The Johnny Winter Story

Johnny Winter's Complete Discography Part One: The Early Years

Johnny Winter in the Early Years

Johnny Winter: The Early Years

Most of the albums in this section are compilations of recordings produced by Roy C Ames. Many of the songs appear on many of the albums. As the recording period covers 1958-1969, these albums have been categorized in alphabetical order. You may also want to check out the Johnny Winter Story's Single Section which list all the original recordings. These pages describe the Johnny Winter's albums from the starting period 1958-1969 of his career.





Legal but not official recordings

Legal (but not official) recordings: by: Francisco J R Silva

On the 60's till the Columbia contract in the end of '68, Johnny recorded many, several 'demo' tapes for many producers and small labels. I myself have estimated in something about four hours of recordings, on total.

These recordings, weakly recorded, weakly remastered, weakly edited with weak cover art on sleeves, make 100% of the LPs and CDs I am refering in this topic. Most of songs are recorded on the 60's fashion: 'live' in the studio, 2 or 3 takes to choose the best one, fading out to clock at 3 minutes. At an old article about these recording, Johnny gave the status of pure bullshit to them. I don't know if Johnny actually said so, or those words were put on Johnny's mouth by the Columbia sales manager. Those songs had been put together with its real names sometimes, sometimes without. The songs had the running order shuffled, mixed along those recordings. Anyone of these recordings made bigger injuries to Johnny's pocket than all the bootlegs together. In my tireless search of any Johnny's bootlegs ( the real thing, for a serious collector) I have come across many of these recordings.

The first 'wave' of them began to appear in the Second Winter release date, till '72, the period that Johnny had retired cause his drug addiction problems. In the CD format, early '89, such recording became to appears. At first, the manufacturers announce "previously unreleased", "rare material", all the same old publicity keys. But what do we get? The old and tired material rereleased to death. The same mislabeling on songs, six tracks from a record, three from another, 5 from any other. One or another previously unreleased, in the same style.

Are those collectible? Each one decides. Hearing those ones, I have my pick: I have agreed to the old Johnny's opinion: a big piece of bullshit.

And one more: what's the actual recording date?

A miscellany all the way.But we have a honorable mention: "The Progressive Blues Experiment". This is the best recording, edition and sleeve of all them. And it has the all time Johnny's classic "Mean Town Blues". It was released just in time of the first record for Columbia. But it caused some problems on sales of the first official LP. But this recording is very acceptable. By the way, it was rereleased in '73 by United Artists (UA-LA 139).

Below I will quote all the recordings titles that I know that carry those recordings; some of which you have the information, some not. I do know I am quoting them right, although I do not have them. Very early, I had decided do not collect them. So:


New Musical Express 15 Jul 1972

Winter's career was additionaly hampered, in the beginning, by buck-making business men taking advantage of Steve Paul's hype by issueing old Texas tapes of varying quality.
The best of these a glorified demo called "The Progressive Blues Experiment", was actually issued some weeks before Winter's official CBS debut "Johnny Winter" and various others soon followed.
They didn't help Johnny much, "People kept coming up to me and saying "Hey man your new album's bunch of shit' and I'd say "Which one?" and they'd tell me one of the old ones.


  • Some of the tracks are known under multiple names:
    • Divin'Duck"is the also known as "If The River Was Whiskey"
    • "Help me" is also known as "I Can Make It By Myself"
  • To reduce the loading time for this page, most of the images have been reduced to "thumbnail" images, if you wish to see the full size/quality images, just click on them.
  • Albums marked with (*) are in my collection. Feel free to donate the missing albums or a casette of it.

The Complete Johnny Winter Discography is HERE


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Last Modified: 24-Mar-2018 15:20