Happy Birthday in Heaven to Blues Rocker Johnny Winter

This week in rock history, the legendary blues rocker Johnny Winter was born on February 23, 1944. For a bit of an in-depth coverage of this amazing musician, check out what Joe Bonamassa’s Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation had to say about his birthday here.

Here’s the rest of the rundown of this week’s major events in Rock History:

Born This Week in Rock History

2/19/1948 – Tony Iommi (guitar, Black Sabbath)

2/20/1967 – Kurt Cobain (lead vocals and guitar, Nirvana)

2/21/1933 – Nina Simone (roots music vocalist)

2/21/1943 – David Geffen (founder, Asylum Records, Geffen Records)

2/23/1944 – Johnny Winter (blues rock guitarist and vocalist)

2/23/1952 – Brad Whitford (guitar, Aerosmith)

2/24/1942 – Paul Jones (vocals and harmonica, Manfred Mann, The Blues Band)

2/24/1944 – Nicky Hopkins (session pianist and organist, worked with The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, The Beatles, The Who)

2/24/1947 – Lonnie Turner (bass, Steve Miller Band)

2/25/1943 – George Harrison (guitar and vocals, The Beatles)


Died This Week in Rock History

2/19/1980 – Bon Scott (lead vocals, AC/DC)

2/22/1989 – Andy Warhol (manager, The Velvet Underground)

2/23/2003 – Howie Epstein (bass, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)

2/24/1994 – Papa John Creech (violin, Jefferson Airplane)

2/25/2012 – Louisiana Red (blues guitarist, singer, harmonica)


Music Recordings, Releases and Top of the Charts:

2/19/1949 – John Lee Hooker’s “Boogie Chillen” at #1 on the R&B charts

2/19/1977 – Fleetwood Mac releases Rumours

2/21/1979 – Dire Straits by The Dire Straights goes gold

2/21/1964 – The Rolling Stones release “Not Fade Away”

2/21/1966 – The Beatles release “Nowhere Man”

2/22/1969 – The Beatles record “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”

2/23/1970 – Morrison Hotel by The Doors goes gold (their fifth album in a row to do so)

2/24/1976 – Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) by The Eagles is the first ever platinum album

2/25/1963 – The Beatles release “Please Please Me”

2/25/1984 – Van Halen’s “Jump” leaps to the top of the Billboard charts

This Week in Rock History

2/18/1969 – The Jimi Hendrix Experience plays Royal Albert Hall. The 10 song setlist that night included a veritable roll call of Hendrix classics such as “Purple Haze,” “Spanish Castle Magic,” “Foxy Lady,” and “Hear My Train A-Comin’.” Interestingly, the set opened with the much lesser know, “Tax Free.”


2/19/1965 – Rod Stewart plays with the band The Soul Agents at a club in Harrow England, which is his first major performance.

2/19/1987 – Taj Mahal plays a concert at the Palomino Club in Hollywood and is joined onstage by George Harrison, John Fogerty, and Bob Dylan for an impromptu jam session. Some of the songs played by this who’s who of rock, included Fogerty’s “Proud Mary,” Dylan’s “Watching the River flow” as well as some classics of rock ‘n’ roll including “Blue Suede Shoes,” and “Peggy Sue.”

2/19/1974 – KISS makes their first television appearance on the show Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, aired on ABC.

2/20/2009 – The White Stripes play on the last episode of Late Night With Conan O’Brien, which is also their final gig as a band. They perform the song “We’re Going To Be Friends.” The performance is intimate and with a slightly different musical arrangement form the traditional way it is performed. Additionally, it features Meg White coming out from her drum kit to join Jack White on guitar and sing some lines in unison.

2/21/2001 – Johnny Cash wins his tenth Grammy award, for the song “Solitary Man” in the category of “Best Male Vocal Country Performance.” The song is a 1966 Neil Diamond hit that Cash recorded for his LP American III: Solitary Man, a mostly covers album that was produced by mega-producer Rick Rubin.

2/21/1961 – The Beatles make their first appearance at Liverpool’s Cavern Club. They will play regular lunchtime gigs there.

2/21/1958 – Gibson ships their first “Flying V.” The shipment was from a Kalamazoo, Michigan factory. The unique shape of the guitar created an almost mystical allure around the instrument, appealing to early adopters like Albert King and Lonnie Mack, as well as later guitar heroes like Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter, Billy Gibbons, and even Lenny Kravitz.

2/22/1989 – The first Grammy award for the “Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance” category is awarded to Jethro Tull. They beat Metallica.

2/23/2000 – Mule Variations by Tom Waits wins the “Best Contemporary Folk Album” Grammy. The albums’s guests included Les Claypool on bass, and John Hammond and Charlie Musselwhite playing the blues harp.

And that’ll do it for this week! Peace, love, and rock!

– Keeping the Blues Alive

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