traffic and security. The good burghers of Woodstock and Wallkill can scarcely be blamed this week for saying “I told you so” to the citizens of Bethel, N. Y., who welcomed the fair with some enthusiasm at the last minute. Bethel, 98 miles from New York City has about 2.500 population. The town hoard approved a license for the festival and a site was found in a large alfalfa field on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm.

The only local protest took the form of downtown sign urging: “Stop Max’s Hippie Music Festival. No 150.000 hippies here. Buy no milk. Even opposition crowd estimates proved conservative. The promoters announced that 300 off-duty New York cops would he on hand to handle traffic, and that they’d taken out a s:t million insurance policy to cover contingencies. CONCERNED ABOUT violence at other festivals, the Woodstock group called a meeting of the underground press and pop music leaders late in June to discuss the problem. Said Woodstock vice president. Artie Kornfeld, “We are here to curtail incidents between kids and police.

If we want to stop violence and tension from becoming the norm on the fair grounds. we’ve got to set new tones for the festival and redefine its meaning. Our concept is three days of peace and music.” The festival planners also promised a “mathamatically computed” number of comfort stations, first aid stations, water supply stations and rice kitchens for kids with no money. Gate crashing was to be forestalled by busing kids from the parking lots to the fairgrounds. All the elaborate preparations were rendered academic, of course, when Yasgur’s farm sustained the largest invasion since Normandy. While sheer physical glut made it impossible for most of the kids to see or hear the musicians not one serious cop-kid hassle was reported. Under stress, a cooperative spirit united the generations.

“It all happened,” summed up Kornfield. “because we wanted to see all our favorite performers on the same stage just once.”

23 or 24 Aug 1969 – Shea Stadium in New York

24 August 1969 Corpus Christi Times

Newspaper advertisement promoting The Texas International Pop Festival

24 August 1969 San Antonio Light

The San Antonio Light newspaper previews the Texas International Pop festival which will he held starting 30 August 1969

DALLAS — Plans for the first annual Texas International Pop Festival here Aug. 30-Sept are now being finalized. The talent lineup includes Canned Heat, Chicago Transit Authority, James Cotton Blues Band, Janis Joplin, B. B. King, Herbie Mann, Rotary Connection, and Sam & Dave, on Aug. 30. Appearing Aug. 31 will be Led Zeppelin, Chicago Transit Authority, James Cotton BluesBand, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, Incredible String Band, B. B. King, Herbie Mann, and Sam & Dave. On Sept. 1 Johnny Winter, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, B.B. King, Nazz, Sly & The Family Stone, Spirit, Sweetwater, Ten Years After, Freddie King, and Tony Joe While. (not in particular stage order).

The three-day festival Labor Day Weekend, is expected to attract 45-50,000 people per day. Included will be a light show by Electric College of Atlanta, Ga. The sounds will be done by top acoustical engineers Bill & Terry Hanley. Hanley Sound has done the Newport Jazz Festival sound for the past nine successful years. Construction for the festival is now under way at Festival Field at the Dallas International Mo-tor Speedway, 12 mile north of Dallas on 1-35E. The festival will be using approximately 25 acres of ground for the stage, ground seating, concessions, and back stage area. Parking for 40.000 cars will be provided.

In addition to crowd preparations, elaborate preparations have been planned for the comfort of the attending press and varied media representatives. Tents, water and phones will be provided in a separate area from the public. Trailers will he located within the restricted press area for interviews, e t c. Advance ticket prices are $6. per day, or a booklet price for three days of $18. Ticket prices at the gaze will be $7 per day, State camping facilities are located approximately three miles from Festival Field. All camping will come under the State Public Camping Gudelines, and the sponsors cannot guarantee the amount of availability or provide security.

Camping will be operated separate of the music festival. The Texas International Pop Festival is produced by the same people who produced the highly successful Atlanta International Pop Festival July 4th, and Showco of Dallas.

Tickets are available in San Antonio at Platter Palace in Wonderland Center, JaInt-Effort at 3811 Broadway, Record Rendezvous in McCreless Center, and Sound Town 3223 West Avenue. Tickets will only be available a short time longer, through Aug. 20, after that only at the gate in Dallas. Details are on XTSA Radio in San Antonio

Sat 30 Aug 1969 until Mon 1 Sep 1969 Texas International Pop Festival

Dallas International Motor Speedway, Louisville, TX. Other artists: included Canned Heat, Janis Joplin, James Cotton, Santana , Sam & Dave, Chicago, Led Zeppelin , Sly and the Family Stone and Ten Years After.

Sat 30 Aug 1969

  • Canned Heat
  • Chicago Transit Authority
  • James Cotton Blues Band
  • Janis Joplin
  • Sun 31 Aug 1969 Chicago Transit Authority
  • James Cotton Blues Band
  • Delaney and Bonnie and Friends
  • Incredible String Band
  • B.B. King

Mon 1 Sep 1969

  • Johnny Winter
  • Delaney and Bonnie and Friends
  • B.B. King
  • Nazz
  • Sly and the Family Stone

The Texas International Pop concert of Johnny Winter resulted in the unofficial record: “White Lighting” and is also available on video: Got No Shoes Got No Blues – video of the 1969 Texas International Pop Festival

Songs performed by Johnny Winter and his band at the Texas Internation Pop Festival 1969 include:

  • Mean town blues
  • Black cat bone
  • Mean mistreater
  • Talk to your daughter
  • Leland, Mississipi
  • I’m not sure (fade out)

Saturday 30 August Corpus Christi Times

Joe Cappo writes a short biography calling it “Solid White Singer”


HIS WHITE cornsilk hair hangs down to his shoulders and frames the creamy white skin and pointed nose is his face. His eyebrows and lashes are also white and they accent his pale, crowed eyes. This is Johnny Winter. As an albino, he is physically pure white.

As a musician, he is the epitome of blackness, Winter is a guitarist and a vocalist, one of the unusual ones who somehow built up a reputation as a bluesman before he ever stepped into a recording studio. Born in Beaumont 25 years ago, he was a small child when his family moved to Mississippi to operate a cotton plantation. It was there , that the blues first took hold on him.

The FAMILY eventually-moved back to Texas, where Winter learned to play ukulele and guitar. With his kid brother Edgar (also white-haired), Winter started a teen-age blues group and made the rounds of the small roadside clubs in the South. After a semester at Lamar Technical College, he left Texas and wandered to Chicago, where he met Barry Goldberg and Mike Bloomfield, two youngsters destined to be-rates the nation’s foremost white Bluesmen. At the time, Bloomfield was running the Fickle Pickle, a State Street coffeehouse, and Winter would sit in with the jammers on guitar and mouth harp. That was the start of five years of digging, working with groups called the Plague and It and Them, traveling from Chicago to Pensacola, from New York to San Francisco.

Winter was working, learning and making little headway until Bolling Stone, bible of the rock music world carried a two-page spread on him late In 1968. WITHIN A month, Stan Paul, operator of “The Scene” In New York, contacted Winter and placed him in his club. Paul aLso became Winter’s manager, counseling him to sit back while several record companies bid for his talent, The nod finally went to Columbia Records, which paid Winter a cool $650,000 for a five-year pact. But if his first album is any indication, Winter will more than pay back the Columbia investment. The record Is called simply “Johnny Winter,” but there’s nothing simple in the contents.

The basic fare is rural blues, with Winter displaying extraordinary virtuosity on guitar. He has both the sensitive feelings demanded by the blues and the gift of structuring tight jam riffs, plus the technical skill of putting the two of them together. The regulars in Winter’s group include drummer John Turner and bassist Tommy Shannon, but the real kick in the pants on this album comes from appearances by two old pros, Chicago blues composer Willie Dixon on acoustic bass and Walter (Shakey) Horton on mouth harp. The only weak part in this album is Winter’s singing, which Is a little too unmotivoted and unconvincing, particularly when it is displayed side-by-side with his master-ful guitaring. Winter is more musician than singer.

He also is more musician than the vast majority of young guitarists who have drifted to the blues. if he becomes successful — and he should — the whole world contemporary music will better off because of it

Someone remembers:

I first saw Johnny Winter at the Texas International Pop Festival in 1969, a few weeks after Woodstock. There were close to 300,000 people there.

Johnny was dressed entirely in white and was wearing a white jacket with long fringe. He played at night on the third day and when the spotlights hit him I’m sure he could be seen for miles. I imagine people looking out of their plane windows could have seen him that night. He reflected light so well.

I can’t remember if he had a bass player or not. I have always heard that he did some gigs for a while without one. And it was around that same time. Apparently Johnny and Tommy Shannon had some falling out. I saw Tommy Shannon about a year after Stevie Ray had died, when his new band was playing at a club near where I worked. I mentioned his early stuff with Johnny Winter and got a very chilly response. I guess he was still really hurting from Stevies death, and apparently Johnny Winter is still a sore subject with him. But Stevie was the best friend Tommy ever had. They were like brothers. But I digress.

At the time of the Texas International Pop Festival, Leeland Mississippi was pretty much Johnny’s theme song. I used to hear it on top 40 radio every now and then. I remember he played it that night. He probably opened with it.

I didn’t see him again untill he toured with the band on the “Captured Live” album, with Randy Joe Hobbs and the rest. Except for the festival and maybe one other show, that was probably the show I liked the best.

Not long after Captured Live Johnny returned more to his bluesy roots and stop doing so many of his older rock-n-roll songs. He was as good as ever, but their were a lot of tunes he just didn’t play very often anymore, such as Still Alive and Well, and Rock-n-Roll Hootchie Koo, and Leeland Mississippi.

I started seeing him fairly regularly in the late seventies and early eighties. He came around quite a lot. He stuck with the same trio for quite a while. The bass player blew harp on almost every song, it seemed. He had a special harmonica rack that looked like a clear plastic tube. He blew harp while he played bass. That trio was perfect for Johnny. That band accounts for some of the best performances I ever saw Johnny give.

I was still missing some of his old rock songs though. Then one time I saw him in a bar (with the same three-piece band). The band seemed to be in a great mood that night, and it was a good crowd too. There was a built-in table that surrounded the whole stage. That is where I was sitting. People who were sitting there started writing song requests on napkins and passing them up to the bass player to read. After Johnny had done a few requests, I decided this might be my opportunity to hear Leland Mississippi live for the first time in almost ten years. So I handed the request to the bass player, and he whispered in Johnny’s ear. Johnny and the bass player went over and talked to the drummer for a while. I don’t think they had ever even rehersed that song before as a group, because they talked about it for quite a while. Then Johnny stepped up to the mike and said,”Here’s an old one that I haven’t played in a long time, called Leland Mississippi.”

They played it perfectly, and the crowd went nuts. Johnny’s fans are some of the most loyal in the music business. They are mostly old timers who know his music backwards and forwards. I think everyone else was as happy as me to hear that song after such a long time.

Johnny was obviously enjoying himself at this point. I never saw him so happy at a show before or since. At one point someone requested a song, and Johnny and the bass player had another meeting. Then Johnny said into the mike,” We’ve got a song we’re gonna do, but I’m going to let my bass player play guitar.” Then they switched, and Johnny started playing bass. I believe it was Wipe Out, but they ended up doing three songs that way, if I remember right. They were all laughing and having a blast up there. That was obvious. Anyway, they did do Wipe Out (of all songs for Johnny to play), and they were loving it. The drummer did a solo, and then came out from behind his drumms and started playing his solo on mike stands and anything he could get to. He eventually came to the front of the stage and started drumming on the stage floor and the table that surrounded it. He was right at our place at the table and started playing his solo on our glass ashtray. Butts and ashes were flying everywhere, but that was alright. We didn’t care. It was a blast.

It was like they were playing in their own garage. They were really having a ball. Eventually Johnny and the bass player switched back and they went back to playing Johnny’s stuff. They played a long time, and did several encores. That crowd just wouldn’t let the band get out of there that night. That was one of the best shows I ever saw Johnny put on. He also did “Hustled Down in Texas” off of Second Winter. That is the only time I remember hearing him play that song live. I’ve never seen Johnny have so much fun as on that night.

saw him a lot of times after that too. I’ve seen him so many times I really couldn’t count them all. Another good show saw I was back in 1985 roughly. That was when he was billed with Edgar’s band and The Greg Allman Band. Edgar opened the show, and he was in top form. He almost had a fussion sound mixed in with his past styles. It’s obvious that Edgar just keeps studying. Everytime you see him he is better, and introducing new elements into his music.

After Edgar, Greg Allman’s band came on. They had Dangerous Dan Toller on lead if I remember right. They had plenty of guitar power to do all of the Allman brothers material. In fact it really sounded more like an Allman Brothers concert. They did Whipping Post, Statesboro Blues, and a lot of other Allman Brothers stuff. Then Johnny came on. He didn’t have a bit of trouble topping Edgar and Greg. I really thought there might be a few Greg Allman fans leaving after his show, but that didn’t happen. That was one of the best shoes I have ever seen.

I don’t know if there are any other Johnny Winter fans out there, (in this ng) but this post is for them.

Johnny Winter in September 1969

Hit Parader, September 1969

Article: An Interview with Johnny Winter

September 1969 Johnny Winter Strobe Magazine – The Apotheosis of Johnny Winter

And When The Stone Rolled Away, The Word Did Reach Paul- Go Ye To Texas And Seek A Blues Man!

By Jon Millingtowne

‘He’s a skinny, long-haired, white-haired, pale, blues-living guitarist from Texas. I don’t know if Winter is the name he was born with but it’s certainly his real name. His incredibly white skin and white hair remind us of the icy season. The word Winter reminds us that if he were in a movie he would play the part of Death. But the truth is he’s not in any kind of movie. And he makes music. He makes life. In the days we know little about, the days when history was sung rather than written, those who gave life were called heroes and kings. Ultimately they were called gods. The ritual elevation to gudhood was called apotheosis.

Now, when strangers are brought together at early morning hours by the whimsey of bus depots they still recount the story of how Johnny Winter came to be known. They talk knowingly of the article that appeared in Rolling Stone — the article that told of the Texas music scene in general. It mentioned Johnny Winter in particular. It indicated that he was magnificent beyond the limits of mortality. And then the words Steve Paul are uttered. They tell of how Steve Paul walked out of his New York night club. The Scene. hailed an aeroplane and flew to Texas to find Johnny Winter and bring him to New York to make music and add more life to his scene.

They tell each other of how Steve Paul became Johnny Winter’s manager. The record companies fought for the right to record Winter. He and his grout. ultimately signed with Columbia Records. He appeared at the Filmores East and West. rehearsed in rural New York State area and eventually made prestigious public appearances making a lot of friends and money. Buses come into the depot to bear the spreaders of legend to distant parts of the land. There is momentary silence. A dime falls into the juke box (click) and the telling of the legend begins again. Johnny Winter tells a variation of the story. He tells of how he learned to feel blues and how he became unknown and how he was discovered and how he is now.

“I never really felt strange about going Into the black clubs and being in there if the people didn’t feel strange about having me in there. In most cases they didn’t seem to. There was never one incident. Maybe somebody would say something. There was never any real incidents. Maybe, once in a while. a black chick would ask me to dance just because she’d think, ‘well this white cat coming in here. I wonder if he really likes us.’ I’d be there listening to the music and not really wanting to dance anyway. If she were a white chick I wouldn’t want to dance because I only wanted to hear the music. But instead I’d feel obligated.

That’s the only kind of incident that would come up.” But Johnny did have some problems with the owners of the clubs he worked in. ‘These people had the P.A. control behind the bar sometimes and they would turn it up loud as they wanted. If they thought the band was too loud they’d turn the vocal down so you’d have to play quieter. I’d walk off the bandstand and do horrible things. I also knew club owners who would pick records off the radio and say ‘you’ve got to learn this one next week.’ And I did. You had to do it or starve. It was either do that or work in a filling station. “But the way things were going the other guys in the band had it worse than I did. Because I lived with a chick that was working regularly.

She didn’t make a lot of money but she made 575-100 a week and I made money and I had a little money that I saved up that I had in the bank from when I was doing well. “We had an old Packard hearse, an old ’52 Packard hearse that we have to get fixed up again. It’s in Austin. It’s a great car. People really, really, really couldn’t believe us driving this big old hearse around Texas. Most of our money just went into keeping the car rolling, gas and other things, but it really wasn’t as bad for me as it was for those two guys. That’s why I hate to see them getting all the criticism. Like people ignore the fact that we’re even a band. It’s like Johnny Winter.

“At the start, the name of the band was Winter and it was a complete thing we were doing together. Now people are saying, ‘Johnny Winter and the two shitty guys that are hanging on.’ That’s not right because the sacrificed even more than I did. They hadn’t been into blues as long as I had. “As soon as I turned them onto blues they got excited and began to learn. I’d play records for them and they were getting into it, too. I played everything I had for them like a lot of Muddy Waters’ things, Robert Johnson, Little Walter and just samples of B.B. King.

I’d say ‘this is a good example of Chicago Blues and this is a good example of Delta Blues’.” Every once in a while. Johnny ventured forth from Texas to seek his fortune. “I’d gone to England once and I was going to go back to England and work over there recording and working over in England. There was a local company that was offering several thousand dollars for me to sign with them, like five or six thousand dollars. At the time, we had nothing. You know like from nothing to have somebody say here’s five thousand dollars. Finally it got up to where it was going to be like 10. maybe 15, I can’t remember exactly.

“But they’d say things like. ‘Well, you can have all the control over the tunes but we can’t put that into the contract because what if you get in there and you just go crazy. We’ve got to have some controls and it’s just got to be that way.’ And I didn’t want that. I knew exactly what I wanted because I’ve been screwed so many times. These people figure ‘you’re a musician, man. but I know pe-ple and I know what’s going to sell. I know what people will pay money to hear so you should do it my way. You’re the musician and I’m the business guy so I know better. I thought that I knew better and I didn’t even care if I didn’t know better.

I still wanted to do it my way. “I’ve been screwed a bunch of times. Everybody I ever recorded for said ‘Listen to this record by Bobby Darin. Listen to how the drums go. And listen, man, this one sells a lot of records. Copy this and write your own words to it and it’ll probably be a hit because so-and-so did it last week and this is real big on the charts and this is the sound that’s happening now’ and all that stuff that, you know, I hated. And I dedicated myself to never doing that again. And I was very wary of it. I just wasn’t going to have a manager.I already turned down a lot of things because people would do that.

And I didn’t think I’d have a chance to do things exactly the way I wanted.” So. back to Texas and back to everything as it was. until that Rolling Stone appeared. And then Steve Paul appeared. “I thought he was a nut. I thought he was crazy. Down there all the people act like him. Steve’s a big hype person all the way. He comes on that way. The big hard sell. You gotta come to New York play at my club and well do all this for you’ — and the people who ran things down there were short-haired, older people and the people like Steve screwed up. I didn’t know what was true. I’d heard of the Scene. I heard of Steve Paul and I really was at the point where I really didn’t think he was real.

“I thought he was lust some nut who had read the article and told me he was Steve Paul. I really didn’t believe him. I was already supposed to go to San Francisco and I had already promised to go there and work the Matrix and Steve would say ‘you’ve got to come to New York now. First.’ And I told him I can’t do that. I’ll come to New York later. I planned on going. I figured I didn’t care how much of a nut he was. If he’s going to give me a free plane ticket. I’d go for that. “Hut when I got to San Francisco. he’d call me at places where I had no idea he could find out where I was. I would be eating somewhere and get a call from Steve Paul. And he’d give me the same stuff.

‘You got to come to New York. right now, man. It’s very important because this week there’s going to be a lot of people at the Scene because Hendrix is there and you can jam with him and it’s really important that you go right now.’ ” “I said leave me alone. man. I’ll come when I can. He’d bug me every day and talk for an hour on things that I didn’t care about. He was telling me the same things over and over. ‘You got to get up here. You got to get up here.’ I told him I was coming later when I could. I went back to Texas and things worked out so that I could come and I figured I’d go there and see what he could do.

“I didn’t really want a manager because I wanted to do everything myself. I figured I’d go up there and chock It out and at least get him off my back so I could say I’ve been there. And as soon as I wont there. just immediately. I realized that he would do what he said and another thing that I thought he would do that I really didn’t want him to do Was try to tell me what to do, how to play and if you wear a red shirt they’re going to like you better. and how to commercialize and how to set up for the kids. And he didn’t do that at all. He didn’t try to make me do these things. Everything he did was natural. If I didn’t like it. he’d leave me alone. If I said ‘I don’t like this it isn’t really me.’ he’d immediately quit.

“Right away in the first two or three days I knew it would work great. Like, in San Fran-cisco. people liked me just as much as they did in New York. But yet I didn’t get any press. Nobody was there. When I was with Steve he took me to Fillmore.’ lammed. He did business type things like making sure the photographers were there, making sure the press was there. making sure the right people were there to hear me which is not hype. It’s lust good business you know. Well. It’s hype in a way but it’s not dis-honest. “Hell. I’ve been playing for ten years and nobody would even listen to me. You got to do someting. You can’t sit there hoping.

You got to go out and force them to hoar you. If they like, it. okay. If they don’t. “He didn’t bother me. He didn’t mess with my music at all. We work together real well. And I think he was everything he seemed to be and It’s been greet. We have a good re-lationship.” And even before the news that Columbia Records paid somewhere between $300,000 and $600.000 the journalists of the land paid court to Johnny Winter. “I’ve been wanting to say things for ten years and I haven’t had a chance to. You know it’s great, man. It’s not a drag for me at all. It’s great that I have people who want to listen, just things like this kind of talking is great for me.

After ten years of talking and having everybody think you’re crazy.” When the record was made. one of the musicians who augmented the basic trio was Edgar Winter. Johnny’s brother. “Edgar is an excellent musician. He’s much better than I am technically but we’re into such different things. Blues is not commercial and all. but it lust happens that what he’s doing is also not commercial. I don’t really know what he wants to do. He’s never had a chance to do what he wanted. “I’d like to give him a chance to do the same thing that I did. lust have him come up and not have to play with me. Thai would be horrible to have him play stuff that he doesn’t want to play.

It would be great if I could help him get musicians that he really enjoys playing with. I think I can because of the whole big deal—albino freak making it—and here’s another one so everybody in the record business can’t wait to pick up on it. ‘That’s one thing that almost pisses me off. I was never bitter about the fact that I was different that I had a hard time 1 never felt like ‘poor me. why did this happen and all that stuff.’ It never really bothered me. And now there have been several things written about me—The world is ready for any freak. any freak can make it’ — just because I’m albino and look strange. Now it’s supposed to be such a great and wonderful thing.

The magic in the music doesn’t really make any difference. “lust because I’m weird people are ready to pick up on it. And for so many years. I didn’t make it. especially in the old days of all the teenie hopper regular good looking beach boys. Can you imagine me in that bag. I didn’t mind putting up with it all those years. How can people say it’s an advantage now and I’m making it now because of that. It’s a disadvantage again because people think that’s the reason I’m here and that’s the reason instead of appreciating the Music. “I’d hate to make it like that because I don’t see myself as a Tiny Tim person that’s just putting on a show or are there lust be. cause I am a freak.

It’s just something that’s there. Like some people are black. I want people to like me for my music and for what I do and lust dig that more than anything else. “I consider what I do just talking to people just a conversation. I can’t perform. One thing I’m really horrible at and can’t do is perform. is act. Like when you walk out there with a big smile and say ‘hi there.’ It used to be the big thing in the clubs where you are supposed to make everyone happy and keep them drinking. You know. ‘water up folks. Last call for alcohol.’ I can’t do that. If I’m hating something I act like it. If I’m happy. I’ll jump around and scream and do all kinds of things.

I can’t put it on. It’s impossible for me. I just can’t. “Whenever I’ve tried to do it it seemed to me so ridiculous. I know people say the music business changes you. It can’t change me. I know what I could do. I play guitar good. I sing good and I do good blues.” Two strangers share a table in a night-time neon cafeteria. The coffee steams into the vacuums of their mouths and then words tumble out. Words about life-giving dynamite blues man Johnny Winter. And In the pleasure of these words are the simple truths upon which legends are built:

he plays guitar good; he sings good; and he does good blues.

Friday , Saturday 5 & 6 September 1969 Grande Ballroom , Detroit

Johnny Winter, Sky (band)

7 September 1969 Kleinhans Music Hall , Buffalo

The “Blues Show” with Johnny Winter (source: The Daily Messenger Canada)

Tuesday 16 September 1969 Delta Democrat Times, Greenville Mississippi

It really never died for Blacks: “Blues hitting white Youth” by Hollis I West, the Washington Post.

WASHINGTON— The white youth of America have picked up a new fad—playing the blues. Shaggy-haired kids in the cities and small towns are learning their guitars. No longer do American youth look to Broadway as a madel for weal stylings. The new demo-gods are gnarled black blues singers who paid their dues in the tangled maze of this country’s racial mores. This new interest has been Called a “rebirth of the blues.” More accurately, though, it should be referred to as an awakening, for the blues has not died in black communities. The gospel influenced sounds of soul music, or rhythm and blues, may have superseded the blues in popularity in the urban ghettoes, but black Southerners still like their blues in large doses.

More. than anything, perhaps, this widespread popularity of the blues among whites is part of the youth revolution of our time.The young arc trying not to be confined in the kind of Jack-in-the-box thinking about race and sex that their parents accepted. For many of them, the blues is not back alley music played by loose-maraled blacks. Their curiosity about the blues may represent a blessing and an act of folly and cruelty. The blessing is obvious, Forgotten blues performers who never would have seen the light of a commercial day without the blues awakening have been brought out of obscurity and are earning enough from their music to support themselves.

Too often in the past, they earned their bread by driving cabs, sweeping floors or working as domestics, Now they are Listened to in concerts and night clubs with reverence by young whites. The cruel Irony of these developments, however, is that the black bluesmen, the pioneers and originators, always find themselves in the second billing position an programs with white bluesmen whose expressions are a pastiche of black styles. And the difference in money paid to blacks and whites is so lopsided that it staggers the imagination. Janis Joplin, ballyhooed for the last year as the top rock star, is given space on the Covers of the national slick magazines and earns 10,000 dollars far a night’s concert work.

But Willie Mae Thornton, one of Miss Joplin’s stylistic models, remains in the financial minor leagues, earning in a year what Miss Joplin may make in several days. Compared In her model, Miss Joplin is a poor excuse for a blues singer. She is probably well on her way toward ruining her voice under the strain of trying for the harsh, raucous sounds that black performers use naturally. The publicity given to Miss Joplin’s career has riot been equalled until Columbia Records helped bring Johnny Winter on the national scene earlier this year. Winter, a crosss-eyed albino from Texas, has immersed himself in a variety of styles, to none of which he – has brought any originality.

Journeys the imitative route through the music of Ray Charles, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. Despite the absence of a fresh musical approach, Winter was signed for one of the most spectacular contracts in the history of the recording industry — an initial fee of 300,000 dollars and a long term contract calling for 600,000 dollars. B. B. King, the most creative bluesman on the current scene, has not seen such money for a recording contract. Record company officials know a good thing when they see it. They recognize the music of Johnnie Taylor and James Brown cannot be sold en masse to white teenagers because It lies ton,, much blackness.

Exceptions can be made for the watered down black sexual imagery of Jimi Hendrix, who has surrounded himself in an absurd melange of electronic sound and guitar buntings, or the Chambers Brothers, a mediocre former gospel group that sings a pallid combination of soul and rack. Tine general rule is to sell white groups that are engaged in a latter day version of black race. the artistic product be damned. Indeed, it Janis Joplin and Johnny Winter were black, they probably would have never gotten into a recording studio. As nue record company official casually, put it, “You know this is something out of our hands. Whites have been taking black music and diluting it for years, and then making the big money on it”

This is an important part of the history of American music and there is little black blues musicians can do about it. Avantgarde black jazz musicians solved a similar problem by enveloping their music with so many Afro-Asian influences that it would be completely outrageous for while musicians to imitate them. This avenue is not open to bluesmen who must keep their music simple, for the blues cannot incorporate outside musical influences as easily as Jazz.

Saturday, 27 September 1969: The Johnny Winter Story

On Saturday, 27 September 1969 “The Johnny Winter Story” a compilation of early tracks cut during his days in Chicago, and released by GRT peaks US #111




Johnny Winter Best Of Japan
Johnny Winter playing a White Gibson Firebird

This album “JOHNNY WINTER – The Best of Johnny Winter Japan” is a compilation of Johnny’s best songs from the period 1970-1973

Music Genre: Blues-Rock, Hard Rock-n-Roll 
Record Label: CBS/Sony SOPM 91
Record Format12″ Vinyl Stereo Gramophone Record
Total Album (Cover+Record) weight: 230 gram  
Year & Country: 1974 JAPAN

Saturday, 4 July 1970: Atlanta International Pop Festival Middle Georgia Raceway near Byron GA.


On July 3,4,5, 1970 the Second International Atlanta Pop Festival was held in a bean field at Byron GA. Bryon GA is a small community just off the Interstate in the Macon area. It was hot, getting up to 105 in the shade during the day. I had seen Johnny at West Palm and told everyone about his brother Edgar and the jam session with Vanilla Fudge, Janis Joplin, and the Winters. We were pumped, cause we figured Johnny would be ready to jam and I had everyone hyped to see Edgar. And we figured the possibilities were endless in that the band list included the headliner, Jimi Hendrix and also some other fine axe men, like Robin Trower, BB King, Alvin Lee, Leslie West, Duane Allman, Dickie Betts, Terry Reid, and some others on instruments like Dave LaFlamme on violin and Lee Michaels on organ.

So, I was VERY disappointed to read in the paper just before the show that Johnny had a new band. And it was the McCoys. I mean, what was he going to play, Hang on Sloopy!!!!!! The write ups of the new album didn’t really give us a clue. But, I was bummed. Big time.

Well, when we get to Byron, we eventually learn that Johnny and Jimi play on different nights (Jimi played at midnight, July 4th with fireworks) so that possiblity was out. But, the Allman Brothers and Alvin Lee with Ten Years After were set for the same night, Sunday, as Johnny.

Well, needless to say, we need not have worried about Johnny. When the band hit the stage, they just flat kicked ass. The only SONG I really remember was Rock N Roll Hoochie Coo. But Johnny and Rick just played their hearts out and were great. I was only about 50 feet from the stage and was actually right under the mic that Johnny used when they came out. The stage was well over our heads, so I went back to out spot to have a better view and to hear the mix coming out of the speakers.

As a side note, there was a strange group of people near us at the show. They had a leader who they thought was a wizard and he was dispensing Electric Kool Aid. At one time they were passing around a joint that was as big as a cigar and was rolled in the Sunday funnny papers. About 20 years later, I was waiting to take a picture of Johnny when he came off his bus before a show (And I don’t know where the pictures are, really.) when this hippie with hair down to his ass says to me, “Man, I been seeing Johnny for 20 years.” I say, “Me too.” We talk for a while and figure out that we were both in Atlanta. Then we figure that we were both on the left hand side of the stage, about 50 feet out. And he says, “Well man, you might remember me, I was the dude that rolled the joint out of the Sunday funnies man. I put three lids of Columbian in that thing dude.” I asked him about the wizard, but he just wanted to talk about his joint.

Anyways, as the night goes on, the Allman Brothers are playing and they are hot. They had the harp player who is on the Fillmore East album with them and are wailing. Then, they mention a guest is coming out. Just as they break into Mountain Jam, out pops Johnny and is he wired or what. I can not really describe to you how he picked that show up. (This jam of Johnny Winter and the Allman Brothers is available on the recording: The Allman Brothers Band – Atlanta International Pop Festival) In my humble opinion, he flat blew Dickie and Duane away. I mean, he can play the slide or without and is dueling with them both. Now, I guess I exaggerate a bit when I say he blew them away, cause this was in their prime and as you might imagine, Duane and Dickie didn’t back down at all. But it just seemed like the whole place, including about 500,000 of us, just kept getting higher and higher and Johnny was the energy driving it all.

The jam-session “Mountain Jam” of the Allman Brothers with Johnny Winter , has been released on an unofficial record.

JWS Atlanta Pop Festival July 1970 9692

Roy Buchanan’s fanmail archive

9 Nov 2004

i am a roy fan, that is why i own 2 telecasters and play guitar. i had the privilege of seeing roy 2 times. once around ’79 at the stanley theater in pgh (my home town). he played ‘hey joe’ and dedicated it to jimi. i swear, during the song the lights in the theater started flickering and jimi was there. i get goose bumps just thinking about it. i also saw him at the musicians exchange in ft lauderdale, not long before his tragic passing. it was a really small venue and i was at a table right in front of roy! before the show, i saw this big, shaved head guy leaning against the cig machine. i thought to myself, he sure looks like roy, but, roy doesn’t have a shaved head. then the show starts and it was roy. he only had a bass player and a drummer with him, no keyboards. he just kept to himself, offstage. i wish i would have told him thanks for the joy he’s provided me as well as the jaw dropping licks!

24 Aug 2004

The Best Unknown Guitartist in the World, this say it all to me and by obtaining his catylog in LPs first of all and finding boots in audio tapes from other collectors was very rewarding for my new musical tastes!

I havin’t really collect much boots in the past but have just gotten the American Axe Series of 9 Volumes on CDRs. I just have to print out the covers and make the two last covers for my collect of Roy’s music!

I have not gotten his book as of yet but will treat myself for this XMAS comming and even up grade some lps to CDs. LOL

I got a lot of video of Roy from the first PBS Bio called, “the World’s Best Unknown Guitartist”, to Austin City Limits and a few boots plus to Further on Up the Road with Albert Collins and Lonnie Mack.

I guess to me the best of all his releases, it would have to be Allgator’s “When My Guitar Plays the Blues”, it this period he was just over the top in his playing for sure!

Long Live Roy’s Music!


19 Dec 2003


Just a quick thanks-I get asked sometimes who I think the best guitarist ever is and I have long since given up on figureing that out. There are many great guitarists not one who is best and Roy is right there with them. Music is the best-fz
Thanks Burnie

7 Dec 2003

I was first turned onto Roy Buchanan in the early seventies when I accidently came upon an Austin City Limits episode on PBS. I almost flipped the channel because I had never heard of this guy. I don’t remember what stopped me but not flipping had a great impact on my life. In a short time I was mesmerized with the music. I can’t swear exactly what songs I heard that day but I believe “Sweet Dreams & Hey Joe” were two of them. I began collecting Roy’s albums at that time (as an old hippie I still collect some vinyl) and later (late 90’s) began to collect his work on CD’s. I love all of his music but if pinned down to a favorite (and this would be hard to do) I would probably choose “Please Don’t Turn Me Away” (That’s What I Am Here For / album). I am currently reading his biography, American Axe and on a regular basis I break out my VHS copy of “Further On up The Road” (I am also a huge fan of Lonnie Mack) and just let the music blow my shit away. I have tried to locate copies of his appearence on Austin City or the PBS special on his life but they don’t seem to be available. Having never seen Roy “LIVE” will remain a bummer to me forever but life goes on, I wish his had. I hope someone reads this who really cares. Thanks for the opportunity to talk about my HERO.

7 Apr 2002

Many years ago a guy i worked with handed me an album which he had taken from the local library.Ilive in Norwich in the east of england and at the time i was listening to artists such as SANTANA ,andJOE WALSH.On the cover there was a photograph of a guy who looked like ROGER WITTAKER the person who appeared on the television and whistled.As he handed me the album he said YOU’LL LIKE THIS!!.On returting home i put the record on the turntable and could not beleive what i heard.Why had’nt i heard of this guitarist ? who was he? what a sound ,and then his version of green onions came on it absolutely blew my mind and i found that the lead guitarist from the BOOKER T version was playing second lead to roy.this album was one of my favourites ,and many years later when i had to sell my collection ,i was very sad as i could never find the album LOADING ZONE on cd does it exsist?

01 Apr 2002

i have been to countless record stores in the last nine or ten years and every one i go to i ask if they know about roys album live in japan and no luck. His version of hey joe is my number one. ive got to here the rest of the album. please email me if you have any info on that album. I just bought a computer a couple of weeks ago and punched in roys name and all the sights popped up, it was nice to see that there are alot more people out there interested in roy than i thought there was .

Thank you

17 Jan 2002

Wow what a great page you’ve got!

I saw Roy at Carnegie Hall – must have been around 1969 or 70. I remember the drummer had “Buch and the Snakestretchers” written on his bass drum but I think he was billed only as Roy Buchanan. He had his Fender amp sitting on a folding chair! And he played his Telecaster. It was loud enough. And he blew the audience away. Nobody had ever heard anything like what he did. No fuzz or electronic effects that I recall just him and his Tele. But everybody in the crowd had their mouth wide open. Thinking “how can anyone do that?” The harmonics was unlike anything anybody was familiar with. (I spent the next 3 months learning how to do it) But the speed, the sheer speed of the picking made everyone just stand there with big old dopey smiles of amazement. Who is this guy? As bad as I feel for trading my Hendrix (and the Band of Gypsies) at Carnegie Hall tickets for a bag of early harvest Mexican I don’t care – I saw Roy Buchanan at Carnegie Hall. I was there. And it was awesome!

14 Jan 2002

Just checked out your site on Roy B and just wanted to say thanks. As I sit here listening to Roy’s Blues (with the accompanying chills up my spine) I’m taken back to the early 70’s when I was turned on to the master. I absolutely wore out my copy of Livestock and never could find a replacement. And now, thanks to the ‘net and mp3’s I can once again enjoy one of (if not THE) finest blues guitar virtuoso’s ever to etch vinyl. thanks


14 Jan 2002

First of all sorry for my “Me Tarzan You Jane” english

R B means Rock & Buchanan or just Roy & Blues?

I’m on my first 44 y rediscovered him 2 years ago (Thanks Napster). When I was 15-17 bought a vinil (about guitar genious) because only 1 song of Jimi Hendrix (a fan, me?). There were also John McLoughlin, B B King, among others. I wish to thank the man who put Roy Buchanan’s Afterhours in. I can’t believe what I was hearing. Paganini reincarnates and play the guitar?………… So, you fans, don’t worry. There’s no time limit for Roy’s music.

But sadly here, in Argentina, there were no more music of R B. Once in the internet, in an real effort of memory I could remember the name that I knew should need for other oportunity. Really. And a new world of sounds and music opened in front of my closed eyes. And that man had passed away. I’m still could’t believe. Its causes as much pain.

And now I can’t avoid to envy those collectors, with CDs fulls of music, bar music, mono music, noisy music, but, Roy’s Genius music at the end. Roy, I ‘didn’t knew you, but I miss you. Sincerelly.

I just want to live a long time just to still enjoy your themes. The death looks good if you’re playing those tunes up.

And you know something?, they spend time if you was the best, the second, the electric, etc. Cause they think you was a guitar player. But we know that you played with your soul. That’s ’cause I think you was a good person. For four music.

Maybe for a short time?, but anyway: Thank you Roy. For use your Gift. Than you Lord. For Roy.

Gustavo Ramis
Buenos Aires – Argentina

November 2002 I first heard of Roy in 1977… brother had brought home “Loading Zone”, and I remember looking at the album cover and thinking to myself…”Who the f**k is this beatnik???”

Of course…needless to say…once I heard Roys’ solo on “Green Onions”…I was a fan for life.

For my 18th birthday n 1978…my brother and a friend took me to see Roy play at the Great American Music Hall in San Fransisco…..a fantastic show….one of the high lights was when Roy pulled out an accoustic guitar(Ive never heard of an other gig where he did this)…my only regret is I dont remember what he played on it!!!!!! Another highlight was when he prefaced “Hey Joe” by introducing the man who wrote the song originally..and he came on stage and played harmnica during the tune(cant remember his name…played with mid-60’s psychodelia band.”The Leaves” is on the tip of my tongue!!!).

It was a great show…and during the encores I can remember pounding the table so hard with an ashtray that it broke in half!!!!!

I saw Roy perform nine more times here in the Bay Area..and he never failed to blow me away time and again…but two shows in particular stand out.

The second to last time I saw him was when he headlined the San Fransisco Blues Festival… was wierd seeing him perform in front of thousands…instead of in the smoke filled clubs I was used to….he destroyed the place….this was just after when TGPTBs’ came out.

Sadly..the last time I saw him…even though it was a GREAT performance…was a club in San Fransisco…just after the “Hot Wires” LP….He and his band came on stage…and he walked off in the middle of the first song( at this time he had been quoted in certain trade papers as to how he was “clean” and warned against the perils of drug use etc)…his bass player and drummer just looked at eachother..shrugged their sholders and jammed for about ten minutes….the crowd stood in stunned silence….Roy soon came out and gave a great show…but it was kinda strange. Maybe he had stomach problems……..maybe not….I also remember one of Roys’ sons being at this show. Roy still influences me in my guitar playing…and I miss seeing him come around every year…his death had an profound impact. I’ll always cherish sitting in the front row at a gig…and Roy looking right at you while pulling off thunderous runs on his Tele..and not batting an eye…or moving…. or smiling….but as Roy once said…”Yeah…but I’m screamin’ inside!” Mike

21 Feb 2002 My Brother in law introduced me to Roy,s music in 1976.I was into Kiss and ZZ TOP at the time .He played Live Stock for me and I was blown away.Until last week I have yearned for a copy of this record.I found it on Amazon I suppose it was rereleased.Because over the years I have been to many record stores looking for it and they said it was out of print.I have been in the music business since 1983 ( audio engineer). I haved toured with the Georgia Sattelites in 1989 . In 1976 I was just learning how to play guitar,when I first heard of Roy .When I got Live Stock the other day and played it again I was floored .I didnt realize that I was playing Roy’s licks all these years without consciencally knowing it .I love to play the blues .And now when someone asks me who was your influences I know it was Roy Buchanan………………..Later Jay

14 Jan 2002 First of all sorry for my “Me Tarzan You Jane” english

R B means Rock & Buchanan or just Roy & Blues?

I’m on my first 44 y rediscovered him 2 years ago (Thanks Napster). When I was 15-17 bought a vinil (about guitar genious) because only 1 song of Jimi Hendrix (a fan, me?). There were also John McLoughlin, B B King, among others. I wish to thank the man who put Roy Buchanan’s Afterhours in. I can’t believe what I was hearing. Paganini reincarnates and play the guitar?………… So, you fans, don’t worry. There’s no time limit for Roy’s music.

But sadly here, in Argentina, there were no more music of R B. Once in the internet, in an real effort of memory I could remember the name that I knew should need for other oportunity. Really. And a new world of sounds and music opened in front of my closed eyes. And that man had passed away. I’m still could’t believe. Its causes as much pain.

And now I can’t avoid to envy those collectors, with CDs fulls of music, bar music, mono music, noisy music, but, Roy’s Genius music at the end. Roy, I ‘didn’t knew you, but I miss you. Sincerelly.

I just want to live a long time just to still enjoy your themes. The death looks good if you’re playing those tunes up.

And you know something?, they spend time if you was the best, the second, the electric, etc. Cause they think you was a guitar player. But we know that you played with your soul. That’s ’cause I think you was a good person. For four music.

Maybe for a short time?, but anyway: Thank you Roy. For use your Gift. Than you Lord. For Roy.

Gustavo Ramis
Buenos Aires – Argentina

14 Dec 2001

Greetings!! Just wanted to drop a line to say that I really enjoyed and appreciated your website about Roy. I am 44 years old. I have been a die hard Buchanan fan for almost 30 years. I used to marvel at how so few people even knew of him. I always considered him to be the best electric player ever. It was his blistering, melodic style that caused me to develop the love that I have for blues structured music. I am currently in the studio producing my 4th album. I am a very contemporary/blues/rock Christian artist. Of course, I am unknown except in the Baltic region of Eastern Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. All of that is in the FM radio venue. Mostly college Christian programming. The unknown part is fine with me. I would not want to be famous, who needs that Albatross around their neck? There is allot to be said for going into the grocery store as a nobody. I am certainly not the genius that Roy was, however, my purpose is to spread a message of hope and peace to a turbulent generation. I must say however that the influence that Roy has had on my music is very evident and always will be. In my mind any way. Roy and I have a common thread also, I’m Pentecostal too. Well, God bless you and your loved ones this holiday season….. Thanks for the trip down memory lane David Ridge

8 Dec 2001

I could go on for days about Roy Buchanan.

I first heard of him in the early 70s, when most people did. I guess I saw him about 10 or 12 times from 1974-1988. I was at the Live Stock concert, in 1974. I got to meet him once in 1983, backstage in Philadelphia, and what they say is true. I knew that he was not comfortable talking about himself, so he pretty much ignored all the people asking about the Stones, etc — I asked him about Roy Nichols, and some of the guys in the Snakestretchers, etc., so he opened up to me. Wish I could remember more of it… I was pretty well beer-sodden at the time. Billy Price’s band opened, and it was nice to see them talking again.

I like his Polydor stuff the best, and even have the album he did with Danny Denver. I have a number of tapes and videos. Many people like his Alligator label records the best, but I think he was pigeonholed as a blues player, when he really played on a much broader stylistic basis. The country songs on the first two Polydor albums are really good. The Buch and the Snakestretchers live album (mono lo-fi) is also really good. I’m from the Maryland/VA area where he was and there are just loads of people around here still who knew him and played with him.

I know he did try and sort of reinvent himself in the 1985-88 period, but for me it was kind of sad to see him going around in a 3 piece, often playing Hendrix and Zeppelin songs that weren’t really necessary… he had a lot more to offer than that.

I just finished reading that biography that was done on him… and I must admit I didn’t know he was such a troubled person… even going way back. But he played from some place that other guitarists just aren’t going to find. As one of his band mates says in the bio. the shows they did at My Father’s Place were some of the best… I have some of those tapes and they are just killer. But he was good just about through the 70s, but as many people know, his 80s performances were more erratic. But like the book says, he was really popular in the Boston area, and so the 1987 tape at Jonathan Swifts is really hot.

Favorite songs from each officially released album (not counting the Danny Denver album)
1st album– I am a Lonesome Fugitive
2nd album-She Once Lived Here
That’s What I’m Here For– Roy’s Bluz (Nepesh, a close 2nd)
In the Beginning– (title song)
Live Stock — I’m Evil
Street Called Straight — Messiah Will Come Again
Loading Zone — Green Onions
Live in Japan — Soul Dressing
Your’re Not Alone — none of it, his worst album
My Babe — Secret Love
When Guit. Plays the Blues– Chicago Smokeshop
Dancing on the Edge– Peter Gunn
Hot Wires — Flash Chordin

28 Oct 2001

Great site !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I must of seen Roy 20 times in New York City and a club called “My Fathers Place” on Long Island. I had the great opportunity to meet and talk with Roy a few times. The one thing that stands out is when you would shake hands his fingers wrapped around your whole hand. I have most of his albums and some tapes from the club on Long Island. A local radio station WLIR would play his concerts live on the radio. I had a rare opportunity to sit with Roy and talk about his career and he played some gospel tunes on his unplugged Telecaster. One night at a show in “My Fathers Place” he was doing his second act, there were maybe 20 people in the audience and Roy was feeling pretty tipsy. Robbie Robertson went on stage and they played “Furthur on up the Road”. One tune I will never forget, Roy was feeling so good he did a little dance/shuffle around Robbie while playing. Robertson was in awe. Do you know of anyway to get videos of Roy ? Austin City Limits or the Japan concert. It would mean alot !!!!

Once again great site.

21 Jul 2001

I live in MD and knew Roy when he played at the Crossroads in Bladensburg MD. I used to sing with his band from time to time and dated his lead singer, Chuck Tilly. Other members of his band at the time were Michael (Pokey) Walls on drums and Dick Heinze on keyboards. Those were incredible days! As I look back, dancing on the dance floor in front of Roy and his band to his wonderful music was quite a blessing. Roy was very quiet and kept to himself most of the time unlike the other band members who used to come site at our booth on the breaks. Roy just went to his dressing room and didn’t mingle with ladies or people at all. He was a great man! Its a shame he had to pass away in prison.

Yours truly,

Valerie Kline

26 Jun 2001

I think it was in 1974 when I “discovered” Roy Buchanan’s “Second Album”… I was very proud when I could “show off” a new name in blues music to my schoolfriends… but I was a little bit ahaed of my time then because my professor Music was not so blues-minded. And the only name he knew in blues was that one of the late great John Lee Hooker, who just passed away some days ago..

The “second album” I bought was “Live Stock” and I must say, it is still one of my favourites.. Roy was a great guitar player and the powerful rhythm and keyboards-section made this one of the best LIVE-albums of all times..

It was very sad to hear that he died in prison and due to this high appraised qualities as a guitar player, one invited him to join the Stones. But I’m not that much of a Stones-fan, it is good to know that Roy Buchanan will never be forgotten… thanks to his timeless music and this website !!

Yours musically,

Belgium, EUROPE

14 Jun 2001

I was a personal friend of Roy’s, having met and “played” with him from 1967 -1969. I first met Roy in Arlington, Va at a club on Rt 50 Arlington Blvd, near “Seven Corners: where Roy was performing with a Country / Rock musician by the name of Danny Denver. Roy and I “hung out” together, and I played with Roy on numerous occasions. Roy and I use to visit some of his favorite Washington DC guitarists “haunts” and guitarists, “afterhours”, as well. I feel very confident in stating the Roy Buchanan that I knew would NEVER have committed suicide. My brother came to visit me in 1968, and was stopped late at night by Fairfax Countys’ “Best” and was arrested and taken to the Fairfax County Police Station…..He was also “roughed up” pretty badly, too for no really valid reason, other than he made the mistake of complaining about his arrest and treatment. The Fairfax County Cops have always had a “deserved reputation” of being “Thugs With Badges”………….One of the great guitar solo’s of Roys long career can be found long before he was known hardly at all. Its on Cotton Labels (45rpm) that he did with Bobby Gregg & Friends (Philadelphia Drummer that performed briefly with Bob Dylan in 1965). The record is called “THE JAM” Pts 1 and 2 and was done in the very early 60s . I use to play Tenor Sax quite a bit like the Tenor Sax of that record, and I had commented to Roy about that particular “sound” and record that I had obtained from a friend in 1963….I told him that he sounded a lot like the guitarist on the record (or vice-versa). With a big smile, he commented that he was , indeed, the guitarist on the 45 , with “Bobby Gregg & Friends”. I suggest that anyone wanting to hear one of Roys’ most compelling solos, EVER !~, obtain this rare record ….. I’m sure they will agree…………………………………..”Stan The Man” Moskowitz

PS In that period of time, Roy was rather slender, although he did have a tendency to put on weight rather quickly…even back then.

7 May 2001

14 Jun 2001

I was a personal friend of Roy’s, having met and “played” with him from 1967 -1969. I first met Roy in Arlington, Va at a club on Rt 50 Arlington Blvd, near “Seven Corners: where Roy was performing with a Country / Rock musician by the name of Danny Denver. Roy and I “hung out” together, and I played with Roy on numerous occasions. Roy and I use to visit some of his favorite Washington DC guitarists “haunts” and guitarists, “afterhours”, as well. I feel very confident in stating the Roy Buchanan that I knew would NEVER have committed suicide. My brother came to visit me in 1968, and was stopped late at night by Fairfax Countys’ “Best” and was arrested and taken to the Fairfax County Police Station…..He was also “roughed up” pretty badly, too for no really valid reason, other than he made the mistake of complaining about his arrest and treatment. The Fairfax County Cops have always had a “deserved reputation” of being “Thugs With Badges”………….One of the great guitar solo’s of Roys long career can be found long before he was known hardly at all. Its on Cotton Labels (45rpm) that he did with Bobby Gregg & Friends (Philadelphia Drummer that performed briefly with Bob Dylan in 1965). The record is called “THE JAM” Pts 1 and 2 and was done in the very early 60s . I use to play Tenor Sax quite a bit like the Tenor Sax of that record, and I had commented to Roy about that particular “sound” and record that I had obtained from a friend in 1963….I told him that he sounded a lot like the guitarist on the record (or vice-versa). With a big smile, he commented that he was , indeed, the guitarist on the 45 , with “Bobby Gregg & Friends”. I suggest that anyone wanting to hear one of Roys’ most compelling solos, EVER !~, obtain this rare record ….. I’m sure they will agree…………………………………..”Stan The Man” Moskowitz

PS In that period of time, Roy was rather slender, although he did have a tendency to put on weight rather quickly…even back then.

24 May 2001

roy buchanon was my first blues idol….i first saw him play ” jonny b good ” one handed while drinking a coke with the other hand….on public access channel back in 70’s………his death shook me up for years……..he was a pure guitarist to the max.the things he could make that tele do!!! damm….did you know that when Chet Atkins was asked years back who he considered to be his choices for great guitarist….he said…Eddy Van Halen…..Mark Knofler….and roy buchanon. isn’t that neat?????….gary moore is my main man now…but roy will always be in my heart and ears………..thanx for listening…DAVID R WINOT

25 Apr 2001

my name is Rogerio Ferraz. i´m a 27 years old guitar player from Brazil. i´d just like to say thanks and congratulate you for keeping this Roy Buchanan´s site. it´s been a great source for me while finding out more Buchanan´s work. and, right now, Roy is one of my main inspirations… again, thank you very much.
best wishes,

25 Apr 2001

Hi my name is S. Leon Petrossian and my father new Roy Buchanan very well. He use to play at one of his nightclubs in D.C. I am not sure the name but I will try and find out. It might have been the Hayloft or the Silver Dollar. I never heard of Roy Buchanan until I read in a local paper about his death and him being called The Greatest Unknown Guitarist. Funny thing was I was sitting across the table at my father’s club in Charlottesville,VA THE MINESHAFT as I was reading the article a feeling made me ask my dad “DAD DO YOU KNOW ROY BUCHANAN?” He had this weird look on his face and said “Yes actually I do” I told him he was dead and he had this look like his best friend had died. He shook his head and said NO NO DAMN NO NO. He sat quiet for a while and funny thing that night BILLY PRICE AND THE KEYSTONE RYTHM

BAND was playing and my father was telling me how Billy use to sing with him. Billy Price that night said a few words about Roy Buchanan and sang in tribute “IM A RAM” Many years later I finally discovered his music and it is great. My dad told me stories about their friendship and he confirmed the story about him refusing the Rolling Stones. He told him “ROY THIS IS IT THIS IS YOUR BIG BREAK.” My father to this day said that Roy didn’t want to play second fiddle he wanted to be in HIS music. Play the way he knew how. Well Roy I see you UP THERE playing YOUR WAY the ONLY WAY you knew how.

20 Apr 2001

Hi there…

Just visiting your site to look for info regarding Roy B. My name is Dennis Stone and I will be doing a 2 part special on Roy B. in a few weeks on WMNF 88.5fm in Tampa, Fl. I have collected his music for many years…and have many cool recordings…some great sounding…some only for fans like myself..:) My show is called The Dream Clinic and its focus has been for almost 20 years to play “the best music never heard on American airwaves”. My friend and I will do a 2 hour show on May 10th playing some choice live cuts along with his LPs….then the following week on my show…I will play some longer segments of his live material from a few different shows….should be enough to give Roy fans their fill and educate some folks who have only heard of him.


3 Apr 2001

Was quite thrilled to discover your site while searching for photos to use on my Roy Buchanan CD covers I am making for all of the CD’s I have been able to collect and download from Napster. My complete Roy Buchanan vinyl collection was lost many years ago during a move. It is great to read the mail from so many fellow Roy Buchanan enthusiast. The man was truly genius on the Telecaster and leaves us all wondering where his music and talents would have evolved to if he hadn’t left us so suddenly.

I saw Roy play on three different occasions in an old theater club in Youngstown, Ohio in the mid to late seventies. The old theater turned club was originally called The Tomorrow club and later became The Agora. Twenty-five years later I can still hear that Telecaster literally screaming into the night as I wondered each time I was privileged to hear Roy if the volume of his music and the stomping of an ecstatic audience would bring the old theater crumbling to the ground as he left us all hanging out in space on each and every note.

As an aspiring guitarist on the Fender Stratocaster in those days, I spent hours on end trying to perfect and emulate Roy’s unique harmonic overtones and his method of “circle picking” which allowed him the speed to simply “burst” into a flurry of exceptionally clean notes. Roy’s guitar style was truly unique and original and have been emulated by many guitar greats down through the years… Sadly missed and still admired, rest in peace Mr. Roy…

Paul Arnold – Las Vegas, Nevada

31 Mar 2001

I followed Roy diligently from the first time I saw him in Boston in 1973; the last time I saw him he opened for the Thunderbirds and SRV in Phily. In between were various clubs and colleges ineastern PA. Always a great show. I miss him.

AMG, Evergreen, CO

20 Mar 2001

I spotted your web-site and thought you might want to hear what I have to say about Roy. I had all of his albums when I went to see him at The Bottom Line (500 seats) in New York City in April 1988. I sat in the front row and made eye contatct with him several times- when he saw my mouth just gape open from his amazing guitar playing he just smiled at me. I will never forget that. Later on during the show when I shouted out the names of a few songs he gave me a dirty look- a very sensitive fellow. His hands and fingers hardly ever moved that evening but all this sound was just gushing out of the amp. Amazing.

Four months later I heard about his death and was devastated, and I still am 13 years later. I just dont believe the official version of his death. He was a real professional with a unique talent and there just is no way he would have committed suicide. He was a large guy and the official story makes no sense- why would someone with superior musical talent kill himself after spending thousands of hours practicing guitar techniques? On his Live in Japan LP (hard to find and still not out on CD) you can hear that he prepared for that concert by practicing his ass off. If I remember though his face was flushed red at the 1988 New York concert and he did look like a drinker.

Personally I believe that Livestock and his 1st album are his best work but after listening to his last CD Hot Wires I dont think he had lost any of his techniques by the late 1980’s. His guitar playing was and still is a huge influence on me and my own style of playing, and I like Roy better than Danny Gatton, who also died for no apparent reason (he had a new CD out in 1993).

Is there a trust fund for people to donate money to his widow and family? If the stock market comes back over the next few years and I can make a few bucks and felt charitable, I might donate something because I just feel awful about what happened to Roy.

17 Mar 2001

Where do I start with this. I have been a guitar player for 15 years, and I have never heard a more soulful player. His solo on “Down by the river (Live)” still makes me shutter. I have a video of him in 1974 playing on Austin City limits. He is ASTOUNDING in that show. I would like to go to his grave someday. I would also like to give my condolences to his wife, Judy. This is how much his music means to me. There will never be anyone who could take his place. I am only 29, so I was never able to see him in concert. Roy, we miss you very much….
M. Bedell

16 Mar 2001

I was a friend of Roys beginning around 1980. I went to a lot of his shows on the west coast and sometimes supplied guitars through my father’s music store, Ivar Johnson Music in San Francisco, CA. Presently I possess a guitar Roy gave me. It is a 1952 Fender Telecaster re-issue, serial # 0003. This guitar was given to Roy by the Fender Company in conjunction with their advertising campaign that featured Roy along with James Burton and Steve Cropper. I did a trade with Roy for it. This guitar came complete with the tweed hardshell case, certificate of authenticity from Fender, the Fender advertisement signed by Roy (“I hope you like the guitar, Love, Roy Buchanan”). I am the second owner and had this for 19 years. Thought you or someone you know might be interested in acquiring this collector’s item. You may contact me through e-mail at Thanks, Torrey Johnson

25 Feb 2001

Where do I start with this. I have been a guitar player for 15 years, and I have never heard a more soulful player. His solo on “Down by the river (Live)” still makes me shutter. I have a video of him in 1974 playing on Austin City limits. He is ASTOUNDING in that show. Still would like to get the 1971 documentary . I would like to go to his grave someday. I would also like to give my condolences to his wife, Judy. This is how much his music means to me. There will never be anyone who could take his place. I am only 29, so I was never able to see him in concert. Roy, we miss you very much….
Mark Bedell

18 Feb 2001


16 Feb 2001

I too was a fan of Roy Buchanan in the early years. I used to practically live at “Dick Lees” in Brooklawn NJ. The old one and the new one. I first heard him play with “The Temps at the old Dick Lees, followed them around to Sommers Point, Wildwood and Allentown PA. I drove Roy from his apartment in Westville to Allentown several times. I saw “The Temps” several years later at the Crown Point Inn on Route 130 in Westville but Roy was no longer with them. I considered myself a friend of Roy and all the guys in the band. I bought some of his early albums (on vinyl) and eventually lost interest in Electric Blues Guitar. Then one day I heard Stevie Ray Vaughn on a program from Austin TX that was on Educational TV (CH 12) I fell in love with his music and it brought back memories of Roy. Several weeks ago I was on Napster and did a search for Roy Buchanan and was happy to find dozens of his recordings. If I had to choose a favorite it would be “Roy’s Bluz”. I wish I could find a copy of his version of “Malaquena” In the old days I asked him to play it every night I was privileged to hear him. Do you know if it is on any of his albums?
Bob Markman

14 Feb 2001

I first heard Roy at the unexperienced age of 15, that was in 1978. He was the first guitarist I ever heard, and I’m so thankful for that-since I truly have never heard any one better. I am no stranger to blues, having been to many festivals, including the Portland waterfront blues festival every single year since it began in 1989; And have become an avid blues guitarist cd collector throughout my life, so I’ve heard alot. And I sincerely have never heard-a-one that comes close to Roy’s conviction and grace…Not even my beloved Frank Zappa! Ihave come to realize that the real reason I enjoy only the blues as a “guitar” only medium, as well as yearned to play the instrument was because of Roy. It was by pure accident that I was able to hear Roy on that winter evening. My best friends older brother,whom I never visited with in all the years I had been going over to their house- had asked me if I could return a few albums to the local library where I worked after school. I said sure but would have to wait till the next day. I took them home, and none looked to me as interesting, Roy’s SECOND ALBUM did only because of the picture, because it appeared as if he had long hair and was young- of couse this was only because of the lighting on the stage. When I put it on the “HI-FI” of course I was absolutely astounded, because not only had I never heard blues yet, but this guy was something else that I would soon find out was like no one else and STILL IS….The next day I decide to see if there were any more at the library-there was TWO MORE! ‘loading zone’ and ‘that’s what I’m here for’. I looked at the picture of him and thought, “This cannot be the cool guy w/ long hair from the other album”. But when I put on “Green Onions”, well, y’all know the story. I still cannot get over this guys style, speed, and impeccable execution of note flurry’s! And I’m proud to say that I have made Roy quite a few fans over the years, the too are absolutely ASTOUNDED at this guy and can’t believe they have been able to go through their entire lives w/out having heard him play. Having no knowledge of the PBS documentary, or Roy’s aka, it’s funny that soon after hearing him,I decided to record a compilation of my song favorites from those 3 records and aptly wrote on the tape sleeve the title:’ THE GREATEST UNKNOWN GUITARIST IN THE WORLD! ‘
that’s my story, and I’m sticking with Roy-

14 Feb 2001

He was the One and Only… The second album remains my favorite… Picture of Roy sitting on a bed, looking into the camera says it All.

The Dream
Only a couple of times have I had a dream like this: No colors, no images – just black. I ask a question into the blackness – “Who is the best Blues Guitarist, Roy Buchanan or Eric Clapton?” A voice comes back out of the darkness, (whose voice, God’s??), and replies… “Roy Buchanan is the Best Blues Guitarist, (a pause).. and Eric Clapton is the Best Blues Musician”.

All True
Will the truth about his death ever come out, I cannot believe his Savior would allow the devil to get the best of him. Could’ve seen Roy and SRV perform in NYC shortly before their deaths, (but didn’t – fear of smoke-filled rooms!), so please take a lesson, if there’s a guitarist you love! Incidentally, saw Jimi in ’68, EC in ’68/’69 incl. 2 song sit-in w/Mayall! (borrowed M.T.’s L.P.), Trower ’68/’69 w/P.H., original Fleetwood Mack ’68, (yes,even J. Spencer) Jeff Beck in ’68/’69/’74 and I have to tell you, only Peter and Robin inhabit Roy’s Sphere-of-Soulfulness. Consider Robin to play what I call “existential Blues”, i.e., it owes nothing in the content of the song to any Bues tradition, either lyric-wise or otherwise. It just comes weeling-up from some unknown depth, like R.B. Check out “Whaling Sories” on Home by P. Harum, also, try “Where were You”, by Jeff!!!

9 Feb 2001

I was listening to a late night blues show on my way home when I heard Down by the River & I was blown away! Such a shame that greatness is so often not realized until the creator is no longer with us.He was a truly legendary talent.
A new fan, Delight J. Knapp

7 Feb 2001

La potenzialita’ della musica di ROY BUCHANAN e’ assolutamente ineguagliabile. Credo che tra le note e le dita di quest’uomo sia stato nascosto e rimarra’ nascosto per sempre, un segreto che solo DIO e’ in grado di svelare. Noi semplici mortali, possiamo solo ascoltare e capire tra le righe dei suoi pezzi,una grande semplicita’, una grande raffinatezza,e una grande passione per la musica blues. Ma tra tutto questo si nasconde ben altro, si va al di la della musica ,sono sensazioni profonde forse inspiegabili. ROY vive ancora , in me , in noi, le sue onde armoniche riflettono nel tempo e come il tempo non finiscono mai.

24 Jan 2001

I have just spent the last hour reading all this wonderful fan mail about Roy. I sounds to me that we all feel a special closeness because of this man. I believe there are gifted people endowed by our creator that inhabit this earth from time to time. These gifted people live most of their lives on earth in relative obscurity. After death history has a way of finding and exposing them.

I think Roy will become more popular 20-50 years from now than he ever was while he was living. This is mostly due to the few of us that embraced his music early on and want to tell the world about it. A part of me wants to keep him a secret, knowing that in my lifetime there will never be another Roy Buchanan. Another part of me wonders why this man never ‘made it’ and wants to tell everyone how inspiring he was.

I remember calling a local college radio station 3 or 4 years ago. They had a blues program and were taking request. I ask for the cut ‘ When Every Guitar Plays The Blues’ from the album of the same name. I figured I couldn’t ask for ‘Tribute To Elmore James’, that goes to far back for these college kids. Unfortunately the youngster had never heard of Roy and couldn’t find anything by him in the record library. I ask him how he could have a blues program and not have Roy Buchanan.

I have been so pleased to read how many of you listen to or are familiar with Nils Lofgren. I was actually turned on to him (1975) before I had heard Roy(1978). Through reading this web page I found that there is a connection between the two. I find that so ironic. I believe I have all vinly albums from both artist and to this day they are both played often on my turntable (some of you might not know what that is).

It is wonderful to know there are kindred spirits out there and through this medium we are able to communicate. Roy’ music didn’t come from his guitar, it came from his soul and I just hope I’m going to the same place he went to when I die so I can finally hear him LIVE.

Buzz, Traverse City, Mi.

12 Jan 2001

Dear fellow fans of Roy, as a guitarist,and fan of music,I idolized Roy Buchanan. It was my extreme pleasure to meet Roy in 1985 at a dive called “The Place” in Manchester,NH. Roy spoke to me as if I were an old friend:he was very sincere,and had the most intense blue eyes I had ever seen (maybe he WAS part wolf??!!).

I have a large private collection of live Roy Buchanan recordings that I have been trading for 8 years,and I am looking to find others interested in trading as I am always looking for another recording I don’t have. I am at :
Thanks, Bob

04 Jan 2001

I’m not much of a writer but I thought you might be interested in my meeting Roy in 1988.

It was a cold, rainy evening in Washington DC. I read that Roy was performing at a local club, the Bayou, and made my way to the venue. I couldn’t get anyone to go with me but I was determined to see Roy as I had been a fan for years. The club was half empty and as I stood near the door in walked a guy carrying a guitar and looking soaked! I usually leave artists alone but I made an exception, walked up to him and said how much his music meant to me. WE shook hands, chatted briefly and he thanked me again seeming appreciative of my words of praise. He went on later and played a tremendous set hilighted by “Down by the River” A few months later he was gone,an apparent suicide just like another great player from DC, Danny Gatton. I still listen to his music on a regular basis and can’t believe the sounds he was able to create without using any effects, delay, etc. He remains sadly unrecognized and I am grateful I was able to see him before his untimely passing.


02 Jan 2001

Thanks so much for keeping such a great site for the incredible Roy. I am doing a show on his music and life on my blues program Sunday Jan. 7th on and I had lost my info from an article on Roy published back in Aug/99 in Vintage Gutiar magazine and this helped greatly. There was mention there about a man named Phil (or Bill?) Carson collecting all sorts of info he could find to write a biography called “American Axe” . I hope it gets published if it isn’t already …I would love it that the world never forget this music…..Thx, Jerianne Van Dijk, Grass Valley CA

20 Dec 2000

It’s great to know that Roy had such an incredible impact on so many people. Roy was my uncle. He was my mothers younger brother. When he left home at the age of 15 or 16 he came to live with us in Garden Grove, California. I was 8 or 9 years old and I still remember him playing the guitar in the bathroom from the moment my father went to work until he came home 8 to 10 hours later. My father would take him to Las Vegas on the weekends trying to get him a gig playing with a band. My father was an auto mechanic and would take Roy to work with him on occasion so Roy could earn some money. He never did very well as a mechanics helper. As I grew up through the years I always followed Roy’s career and saw him live many times. He would always have a free pass waiting for me at the window. He was a great man who led a very troubled life through the years. His death was a great loss to all who knew him and those who didn’t get the chance to know him. I miss him very much.

Phil A. Clemmons

14 Dec 2000

Hey, Just found this site…it’s great!

First album I ever heard was “We are not Alone” and was hooked! Roy’s versions of “Turn to Stone” and “Down by the River” are mind-blowing… but the one that really impressed me as to what he was about was “1841 Shuffle”!! Fan-freakin’-tastic!! Grateful for the anthologies and all, but… miss his playing terribly-no one can fill his shoes.

Gary Monte

04 Nov 2000

I discovered Roy Buchanan in 1981 when I heard his Live in Japan album being played in a record store in Hobart, Tasmania. I couldn’t believe my ears!! What a sound!! That album went home with me. I sold it a while back after copying it to CD. The quality isn’t so good, so I’d really love to get a better or official version on CD. Does anyone know where??

Roy toured Australia many times but I never got the chance to see him. A real shame.

Good to see he has such a devoted following. Keep up the good work.

Gordon Bradbury Australia.

05 Dec 2000

sometime i feel a connection to certain people who have touched my life and remain in my memories…roy is one of those people. i saw him and savoured the sounds of his guitar back in the early 70s at the music hall in boston (could have been the orpheus theatre…can’t remember that far back, cz i have a memory problem with dates and places…)…my friend steven bought the tx and i said..”roy…who?”… what a night i had… he was so awesome i can’t tell you…”the messiah will come again”…is what i thought later…hands along the frets like sheets in the wind!!! and i believe that he was murdered…. i need to say that because that whole deal bothered me from the day i heard about it… where can i go to pursue that issue? don’t tell me virginia! i’m looking to bring a period to the end of MY sentence…of not having the privilege of listening to roy again except on my old record albums and tapes… plus i want to help other true lovers of roy’s music…to find out the facts surrounding this tragedy. it’s been a long time, but i have a mission…i hope that some people can understand my reasons… joe email ( please keep me updated…

13 Nov 2000

What a wonderful web site! First off, I want every contributor here to know I now consider you a friend and brother! It is true… Roy really WAS God with a guitar! May his recordings live on, with all of us revering his works and sharing his unmatched artistry.


4 Nov 2000

I discovered Roy Buchanan in 1981 when I heard his Live in Japan album being played in a record store in Hobart, Tasmania. I couldn’t believe my ears!! What a sound!! That album went home with me. I sold it a while back after copying it to CD. The quality isn’t so good, so I’d really love to get a better or official version on CD. Does anyone know where??

Roy toured Australia many times but I never got the chance to see him. A real shame.

Good to see he has such a devoted following. Keep up the good work.

Gordon Bradbury


26 Oct 2000

In about 1972, Rick, a friend and lead guitarist in our little band, played a Roy Buchanan album for me. Neither of us had ever heard anything like it before and we soon started playing some of his tunes. They have never gotten old to me. I had admired Roy’s style for years but thought I would not ever get a chance to hear him live. However in 1988 my wife and I took a weekend trip to Hampton Beach N.H., and someone told us that Roy Orbison was playing at the Club Casino. When we went to buy tickets at the box office I was more than overjoyed to find out that it was Roy Buchanan playing that night, not Roy Orbison.

It was a dream come true for me. I was spellbound, but it wasn’t over . My wife, Bonnie, knowing how I revered Roy, had spoken to one of the security staff and arranged for us to go backstage and meet Roy after the show. When I got there I was so rattled I couldn’t remember what I wanted to say for about 10 minutes, but Roy made us feel at ease and offered me a beer and we talked music. He gave me a little note for my son Chris who was just learning guitar then,”Good Luck, Keep on Playing, your friend Roy Buchanan”. Roy asked us to go out for a pizza and we declined, thinking that he was just being nice, and really wanted to get to his hotel. I was very sunburned that day and Roy, with concern gave me some advice on home remedies for the pain.

About two weeks later I learned of Roy’s passing. It would have been bad enough if we had not gone backstage that night, but now I felt like I had lost both an idol and a friend. I will, until my last day on this earth, regret not having that pizza with Roy.

Since that time I have wished that someone would pay a fitting tribute to Roy, and I longed to tell his family how deeply sorry that I am.

LLoyd Merriam
Fredericton, N.B.

22 Oct 2000

I saw Roy in 1980 playing at the Bachanal in San Diego. He just ripped. He was very soulful. I got his autograph and one of his band members asked if I knew where to get any coke. So much for keeping the musician’s image alive … It was a memorable experience. Do you know where to get any albums?

01 Oct 2000

I got turned on to Roy Buchanan in 1970 or 1971, right after I got out of the service, by my younger brother, who lived in Virginia at the time and spent a lot of time in some of the clubs and roadhouses in northern Virginia where Roy played and when he wasn’t playing was on the jukeboxes. Right around the same time the PBS special was broadcast and I was hooked. I only saw him once, at the Harvard Square movie theater in Cambridge, Mass, probably in 1973. I don’t remember the songlist but the power and the presence of his playing and at the same time his softness as a human being were unforgettable. I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to see, at one time or another, Johnny Winter, Jimi Hendrix (at the Waikiki Shell, full moon, two nights in a row), Jonny Lang, Eric Clapton (1969) but none of them have the impact on me, musically and emotionally, that Roy Buchanan did. I lost my Roy Buchanan albums (vinyl) in one or another divorce and only recently began replacing them in other media. But he had seared my brain and my soul with his music and the loss of the recordings wasn’t nearly the deprivation that it might have been with somebody else because the memories of the music and that one live performance were so strong. When he died I was saddened both by the circumstances that led to it and by the awareness that he left before so many people had an opportunity to know of him as a truly remarkable musician.

Kirkland, Washington

07 Sep 2000

Around 1970, my cousins(who were livivng in Virginia) came to visit. They were so excited to tell me about this incredible guitat player that they saw in Washington, D.C. His name, of course, was Roy Buchanan. I went out immediately and bought one of his albums. I was hooked. I never got to see Roy play in person, but he ranks right there with Stevie and Jimi in my book. He is missed dearly!

Glenn Muthersbaugh

03 Aug 2000

I first was acquainted with Roys music after working a grave yard shift, coming home and watching a PBS Doc. on channel 6 in Denver CO. I was sold from then on! I saw him for the last time just a week or so before he pasted away at a small venue call the little bear in Evergreen CO. I help his roadie set up some of his equipment and also carry some shirts in, as this was his Hot Wires tour. In return the fellow through me a shirt and said after the show come up and meet Roy! I had a CD that I was fortunate enough to get signed; This made my entire evening. The bar was smoky and after coming down from this small party that was going on upstairs I went out and sat on a step waiting to hook back up with friends I came with before driving back into Denver. I looked to the right of me and in a darker alley side of the bar sat another figure; To the left of me was the road where the towncar sat; as earlier I had helped the roadie with the shirts. Again I looked at the person in the alley and realized it was Roy; I went to thank him again for the signing, He was very solitude, He said he wanted to mellow abit and that he only had a few vises one was smoking of the ROO! I just happened to have one rolled up in my pocket, giving to me before the session started by a old high school friend. We went to the Towncar where he sat in the back seat and I sat directly across from him; smoking and just Shooting the BS. After the smoke was gone, Roy said he was going to have a small get together down in Denver where he was staying, that the friends that drove up with me and I were invited. I regretfully never made it to the party. But for all what happened earlier was satisfaction enough! ANYWAY I ALSO HAVE BEEN TRYING TO LOCATE A COPY OF THE VIDEO (THE BEST UNKNOWN GUITARIST IN THE WORLD) If you or anyone can steer me in the right direction to acquiring a copy of this I sure would appreciate it. My e-mail is

THANKS for your time and reading about this great adventure in my life. always listening to the greatest guitar player! David Hero

24 Jul 2000

Hello, I am a very big fan of Roys. His guitar genius is very inspiring for any up and coming guitarist. I am happy to have had the opportunity to learn about Roy and his music and I hope his music will continue to inspire greatness.

Yours Sincerly


16 May 2000

Thanks for this touching web site. I think very few artists could inspire something like this. Like others who have submitted their thoughts here, I was fortunate enough to see Roy a few times. I first heard about him in Guitar Player magazine and bought his 2nd album – that was it – I was hooked. I saw him on 2 consecutive nights and he was amazing both times. I took a friend who had never heard Roy and was not into the show – within minutes he was literally jumping out of his seat for joy! The loss of Roy’s life has to be one of the saddest in modern music. It makes me even sadder because the 3rd and last time I saw him play, in a little club, was a most unfortunate show. However we need to remember the good. Thanks again!

12 Mar 2000

I am a turkish boy and i think i am one of the very few guys that are lucky to know that once in a time there lived such a great guitarist.i am saying “one of the few” because it has got a reason.i first listened to him this summer at the radio and the song was the live version of “down by the river” i was immediately impressed by the sound of the guitar and that excellent solo.but i couldn’t get the name of him and it became a mystery for me who he was.only thing i knew was the name of the song.then i founded that it belonged to neil young but i was sure that he wasn’t the guitarist.then i sent mails to some neil young fans and asked who was that guy and which was the album.when i got the answer it was very exciting for me.but unfortunately altough my all searchings i only found 2 albums of him (you’re not alone & dancing on the edge)i immediately bought them but something was missing and this was “sweet dreams:anthology” album.though i was able to listen down by the river numerous times on that album yhe live one was very important for me.nobody knew him they even couln’t spell his name .then i offered that album from europe and finally got it.for me down by the river solo is the greatest of all times among jimi’s purple haze ,voodoo chile ; srv’s little wing ;santana’s evil ways,oye como va or no one to depend on etc.i love all of them but roy is very different from all them.he was playing something more than a guitar.the sound ,the screaming,the weeping of this instrument …it is so beautiful that my english is not able to describe it but i think all of you had understood me .i can really tell you that he changed my life in one way.i learned from him that whatever you do if you don’t give your soul to it ,it is nothing it wii be just the shape.if you give it your soul is a living thing, each time i listen to him it grows bigger in me . anyway i want to thank you for that great site and would like to contact with you and go on mailing about Roy and some other great guitarists.Thans God for his gift named Roy but i wish it would have last for a long time.

21 Feb 2000

I just recently found this fantastic website. Anyway, I just got into Roy’s music a few years ago, and there’s NOBODY else who plays like that. The solos he plays on the studio version of “Green Onions” (with Steve Cropper) are breathtaking. I hear something different every time I listen to it. Also, the extended Roy solo on the live “Down By the River” from “Sweet Dreams” is unlike any other guitar solo I’ve heard. The guitar is BARKING like a dog at some points. How did he come up with this stuff?!? Anyway, I regret never having a chance to see the man in concert. Keep up the great website!!!


15 Feb 2000

I saw roy for the first time back in 1973 and 74 in a small club in Asbury Park, NJ called the Sunshine Inn. He was incredible, I never saw a guitar player attack the instrument in such a fashion. He played the old telcaster pluged into a small amp and again p luged into the house sound system. Roy was a favorite of mine and the buddies i grew up with. In ’74 when Roy played in New York at the town hall for the live stock sessions my friends and i were at all the shows. If you have the original album you’ll see my friends and i on the back cover, we were all in the first two rows. My old friends andy stein and phil carson are leaning on the stage. I was right behind them in the second row. When the album was released, and we saw the cover we freaked and we knew we were all linked to roy forever. One day ill tell ya story of how we ran back stage after the second show and smoked a joint and shared some beers with Roy. WE LOVED HIM!!! We were extremley lucky to have been able to see him in his prime so up close and very personal. Jon Lieberman

Sat, 11 Dec 1999 21:09:18 -0800

My name is Paul and I’ve spent the last couple hours checking out your web site. You’ve done an excellent job and I enjoyed reading the letters from other fans. I saw Roy only once but I will never forget it. It was at The Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach just north of San Diego and appropriately enough he opened up with “Walk don’t run”! Like many of the other fans I’m looking to find a copy of the PBS special and other video segments of Roy. I have a bootleg interview on vinyl recorded in the 70’s but it may be the same one that is now on CD (according to the discography). Any info on the videos would be appreciated. Thaks a million, Paul

Mon, 6 Dec 1999 17:33:38 +1000 In a way talking about Roy Buchanan to others who are “in the know” gives me a similar feeling to when I discuss another great unknown artist (to the general public at least): Nick Drake (like Roy, another musician’s musician), although the style of music they play is completely different. But both have two things in common: great emotional sensitivity and an introspective nature. And both let their music do their talking for them.

I first heard RB play on a friend’s Polydor double-LP Guitar compilation album I borrowed for a few days. Included was Jimi playing “All along the Watchtower” and many other interesting guitarists. One I hadn’t heard of was RB and the track of his that was included was “After Hours” from his Second Album. The track was scratched and just when it got really exquisite, really crying, dripping in emotion, the damn grove would lock and play the same phrase over and over again until I gave it a knudge. Anyway I was really inpressed by the level of emotional communication I was hearing.

Many years later I saw the Polydor Sweet Dreams Anthology in my music store and just had to get it, unheard. It turned out to be my best buy ever! That man displays his heart and soul in his playing. Forget the crappy accompanying musicians. Since then I’ve got The Best of Roy Buchanan and When a Guitar Plays the Blues.

From what others have said in previous messages, it appears that Nils Lofgren would be worth listening to.

What a thrill it must have been to be in an audience, large or small, and share in the communical thrill of all being uplifted together when Roy was playing a soulful solo. I can never share in that experience but listening to his live recordings gives me some small idea what it must have been like. How would you describe it: a Religious experience?
Cheers, Dan Bridges

Thu, 2 Dec 1999 08:29:10 +0100 Hi,I’m from Klaipeda,LITHUANIA.
So long time I was lookin’ Roy’s CD’s and now I’ve got it.Roy for me is one of my favourites guitarists,musicians.Isn’t so much guitarists,who can make guitar to TELL the stories!I mean SRV,JIMI,Peter Green,Jeff Beck,”Mahogany Rush” and Roy Buchanan….This is my Guitar Pantheon!Sorry Eric /C./,you’re great,but just till 1970….it’s just my thinkin’.I’m glad,that I can tell all that words to You!
God bless all of You! Best wishes.

Tue, 23 Nov 1999 16:44:59 -0000 For twenty years I have been searching for the artist behind that ethereal track ‘Fly Night Bird’, since it grabbed my heart and took my soul as it played out on an episode of COSMOS. Today I was overjoyed to find a link Roy and arrive at via a COSMOS Carl Sagan site and I am deeply saddened that Roy is gone.
Fly Night Bird….you take my soul there


Mon, 15 Nov 1999 18:30:55 EST The First time i saw Roy was in 1974 in Long Island NY…To this day he is the greatest guitarist i ever saw and i have seen everyone from Jeff Beck to Stevie Ray Vaughan. I think what got me with Roy was that he just stood there and played the hell out of his guitar. He never had to say anything…his guitar did it all…
Peace, Jazz

Mon, 8 Nov 1999 15:49:45 EST Thanks for the great site. I play guitar for a Kentucky based band, The Metropolitan Blues All-Stars. Back in the eighties, we had the opportunity to open for Roy on three different occasions. I had been listening to him since his Buck and the Snakestretchers album. Needless to say, I was thrilled to get to hang out with him backstage. He was a nice man, easy to talk to. We talked mostly about guitars and being on the road. No great stories to tell, but I’ll never forget meeting him.
Thanks again!
Nick Stump

Sun, 10 Oct 1999 22:47:04 +0100 Hi from the UK,

What an awesome site in tribute to an awesome guitarist. I was fortunate enough to see Roy perform at the Imperial College in London in about 1973. I had no idea who he was and just went along, as I did often, to witness whoever happened to be appearing.

I had never really been a “guitarist” follower, preferring to appreciate either good drummers or rock vocal styles. That night changed it all. For the first and only time, I sat and was completely hypnotised by a performer. Roy had no great stage presence, but with his guitar, he took the whole audience on a journey most will never have forgotten.

Since then I have enthused about his music to anyone who will listen, but here in the UK most people have never heard of him, although there are now some who have been “force fed” and converted by me !

Still today I often listen to Roy and his music, and feel priveleged to have been among the very few in the UK who ever got to see him perform live.

Although he has moved on, his music leaves us with a lasting legacy.


Sun, 25 Jul 1999 20:56:56 -0400 Like a lot of other people, I first saw Roy in Nov. 1971 on the PBS documentary. I remember TV guide had a big half page blurb on it, so I figured I’d check it out. As a then-19 year old guitarist, I proceeded to be stunned. Such a perfectly beautiful tone, such sensitivity to the nuances of the Fender Telecaster, what complete control he had!

I saw him play 6 or 7 times in New York & New Jersey from Nov. ’74 (at the ‘Livestock’ concert at Town Hall in NYC) till July of ’85. At the Livestock concert, it was a triple bill: First up was the jazz violinist Michal Urbaniak’s band, then Roy was up, followed by Larry Coryell’s band. Coryell’s always been good, but you could definitely tell he felt threatened by Roy that night, because the first thing he started to do when he came out was harmonics (overtones) a’la Roy, as if to say ‘See, folks, I can do it too!’ He could not compare to Roy, who was in good form that night. Several of the times I saw Roy, though, he had equipment troubles, and didn’t seem to have anybody with him to help straighten it out.

The last time I saw him (at The Bottom Line, NYC in July ’85) my wife & I sat directly in front of him, about 8 feet away for one of the most memorable concerts of my life. It was soon after ‘When a Guitar Plays The Blues’ came out, & he was playing a new Tele thru a Fender Twin, with an 8 string bassplayer & drummer. He opened up with ‘Short Fuse’ off that album, & it was electrifying. The audience was going wild for him, and at one point when my wife & I were showing our appreciation especially loudly, he looked me right in the eye with those piercing eyes of his, and said ‘Thank You’. I’ll never forget it, or him. Thank YOU, Roy.

Bruce Dabney

i saw roy at skipper’s smokehouse in tampa not long before he died. despite my constant diet of saturated blues, i have never heard a more soulful player how do us roy loyalists get the latest info?( i.e. biographies, tabs, videos, etc.) i’ll never get tired of roy
God bless you,

Mon, 05 Jul 1999 01:50:08 -0600 I was a high school kid in the 70’s in the netherlands of Utah. I don’t remember where or why I came to own an 8-track of “You are not Alone”, but I believe my life was changed. Self-expression is a powerful drive, and Roy Buchanan was a master.

Mon, 7 Jun 1999 20:37:44 EDT Enjoy the site very much.
In 1971? I saw Roy play at the Music Hall in Boston with a mediocre back up band, but he was phenomenal. At that time, several Cambridge music stores carried a bootleg of Roy’s stuff, poorly recorded but absolutely intense. Included a remarkable version of ‘The Messiah will come again’.
What makes the record especially unusual was its album jacket: a brown burlap sack with Roy Buchanan in stencil.
I still have this although it has not been played in 27 years!
Anyone there know what I’m talking about?

Fri, 4 Jun 1999 19:23:30 EDT I grew up listening to Roy. I listen to his music constantly. Peace.

Wed, 2 Jun 1999 00:45:04 -0700 one of the greatest guitar licks i have ever heard is roy buchanan’s version of “hey joe”. i get lost in it everytime i hear it. jimi eat your heart out cause this is the real deal.

Wed, 28 Apr 1999 22:53:11 EDT I played with Roy in 1962-63 when he was on a mini-circuit with The Temptations (not the same group) at the Cameo Lounge in Allentown, PA. During that time he recorded the Peppermint Cane and The Jam. Our band was quite popular in the region, and we had recorded for Capitol and Columbia as I was lead guitar. Roy got a big kick out of the fact that I had learned The Peppermint Cane note for note within a couple of weeks after it came out, and I would play lead for that song on his Tele while he played the bass.

I have several original live recordings, primarily courtesy of Seymour Duncan. As everyone knows, most of the stuff he recorded was second rate but the live stuff was stellar. His one handed Malaguena solo while chugging a Rolling Rock usually brought the house down.

Roy was already at his peak in those years.

George Poncy

Mon, 19 Apr 1999 22:03:49 +0300 hi there
it’s great to see at last a site dedicated to the late guitar hero of mine. when i grew up, i started to take interest on the guitar, my father bought me, roy’s ” you’re not alone” album… there are’nt enough words in my mind to even start describing the influence it had on me… as odd as it may seem, i’m not an american… i’m from tel aviv, israel, and back then, in the late seventies, rock in general was’nt as big as it is today in our small country.
anyway, ever since, i like to think of roy as my first and most significant influence as a guitar player, and as a musician . cheers.
udi kimchy 🙂

Tue, 6 Apr 1999 08:03:02 -0400 Thanks for a great website. My intro to Roy was by album, and my ears simply could not believe what I was hearing technically, plus its employment with such lyrical power, passion, timimg, sweetness, and powerful driving blues rhythm. Later my kids and I got to see him a time or two at gigs in the SF Bay area. I sat not ten feet from him, still not believing my ears, but my eyes told me it was true. This was coming from one guy! I cried when Jimi died, and I still miss him, but not like I miss Roy. He towers above all! Greg

Sat, 20 Mar 1999 17:06:27 -0500 i just bought the boxed set “sweet dreams: the anthology” last night & really love it – wow. better than i remember! i used to frequent the crossroads in bladensburg ( i lived in east riverdale & went to md U.) and recall his magnificent playing and only recently heard about him again – more after he died. nice website – great thing to do for his memory.
beulah mae

Sun, 28 Feb 1999 07:44:59 -0500 I listened to Roy OFTEN during one year that I spent in Annapolis Maryland. I am a blues harp player, but never got to play WITH Roy. However, whenever we could we drove to the Crossroads to see “the Danny Denver Quartet Featuring Roy Buchanan” playing there. The sets were unbelievable. Roy was like listening to a history of American Guitar music by one of the major creators. He was FIRE when he played. The people who came to the Crossroads were an “eclectic mix” like Roy’s music. Mostly white and looking like a country crowd, the audience had a mix of “big country hair” and hippies. Out front of the Crossroads there were microbuses and pickup trucks. The cover was minimal, but you needed to drink a drink or two every set or you were out of there. And the sets were short for that reason!

No one knew who Danny Denver was in the crowd. I came with rock band members, and this was all in 1970-71, before there were any Roy records. Since I was with guys, I tended to mix and dance with as many attractive women as I could. I had conversations with many of the ladies with big hair. I figured maybe DD had some sort of country roots or something that would explain why it was HIS band. They would invariably say “I don’t know, I am here to listen to Roy.”

No one knew. I do have a theory.

If you don’t know about Roy’s beliefs, you may be surprised at this next piece of information. I first heard about Roy from a local lead guitarist. He said that Roy had sold his soul to be the World’s Greatest Guitarist. He said that as a result, Roy couldn’t be recorded–if you tried to you would hear all the other instruments, but where Roy would have been there would be only static.

He said that the devil had tricked Roy by adding on “but you will never be famous” to the contract. I remember listening to “The Messiah Will Come Again” after a couple of Jack Daniels as the sounds slithered around the room like searchlights. You could SEE the effects of the moans and screams as the sound rotated through the room. It was very easy to fully believe that Roy had the devil helping him play those unearthly shrieks.

Jim, the guy who told me about Roy, said that Roy would go to see various Rock stars when they came to play, and that if he was in the audience they would be unable to play. He said that if you tried to watch Roy’s fingering too closely Roy would turn away, then turn back and be making chords in the most difficult and unorthodox way possible.

The place was always packed, but Roy made very little money. As gigs go, this WAS a day job. Six days a week Roy was playing that incredible music at the Crossroads. He had six children–I don’t know if any of them are musicians, but I sure hope if they are they get to be human beings, not Gods like their dad. As wonderful as he was, it was always clear how tortured his life was.

Seeing Roy was right up there with seeing Jimi or the Mahavishnu Orchestra of that era, but Jimi was inconsistent. Roy was always on fire!

The music was absolutely sublime, but as a musician the other memorable thing for me was how BAD the supporting bands always were. The story was that the Stones had asked Roy to join after Brian Jones died, and Roy said “no,” that John Lennon had asked him to join the Plastic Ono band and he said “No.” There weren’t (still aren’t, strangely enough) any bands bigger than The Stones or the Beatles, so that was the highest possible praise. Also, this made the poor quality of the musicians he played with stand out even more. They could barely count, and the succession of drummers and base players was just plain sad. I always wished I could hear Roy play with other great musicians, but never did. I just got Live Stock, and he sounds good there–I wonder if the band is NYC studio guys or something.

Allegedly Roy bought his soul back so that he could make records. I talked with him quite a few times but never had the courage to ask him about any of these weird pieces of information. He was a true Rock and Roll God and I am pleased that there are memories of him out there even if he never did become “famous” in the way others did. He was truly wonderful and I feel very sorry for his wife and children. I can’t imagine him committing suicide, since he was VERY religious and would have been concerned about hell. I was shocked to hear of that.

I am glad you are keeping his memory alive and hope that you continue!


Fri, 29 Jan 1999 23:53:31 +0100 You’ve done a tremendous job on your website memorial to Roy, it’s a really great looking page!

I first was introduced to Roy via his PBS special in 1974, when I was 17. I had shattered my ankle very badly in a construction accident, had two pins holding together numerous breaks etc., and was in a hospital bed tripping off these huge morphine shots every four hours (which my orthopaedist believed in, he didn’t want me in too much pain) with Michelob chasers (my roomy in my semi-private hotel room was another construction accident victim, ‘tore up his knee, and his Doc ordered him to drink all the beer he wanted, which he also shared with me), when while channel surfing, stumbled across Roy’s PBS special just coming on


The morphine and the beer had me gently floating slightly out-of-body just above my bed; as I started watching and listening to Roy play, I grooved and grooved and grooved deeper into what I couldn’t believe my eyes were seeing and my ears were hearing. To say I was blown away, to put any string of positive adjectives on the process Roy was voodoo’ing to me would be an understatement. By the time his PBS special was over with, I was floating high above my bed and all over the universe, Smile, his music blew me that much away. I had seen Hendrix up close and personal, less than 20 feet away at the foot of the stage when he played Raleigh in 1970, and had always considered Hendrix the greatest guitar player that ever lived, UNTIL I saw and heard Roy.

I didn’t get to see Roy in live in concert until many years later, a few months before his death. About six months before he died, he played a club in nearby Durham N.C. called “Under The Street”, and a life-long dream to see him live was finally fulfilled. The show was packed, something like 350-400 fans sardined in to a firetrap that had a maximum rating of 100-some occupants. It was so successful, they brought him back 3-4 months later, and I saw him then again, and got to shake his hand after the show and tell him how much I appreciated his music. He seemed like he was tired, fatigued, maybe even a little depressed. Two months later or so, he committed suicide. I still have the horrible technical-wise bootlegs I made of both those concerts, made with a microcassete recorder and a lapel microphone.

For those who’ve never seen him up close and personal, it’s almost to believe that the music he layed down on his albums, he replicated note-for-note, bend-for-bend, effect-for-effect, 100% live. Stuff you hear on his albums you’d think would have to multiple overdubs and studio tricks, but they’re not, he simply was the truest master of the guitar of this century. The guitar was his pallete, and he was its Picasso.
Thanks again for a great site!~~~Kent

A nice surpise, this site! I have been a fan since the mid eighties. I saw Roy live in Amsterdam at the Paradiso in 1985 or 1986. Here was this nomal looking guy with a beard and jeans and leather jacket with a guitar. But he could play! Making his guitar scream like heaven. I regret that I had to leave in the middle of the concert. Had to take the train back home…. So stupid.

Sun, 24 Jan 1999 16:47:57 EST I saw Roy Several times playing some of the clubs in the nyc long island area in the 70’s. He was one of the greatest guitarists ever.

Fri, 4 Dec 1998 23:58:07 EST Every time i saw RB in concert ( being from the D.C. area i was blessed with many oppourtunities ) i could never get the smile off my face! He blew me away every time!
The man could simply do it all- from blistering blues to soaring psychodelics to country finger pickin’. The SWEET DREAMS anthology is a fine collection-a lot of stuff i hadn’t heard before. I think my favorite album is LIVESTOCK- the only time he had the services of a real good vocalist for a whole album ( other than the Snakestretchers days with Chuck Tilley, the unreleased Charlie Daniels session or a cameo appearance by someone like Delbert McClinton ), Billy Price. The laid back guitar work on the old Tyrone Davis tune “Can I Change My Mind” may be one of my favorite solos.We miss you Roy*
P.S.-Since the passing of Roy my current guitar hero ( ok, one of them ), is another Wash. D. C. area boy done good-Nils Lofgren. He gives me the permanent smiles too!

Tue, 01 Dec 1998 22:42:43 +0100 Bonjour de France,
Avec Netscape en faisant une recherche sur Roy Buchanan ,j’ai trouvé votre site . Sublime ,on en demande encore plus! Merci d’avoir ouvert ce site en l’honneur de Roy . Pour moi il fait partie des trés grands guitaristes au même titre que Blind Willie Mc Tell,Charlie Christian,Melvin Taylor,Jimi Hendrix,S.R. Vaughan etc… Ignoré de beaucoup car les radios,revues ne parlaient pour ainsi dire jamais de lui,sa maison de disque Polydor ne faisait pas grand chose non plus pour le médiatiser .C’est bien de faire des choses comme votre site pour des gens de cette qualité , encore une fois merci .

Thu, 12 Nov 1998 09:25:34 -0800 Every now and then I’ve seen articles on a “legendary” concert Roy performed at Carnegie Hall around 1970 or ’71. There supposedly exists tapes of this performance. Does anyone know about the availability of such a tape? Buchanan was the best !

Wed, 11 Nov 1998 13:28:51 EST I just got a copy of the Roy Buchanan Songbook which has the guitar tab for many of his greatest hits. I’ve been waiting for a book like this for quite awhile. I’d like other guitar players to email me if you’re interested in discussing the book or exchanging guitar tabs that aren’t in the book. Email me at

Mon, 9 Nov 1998 07:33:22 EST I played with Roy off and on several times during the early 1960’s, when he was touring the South NJ-Penna club scene. The band was the Temptations, and I think Bobby Gregg was the lead singer for awhile. That was the best band I ever heard – the only guys to come close are Lynryd Skynrd. Shortly after he recorded The Peppermint Cane, I used his Tele to play the lead on that song while he played bass in the Cameo Lounge. I had gotten the 45 and played it a zillion times to learn it note for note. I had most of his 45’s, which were actually much better than the album stuff, and I have some original tapes recorded live in the early 1960’s.

His one handed “Malaguena” solo, played while chugging a Rolling Rock with the other, was a real crowd-pleaser although not too hard to play. He was really about the first guy to tap, but I don’t think anybody knew it.

His talent was unearthly.
George Poncy

Mon, 17 Aug 1998 16:50:50 EDT THANX FOR MAKING THIS WEB PAGE If anyone would like to trade concert tapes of Roy with me that would be great. he did alot of radio shows across the country, especialy ’87&’78 I have seven or so good ones and I’m always looking for more email me

Sat, 1 Aug 1998 20:53:22 -0400 Congrats on a great page. It’s fitting to find this sincere tribute to the most emotive, soulful player ever. I prefer Roy’s first two Polydor albums and “Livestock”, and he will always be the best in my book, all due respect to Jimi, EC and Stevie Ray. Thanks for helping to expose him to the masses.

Thu, 25 Jun 1998 23:45:04 +1000 Glad to find “THE” Roy site. Have been a fan since the early seventies when a mate bought “Livestock” and blew us all away. August 14 1998 is ten year since that sad day Roy died. To commemorate the anniversary on a local level some friends and I are organising our two bands to have a Memorial concert at a small club where we shall play some loud blues, get slightly drunk and shed a tear for a truely great musician and the ultimate guitarist. If anyone is travelling the east coast of Australia at that time and would like to raise a glass to Roy with us, contact me by phone/fax on 02 4455 4168 or email me at or come to Ulladulla on the New South Wales south coast and ask around for me.
Cheers…….Patrick Keegan

Thu, 4 Jun 1998 22:44:52 -0500 thank you for the wonderful page on Roy Buchanan. I was at a friends house last night and he is a High End person. (the best of equipment) He played Sweet Dreams and I was sold on the spot. I knew who Roy Buchanan was, but didn’t pay much attention since the like of Clapton and others always dominated my listening preference, but now I’m a true believer. I bought the disc titled Roy Buchanan tonight and am very satisfied. I’m just sorry I missed enjoying his wonderful music until now. Thanks again.
richard w. trapp
st. paul, mn

Mon, 20 Apr 1998 16:48:52 -0400 I spent some time with Roy in Cincinnati one night (circa 1975) listening to studio tapes he was preparing for another record label. I worked for Polygram, the label he was contracted to, at the time. I’m trying to find a copy of Roy’s IN THE BEGINNING album (it features I’M A RAM and RESCUE ME) It is out of print. If anyone knows where I can find a copy, I sure would appreciate it. Please contact me at

Thu, 05 Mar 1998 03:47:12 -0800 I played bass with Roy in the original Snakestretcher band. That was in 1970 and 1971. We made two records and toured quite a bit. It was loads of fun for a twenty-two year old. I still play my 1962 Fender Jazz Bass to this day.
Peter Van Allen, Baltimore, Maryland

Mon, 09 Mar 1998 23:28:48 -0500 This is the first time I searched the net for Roy Buchanan info. I live in Baltimore and I knew about Roy back in the 70’s when I was in school. I never saw Roy play live. I surely wish I had. I think his blues guitar style is the most powerful and emotional I have heard.
I want to learn some of Roys music on the guitar. Has anyone ever published a tab book of Roys music? Are there any videos of his concerts? It would be very helpful if I could find these.
Thanks for your very fine page. Bob Uhl

Tue, 03 Mar 1998 09:56:36 -0800 HI,
I really just got into Roy Buchanan about 4 years ago. It was in my father’s collection. I’m a bass guitar player and I’ve heard a bunch of guitarists but none have ever sounded like Buchanan. I love “Sweet Dreams” so much that someday when I get married I want that to be played at the reception as my song to dance with my father. (I’m still only 20) I’m a big fan now and I”m very pleased to see something on the web! Good work.

Wed, 11 Feb 1998 15:01:35 -0800 Howdy, Ive been a Buchanan fan since I first heard Sweet Dreams. That song is awesome guitar. I play lead guitar and have been in a couple of bands. I still can’t get that song down real good. I saw Roy at the StanHope House in New Jersey in the 80’s. He wasn’t very motivated that night. I guess you can’t be everynight. I have most of his recordings. Including the Best Unknown guitarists video. Also the Austin City Limits show. In a way I felt sorry for Roy Buchanan. Let me explain. Here he was one of the best guitarists in the world and most people never heard of him. When I was playing in a band I would get that all the time. “Who’s Roy Buchanan”? The only people who heard of him were players and fans who love the Guitar hero stuff. He needed a great singer, like Robin Trower had James Dewar on Bridge of Sighs and other albums. More so he needed great material instead of just blues shuffles so he can show off. Look at Clapton with Layla,Crossroads,White Room,Let it Rain. Santana with Black Magic Women,Evil Ways, Oye Como Va. Great songs with great guitar. I mean lets be honest listen to a Street Called Straight and if your not a fan that would be the last listen. Im not knocking Roy. He really needed some classic material with a great vocalist. Then instead of who’s Roy Buchanan I would have got, “oh yea, hes just as good as Jimi or Stevie Ray”. I think he should have joined the Stones. No doubt he would have went down as one of the greats in any music circle not just die hard fans of guitar. The guy was awesome and I miss his playing. One more thing. His wife wasn’t and probable still isn’t convinced it was suicide. Guitar world ran an article years ago about the Strange Death of Roy Buchanan. I have it out in the garage. Well thanks for the forem. Later.

Mon, 2 Feb 1998 20:02:42 EST For my 21st birthday, Nils Lofgren gave me a 1958 Les Paul which he purchased from Roy who got it in an indirect fashion from Big Brother and the Holding Company. I used to play both with and before Roy(fr. time to time) at the Crossroads at Peace Cross in Bladensburg,MD. Jeff Beck tried to buy that guitar from me more than once; it ended up getting smashed to smitherines in a silly misunderstanding.

**This week,I’m interviewed in City Paper’s “POP QUIZ” The quiz page is linked to this and other cool sites.
Please visit………….Bobby

Wed, 21 Jan 1998 01:58:06 EST Greetings, I have just got on the net and am elated to find your Roy site. I am a long time fan and friend. I am a blues/rock guitarist in San Antonio,Tx. and was lucky enough to know Roy and open 3 shows for him with my band here .I am a long time collector of audio and video. I am also the video- photographer of the San Antonio club video, which I Never meant to get out but to deserving Roy fans. Anyway , I miss Roy alot. It was a thrill to be on the same bill with him and he helped my confidence by telling me that I was one of the best blues guitarists he had heard on his tours through Texas.

e-mail me

Thu, 20 Nov 1997 22:08:10 -0800 Just great. Buchanan. Just great. Messiah. I wanna play like that. What I want to say. Why’d he do himself in young? Creativity and emotion just seem to result sometime in sdestruction. I sure rally around his great music. Saw him in concert 1st time in 80s MTV w/ Lonnie Mack and Albert King. COOKIN’ dudes!!! RB… the greatest!!!

Mon, 13 Oct 1997 08:06:21 +0000 I met Roy back stage after a show he did in Jackson,TN in 1975. A buddy of mine played in a local band that opened the show for Roy and he introduced me to the drummer in Roy’s band who took me back stage to meet Roy. He had a great persona and chatted with me for about 10 minutes after offering me a cold beer. He treated me as if he had known me for years and his battered Telecaster never left his sight the entire time he was backstage. Just wanted to pass this on to another Roy fan, he was the greatest.


Sun, 12 Oct 1997 01:54:59 -0400 I knew the Internet was good for something – at long last a Roy Buchanan web page! Great job. My view on Roy was this: He was simply God with a guitar in his hands – and God had the bluz. We, the listeners were Moses at the burning bush. He didn’t play concerts. He performed exorcisms. I was fortunate enough to see Roy twice in the summer of 1988. Once in Charlotte, NC and once in Atlanta, GA. He was playing what looked to me like the Roy Buchanan model guitar and he blistered it like there was no way that instrument could survive. In Charlotte he played before a crowd of 200 in a bar made for 100. He opened with ‘Suzy Q’ and closed with ‘When a Guitar Plays the Blues’. In between, the blues have never been bluer.

In Atlanta, Roy played in a refurbished church auditorium to an ignorant crowd who began to dance. You don’t dance when God is talking! However, in a moment I’ll never forget, Roy began his second set with classical music. He performed ‘Fur Elise’ like only a true genius could. And then it happened. He went right into ‘Roy’s Bluz’. The next ten minutes are beyond description. When he started with Beetoven, the crowd seemed confused. I instantly knew where he was going. Everything to Roy always seemed to be the blues. He did things with an electric guitar that mortal men will be pondering for ages. There will never be another Roy. By the way, how can anyone make an anthology set and leave out ‘Roy’s Bluz’? Or the ‘Blues Lover’? Or ‘Drowning on Dry Land’? I guess we should just be thankful that ‘CC Ryder’ and ‘Pete’s Blue’ made it! Like Roy, I won’t say good-bye. I’ll just click ‘send’, unplug, and leave.


Wed, 8 Oct 1997 20:44:30 +0100 This is a fabulous discovery – a Roy Buchanan Website! I would love to receive any tips/tricks anyone has on Roy’s technique, or any data on his guitar/strings/amp/effects setups.
E-mail me on
Fabulous site!

Thu, 2 Oct 1997 16:09:48 -0400 Hi:
I wanted to express my appreciation for the Roy Buchanan Web Site — and also ask if you have any idea how I might get my hands on a copy of the PBS special, “The Best Unknown Guitarist In the World.” It was this show that turned me on to Roy (and made the Telecaster my guitar of choice), but no one seems to know whether or not it’s available. I’d greatly appreciate any advice you can give me.
Thanks Wayne

Thu, 25 Sep 1997 11:56:18 -0400

I was very excited when I found this website. My father, Jimmie Potts, started with Roy as a sound man, running the mixboard for the shows. Eventually, he became a bassist in the band. I am dealing from memory here, so alot of this is kinda fuzzy, but I know that my dad was the bassist for the tour in Japan in 77′, because I still have the plane ticket, as well as a picture of Roy and my dad getting off the plane. I have numerous backstage passes, including one with B.B. King. This seemed unimportant to a kid of 7 at the time, but now it is very important. I had a picture of Roy that Roy actually gave me. He wrote that he loved me, and as a matter of fact, I was good pals with his son. I used to sit on his lap all the time, while the mobs of groupies and wanna be’s would litter the back stage area. I introduced the band at two of their shows, one being at Carnegie Hall in Pittsburgh at age 6(I believe). I still remember what Roy told me to say–“Ladies and Gentlemen, the greatist Fake artist in music, Roy Buchanan.” If anyone remembers me, I would gladly correspond with them..I am now at Penn State, trying to become a sports therapist. Thanks for the website, Roy is one of the greats, and his legend lives on.

Jason W. Potts

Fri, 12 Sep 1997 13:18:35 -0700 Juan D. Castillo Visca estoy escuchando un disco suyo y es realmente maravilloso. Roy era sin duda uno de lo grandes guitarristas de blues.

Wed, 3 Sep 1997 13:26:59 +0000 Steve Noonan Jr I just had to pay tribute to Roy and his music. I have been playing guitar for about 3 1/2 years now. I am 16. I am attempting to become a blues guitarist. I want to be able to emulate the feeling that Roy played with. I have only been listening to Roy for about half a year and I have been just totally blown away. I cannot begin to describe the impact he has made on me. His music changed my whole apreciation and perception of the guitar.

Steve Noonan Jr.

Wed, 27 Aug 1997 13:38:20 -0400 Jim Hare T hanks for the very well done page on Roy. I have enjoyed his work since I first saw the PBS special back in ’71 (the summer after High School graduation!) with my buddy who was a guitarist. (I am a drummer). I remember the night like it was yesterday – we were just goofing around, and my parents has the local PBS station on, WHYY in Philly, and all of a sudden, this sound came out of the TV, Jay and I looked at each other with jaws agape, and that was it. Even as relatively unwashed 18 year olds, we knew genius when we heard it.


ince then, I’ve collected all the released albums, but I never got to see RB in person (damn!), and the only video I have of him is some chunks of the PBS fund-raiser video where he backed Jerry Lee Lewis, Chubby Checker, and a bunch of other ’50s style RockNRollers. I think I stumbled on to it about midway into the show, I know I don’t have it all.

I’d love to find a copy of the PBS show and any other video of Roy. Email me at or Snail Mail to Jim Hare, 4370 Township Avenue, McKee City, NJ 08232.

Perhaps if anyone finds a source for videos or other RB momemtos, this page would be a good place to post that information, I know I’m not the only one who would love to get a copy of the “Greatest Unknown Guitarist in the World” tape, or the ACL shows.

Thanks once again for the page.

Fri, 8 Aug 1997 19:33:52 -0400 (EDT) John Sun, 3 Aug 1997 18:53:07 +0800 Bob Horwood I just stumbled across your site and had to send a note to say its great and brought back some good memories. I was lucky enough to catch one Roy Buchanan concert at the Marquee Club in London sometime in 1973.

Wed, 25 Jun 1997 14:13:43 -0400 (EDT) Eschind I was fortunate enough to have seen Mr. Roy Buchanan at least 10 times in the late 70’s and early 80’s. News of his death brought tears to my eyes. Roy had a cult following in Pittsburgh amongst my friends and I. The one show i will never forget was at a swimming pool called crystal springs in the springdale part of pgh. It was a nasty night. An outdoor concert and while we were waiting for roy big black clouds moved overhead and a heavy downpour along with thunder and lightning was on us. I swear not one person moved we just kept yelling for Roy. the rain stopped and out he came. he was obviously moved by the loyalty of the fans that night and proceeded to put on a 3 hour show that left everyone who witnessed it in complete awe. never had i seen Roy so into it. He was doing things with that telecaster that noone alive or dead could even come close to doing. The encore song he did was the legendary I”M EVIL in which halfway through the song he pulled a switchblade out of his pocket and used it for a slide and then started using it for a pick. it was unreal at the end of the song he dhis tele on the stage stabbed the knife into it and walked offstage. something i’ll never ever forget.

thanks roy

Fri, 20 Jun 1997 21:14:06 -0700 Joe Does anyone know how to get a copy of the Austin City Limits show Roy did in 1977? I’d really appreciate the information.
Roy was simply tremendous. I saw him perform about 50 or 60 times and never ceased to be amazed by his talent and vision.
It’s a pleasure to read everyone’s comments. Keep the word going.

Wed, 11 Jun 97 11:54:00 EST Bruce Wagner Enjoy your website on Roy very much. He truly was one of the greatest guitarists that ever lived. He was a great inspiration to countless guitarists, myself included. Although I saw him play on several occasions around the DC area in the 70’s and got to meet him, unfortunately I never got to know him any better than to say hello to him.



Bruce Wagner

Sat, 7 Jun 97 16:03:27 UT Phil Carson I’m an author in Colorado Springs and am working on the biography of roy buchanan. I saw Roy perform 60-70 times between May 1973 at Carnegie Hall, NYC, and sometime in 1985. I like your home page and wish to contact all Roy fans for photos, tapes, info, concert dates/stubs, etc. I have a fine collection of hundreds of tapes and many photos. I’m friends with Roy’s older brother, Jim, and have traveled to Ozark, Ark. and Pixley, Calif. to interview family members. Let me know if you’d like to trade tape lists or correspond. My email address is and I share this address with my girlfriend, Carol. I’ll be returning to Ozark this summer and perhaps Calif this fall to finish the first half of my research. I won’t share a lot of stuff that is being saved for the book, but Roy’s father was not a preacher. He did not “run away from home at age 15.” There is a new Alligator collection of Roy’s best tapes coming out, perhaps this December.
Best, Phil Carson

Sun, 01 Jun 1997 14:06:51 -0700 Charles Howe In 1975, I attended a concert at Seattle’s Paramount Theater. The billing was Peter Frampton, with Roy Buchanan as the warm up group. Frampton’s drummer (John Siomos) turned up sick at the very last moment (everybody was seated) so Frampton canceled the show. The MC (a local radio DJ) offered ticket refunds to all if they wanted. Buchanan agreed to play for the entire evening if the remaining patrons wanted to listen to him. Many people left, and those remaining (including myself) were treated to the most blinding and soulful notes to come a guitar. Peter who?

Fast forward to Seattle, 1985 at Parker’s. By this time, I had almost all his albums (except bootlegs) and knew all songs by heart. I’d played “air guitar” to all of them and knew which notes to expect. I did not expect what came next. My girl friend, being a top 40 fan and not owning one single LP was my drag-along date (reluctant as hell to listen to a loud guitar concert in a smokey bar). Well, the guy was unconcious. I actually had tears in my eyes on several songs – he played with such soul and feeling. His eyes on his guitar always, mouth slightly open, and NEVER moving his body – a statue with blurring fingers! My date was extremely impressed. I would look over at from time to time and see her shaking her head in disbelief of what she was seeing.

Three years later, I heard that Buchanan had hung himself (on a radio show that was playing a tribute to Roy). I recorded that show on cassette, and it’s one of my greatest treasures. I’ll never forget Roy Buchanan and his music, nor will I ever stop listening to it.

Thu, 22 May 1997 03:16:25 -0400 (EDT) Chuck Roethel Our group, Billy Price & The Keystone Rhythm Band, worked with Roy in the ’70s in Pittsburgh…Billy, later was Roy’s vocalist on the “Carnegie Hall Live” LP. Would like to hear from anyone about Roy during this period.
Best Regards,
Chuck Roethel

Sat, 10 May 1997 17:38:52 -0400 (EDT) Thinline I saw Roy twice at the Holiday Inn Ballroom in Richfield, OH (just south of Cleveland). Once in 1987 and 1988. Dear Lord that Tele smoked!! My friend got some excellent photographs of the master.

I haven’t seen the ’71 PBS program yet. If anyone has any suggestions for obtaining it, please e-mail me.

Fri, 25 Apr 1997 13:47:58 +0100 Alfredo Oh my god, finally I found some other friends which think Roy Buchanan was the best guitarist in the world.
I adored him: I had three guitars heroes, Roy, Rory Gallagher and Jerry Garcia, and all passed away. The only hope that, in some part of universe there playing some jam at front of some enthusiastic angels. I collect live tapes (Dat), and I hope to find people with Master Reels or dat that want trade with me. I DON’T SELL: Trade only. If somebody collect analogs tapes, I can accept video of RORY

Sat, 19 Apr 1997 14:39:10 +1100 Andrew McIntyre Thanks for the great Roy Buchanan page. I’ve picked up some great info here, discography and the riff pages. I had the pleasure of meeting Roy in 1988 at The Roxy, in Australia. Although we didn’t have much time for a chat, he was very modest about his skills and a true gentleman. Thanks again and I’ll pass this address onto my mates.

Tue, 01 Apr 97 21:46:46 PST jay crafton Lots of your letters request videos. Are you all aware of the “Further on down the road” video by barzntones? It features Roy at the height of his powers on stage with the likes of Lonnie Mack & Albert Collins. They are at Carnigie Hall. Pretty hot stuff. I have a cassette copy of Roy performing live in australia. It isn’t very long but it is really hot!

I saw Roy perform once in person. It was in Chicago. He was, and still is the most awsome guitar player I have ever seen.I was devastated to hear of his death. In the years since I have played in bars here in Indiana, and have always tried to pay tribute to the world’s greatest guitarist in the only, reverant way I can. “Guitar plays the Blues” at top volume(11) I try to turn as many on to Roy’s music as I can.

I love the Homepage! I will check it out often. I would love to hear from Roy me at

Thanks again for having a Roy Buchanan site.

Fri, 28 Mar 1997 16:47:15 -0500

My name is Andrew D’Arcangelo and I am a long-time fan of Roy’s. I have been looking for a 1974/75 video of Roy on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert. I have advertised in Goldmine and have spoken to Bob Davis for many years and have had no luck. I would really appreciate any information and/or ideas that you might have on how to locate this particular video.

Since I don’t have an e-mail address, you can contact me via snail mail at 7B Locust Street, Norwalk, CT 06855 or via telephone at 203-831-0771.

Andrew D’Arcangelo

P.S. If you haven’t gotten the new Malaguena CD yet, get it! It’s killer.

Wed, 26 Mar 1997 10:30:20 -0500 Len I was introduced to Roy Buchanan via the PBS special in the 70’s. My father forced me to sit down and watch the show and after 5 minutes I was hooked for life. If my memory serves me correctly, Roy jammed with Nils Lofgren on the song ‘Shotgun’ and I remember jazz guitarist Mundell Lowe’s appearance.

My dad and I attended Roy’s NY debut concert at Carnegie Hall. I took a few really crude pictures of Roy on stage with my ‘instamatic’ camera which I still posses. I also saved the original press clippings and review of the show.

My real reason for contacting you is that I only saw the PBS documentary on that one occasion and it would be a great thrill to locate a copy on video tape. Any info that you can supply regarding this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and keep the home page updated.

Sun, 23 Mar 1997 15:09:18 -0500 (EST) Greetings once again friends of Roy Buchanan. This is my second time on a computer. Naturally for me the soul purpose of which is to visit this rightuous site. Thanks again Jim… The question is asked is Dave Roche the president of the Roy Buchanan fan club? The answer is no. Bob Davis is!! But seriously, the sweet dreams of Roy Buchanan can sometimes be tart with less than fact based information.
Before I close I’d like to ask Sweet Dreams, DOES ANYONE HAVE Roy film or video footage? I already have the 90 min. documentary introducing Roy Buchanan from 1971,the Austin City Limits show from 1977, the German Rock Palast show from 1985, Carnegie Hall from 1985,PBS Rock and Roll Revival from 1986, and the club shows from Boston, Toronto, and San Antonio. Roy was a dear friend as well as a musical encyclopedia of gifted phenomena. Presently I’m 99.9% without computer access.So please write me at U.S>post office box 343 Newton Massachusetts 02160. “Think Heaven” – (R.B.) With his love and mine,
David Roche.

Sat, 22 Mar 1997 00:21:48 -0600 Ike Reed Eichner Jim – thanks for creating your web page on one of the greatest blues guitarists of all time! Roy has played some of the most gut-wrenching music I’ve ever heard. Case-in-point: His album “When a Guitar Plays the Blues” is totally awesome!!!

I’m passionate about playing the blues & also collect vintage guitars. Any idea where Roy’s ’53 telecaster (“Nancy”) lives? If you tell me its in the “Hard Rock Cafe” in London on some greasy wall, I’ll fly over asap & snatch it from the those burger boys. Seriously, if anyone knows where “she” is, please, please email me at or – Many, many thanks again for your hard work on this web page.

Sat, 15 Mar 1997 17:01:02 -0800 Joe Granitto Thanks for a great home page Jim. I had a chance to see Roy many times in the 70s and 80s. He was a unique talent who could play blistering cascades of sound or just drain the beauty of one solitary note.

He was an of explorer of unknown places and ,at times, a player of great poetry. In many ways, he was and still is my favorite guitarist.


Wed, 12 Mar 1997 13:29:20 +0200 pentti hanninen i’ve enjoyed roy’s playing since 1974 when i heard the album ‘roy buchanan’, the guitar solo on ‘haunted house’ is killing! nowadays i’ve got the four first (polydor) albums and the ‘sweetdreams’ anthology. they are ‘the bible’ for me! has anybody ‘live in japan’ album? i’m interested to get a tape copy of it.

pentti hõnninen

Sun, 09 Mar 1997 17:38:16 -0500 Chuck Mahoney Roy’s Tele tone was amazing.. he could get an unbelievable array of sounds from such a “simple” guitar. Does anyone have any info on his equipment setup – Tele vintage, amps, effects, etc? Any help wounld be appreciated!

Tue, 04 Mar 1997 16:53:15 +1000 Dean Coulter Great site. Roy was one of the greatest artists of modern music, no doubt.

Mon, 03 Mar 1997 22:24:49 -0500 Alan Gillette The first time I had heard of Roy Buchanan was when I was 16 or so. The local public TV station was airing “The World’s Greatest Unknown Guitarist”. I was totally stunned and flabbergasted by what I heard.I never got to see Roy live until 1987, the second time I saw him was in 1988; on that occasion I shook hands with him as he was walking past me after the show. Long live the spirit of a true original, Roy Buchanan.

Thu, 27 Feb 1997 19:13:32 +0900 Kevin Armstrong Roy Buchanan’s talent opened my eyes to the pyrotechnics available to a blues guitarist. The first album I ever heard was “Loading Zone”. To this day I am hunting for a clean cassette copy to transfer to cd. I simply cannot believe that the album has not been re-released on CD. I was equally appalled that neither the “Sweet Dreams” or “Guitar on fire” compilations had the track “Done your Daddy Dirty”
Won’t another fan/collector please help me out?

Wed, 05 Feb 1997 20:14:26 -0500 Mark D. Henniger First time I saw Roy Buchanan was in Cherry Hill, N.J. at a small bar called Al’s Erlton Lounge in the very early ’70s. At the time the Allman Bros. Band had just relased the Fillmore East and we all had many a debate about the best “crying” guitar, Duane Allman on Whipping Post, Carlos Santana on “Song of the Wind”, or Roy on “The Messia will come Again”. On any day Roy could hold his own with the best!

Sat, 25 Jan 1997 19:23:52 -0800 Anonymous I probably can’t offer much new information on Roy that’s not already known. I did get to see him a few times, once at the Roxy Theater in Hollywood in 1973, just after his first album came out. Later, I saw him in Chicago. Both were great.

The enduring problem with Roy was that his talents were immense, but he tended to surround himself with hacks, especially on the first few albums. I liked the Alligator days as his albums were pretty much Roy playing his guitar and forget the everything else.

Wed, 15 Jan 1997 20:03:39 -0500 Bernie & Ingrid I knew Roy well. I heard him often at the Crossroads and was at -I think it was MY Mothers Place in DC when he released the sack album. Sure was a great player.

Wed, 8 Jan 1997 09:27:17 -0800 Jim DeKoven Congratulations on the Roy home page. I’ve searched the net for quite some time for some info about this great musician. Thanks again and keep up the good work!

Sun, 29 Dec 1996 14:36:59 -0500
Ray richards
Roy Buchanan was a great guitar player. I have his first 3 vinyl
albums. He was wonderful. He aslways seemed so relaxed and real
onstage. He was comfortable to watch and listen to.

Roy Buchanan and his Guitars



Roy’s personal guitar gallery was quite extensive. Besides his signature axe, his trademark ’53 Tele Roy did in fact own and record with many other guitars. His first 5 lp’s on POLYDOR saw incomparible imagination on both his ’54 and ’55 telecasters. His acoustic work on these albums featured majestic style and skill coming forth from his Martin D-28. Roy’s years at Atlantic saw a burning blurr of notes from beyond the stratosphere coming out of his Les Paul; and another sample of his soft passion eminating from his Martin D-35.

Roy’s next label, Waterhouse actually released 2 lp’s – The first of which was released in November of 1980 as a limited run for radio promotion and featured alternate takes from the “My Babe” album, along with an interview recorded with Roy in the studio of KQRS of Minneapolis. Both of these Waterhouse lp’s had the elements of intensity and simplicity coexisting with pure virtuosity. The occasional axe of source was the Stratocaster that Roy toured with during the early 80’s.

Around 1985/86 two different stories exist about Roy not being satisfied with a guitar:

In 1986 Roy started using a Guild:
Roy visited the Guild factory sometime around New Year’s Day, 1986 and selected a Guild Nightbird from the instruments they had there. Roy may have then discussed the development of the T-200 with Guild. The T-200 is a fancy version of a rosewood board Telecaster.
The guitar was then replaced by the T-250 model by mid 1986, probably shortly after the pictures were taken. I have heard rumours that he played the instrument twice in concert, at least once with the tape over the “Guild” logo, as he was so dissatisfied with the instrument. The T-250’s took up directly after the T-200’s in serial number sequesnce, so an exact number produced is difficult to ascertain. The sum total for the two models is 123 for 1986, and there are at least 24 of the T-200’s, but probably not many more than that.

Others say that the above story is wrong and that the story applies to:

Bill Lawrence (, who in 1985 – or somewhere around the mid eighties – made a artist model called RBII specially designed for Roy Buchanan. The guitar Bill Lawrence made had ash body, maple on ebony neck and two Bill Lawrence pickups: Black Label T1 and T2.

Other than the ’53(?) tele he always used, he also had the Guild T-200, and a Guild Nightbird, Serial Number BL 100105, with Kent Armstrong pickups, natural maple finish (possibly the first one made with a maple top), gold hardware and a coil tap switch in the tone control. It was the first one made in 1986.
In his last years, Roy effortlessly explored the accended plains with a variety of customized experimental Telecasters. (Wide necks,Thin necks, Triple pick-ups,strange wirings etc..) He even had an axe with the body custom sculptured out of granite! Then there was the Fritz brothers prototype which preceded the Roy Buchanan bluesmaster.