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Edgar Winter

Born: Dec. 28, 1946                   Beaumont, Texas

Edgar Holland Winter was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas. His first broadcast performance was singing with his brother Johnny on a local radio show when he was four years old. Nineteen years later, the Winter brothers were together on stage at Woodstock.

 

Acclaimed as the creator of the iconic rock anthem “Frankenstein,” Edgar is a composer, vocalist, bandleader and self-taught, multi-instrument artist of music that transcends genres.

 

Edgar dropped out of college to play jazz professionally and joined his brother when Columbia Records offered Johnny a major contract. Following the release of Johnny’s first two albums, Edgar formed his own rock band, White Trash, whose members included locals Jerry LaCroix and Bobby Ramirez. The band’s first album appeared in 1971, followed in 1972 by Roadwork, which went gold. The band broke up in ’72, and Winter formed The Edgar Winter Group.

 

They Only Come Out At Night was their debut album. Released in 1973, it reached Number Three on Billboard's Hot 200, and remained on the charts for 80 weeks. It has sold over two million copies. Synthesizers were in their infancy and Edgar helped introduce them to rock music with this LP. Edgar also invented the keyboard body strap so he could play while moving freely on stage. The album’s single “Frankenstein” went to Number One in the Hot 100, becoming the first hit record with a synthesizer as the lead instrument and, so far, the last rock instrumental to reach Number One. “Frankenstein” was nominated for a Grammy, featured in movie soundtracks, television shows, and along with “Free Ride,” remain radio favorites on classic rock stations.

 

More hit songs include “Keep Playin’ That Rock and Roll,” “We All Had a Real Good Time,” “Dying to Live,” “Autumn,” the funky “Give It Everything You Got” and Edgar’s renowned rendition of “Tobacco Road.” Edgar’s saxophone solo is featured on Tina Turner’s classic  “The Best.” He’s also played on albums by Meat Loaf, Todd Rundgren, Leon Russell, Michael McDonald and B.B. King.

 

He wrote the title song “Way Down South” for the movie My Cousin Vinny and wrote “Keep on Rockin” for the film Duets and “Good Ol’ Shoe” for Wag The Dog. Edgar received a Black Reel shared nomination for Best Song “Runnin (Livin to die)” from the documentary film Tupac: Resurrection. His music has appeared in 15 movie and television projects.

 

To date, Edgar has released more than 20 albums with his bands and collaborators, and toured all but three years since 1970, including years with Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band.

 

In addition to performing at Woodstock, Edgar and his bands played at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival, Royal Albert Hall, Les Paul Tribute Concert at Carnegie Hall, The Apollo and closing concert event for the Fillmore East.

 

Edgar won the 2023 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album Brother Johnny - a  tribute to his older brother and blues guitar legend who passed away in 2014. Nineteen rock and blues luminaries including Ringo Starr, Joe Bonamassa, Joe Walsh, Billy Gibbons, Keb Mo, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Derek Trucks are featured, and Edgar wrote two new songs for it.  - M.B.

Edgar Winters Group performs "Frankenstein."
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