Edgar Winter Biography

28 December 1946, Beaumont, Texas, USA. Although at times overshadowed by his brother, Johnny Winter, saxophonist and keyboard player Edgar has enjoyed an intermittently successful career. The siblings began performing together as teenagers, and were members of several itinerant groups performing in southern-state clubs and bars. Edgar later forsook music for college, before accepting an offer to play saxophone in a local jazz band. He rejoined his brother in 1969 and released his solo debut, Entrance. He then formed an R&B revue, Edgar Winter’s White Trash, whose live set Roadwork was an exciting testament to this talented ensemble. Winter then fronted a slimmer group - Dan Hartman (vocals), Ronnie Montrose (guitar) and Chuck Ruff (drums) - which appeared on the artist’s only million-selling album, 1972’s They Only Come Out At Night. This highly successful selection included ‘Free Ride’ and the rousing instrumental ‘Frankenstein’, which became a hit single in its own right.

Guitarist Rick Derringer, who had produced Winter’s previous two albums, replaced Montrose for Shock Treatment, but this and subsequent releases failed to maintain the singer’s commercial ascendancy. He rejoined his brother in 1976 for the Together album. Edgar and Johnny subsequently sued DC Comics for depicting the brothers in a comic book as half-human, half-worm characters. The figures were illustrated by the creator of Jonah Hex; the Winter brothers were shown as ‘Johnny And Edgar Autumn’.

Winter remains a hugely popular live draw, reuniting from time to time with White Trash and Derringer in addition to touring with various line-ups of the Edgar Winter Band. His later studio releases have continued to explore his blues and rock ‘n’ roll roots, with the glaring exception of the mid-80s concept album Mission Earth. ‘Free Ride’ and ‘Frankenstein’, meanwhile, have become staples of American rock radio.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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