by Robert Wilkinson
Stevie Winwood is a musical genius who has given us some of the most memorable tunes in history. If you don't know who he is, you have most definitely heard his music!
It’s not hyperbole to state that Stevie Winwood (born 12 May 1948) Is one of the greatest talents of our times! He began as a young teen with the Spencer Davis Group, where he wrote and sang some pretty incredible stuff. From there he created Traffic, and went on to join up with Eric Clapton, Ginger Backer, and Ric Gretch in Blind Faith, said to be the first “supergroup.” After that, he forged a brilliant solo career while still collaborating with some of the best of the best!
We’ll begin with one that he co-wrote while he was in the Spencer Davis Group! First, his most famous song, as immortalized by the Blues Brothers! Here Stevie and the Spencer Davis Group is very live in the mid-60s on television, performing the iconic “Gimmie Some Lovin’”
From French TV in 1966, Stevie front and center on lead vocals in a great live performance of “Keep On Runnin’”
Here’s the original studio version of another one he wrote, “I’m A Man”
Live in 2005 on the Jools Holland television show, Stevie raving up in a live performance of “I’m A Man”
Here’s a great live video clip from 1966! From “Beat Beat Beat” in Germany, again with Stevie on lead vocals and guitar, cranking out “Somebody Help Me”
We now move into his years with Traffic, and begin with a great live show when they were at their peak! Here's Traffic performing live in Santa Monica in 1972, with Stevie and the rest of Traffic (sans Dave Mason) in a 14 minute live performance of “Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” From the same gig, a great offering of “Dear Mister Fantasy”
After finding the above clips, of course I found the entire show! This has all their best, including live performances of their biggest hits across the years. “Traffic Live in Santa Monica – 1972
There’s not a lot of live performance footage, so we’ll go to some of the original studio versions set to still photos.
We now move to what was called "the world's first supergroup." From his time with Blind Faith, I found an incredible piece of history in an entire 60 minute concert! For your enjoyment, Stevie Winwood, Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Ric Gretch very live in 1969 as Blind Faith – the 1969 Hyde Park Concert
For a few more, here are the original studio versions of
We’ll now move into some of the biggest from his solo career!
Here’s the great music video of the equally great “While You See A Chance”
Very live on Soundstage, “Back In the High Life Again”
Here’s the music video to the very beautiful “The Finer Things”
Live on the BBC in 1988, Stevie putting us in a grinding version of “Roll With It”
Very live at VH1 in London 2007, dig the groove of “Higher Love”
Live in 2003 on Soundstage, here’s Stevie and Jose Neto performing "Cigano (For the Gypsies)".
Live in 2005 on Soundstage, here's Stevie performing "Dear Mr. Fantasy" and "Why Can't We Live Together"
Here’s an entire 2 hour 20 minute very live show! Stevie Winwood and Eric Clapton at Madison Square Gardens - 2008.
From July 2010 on Letterman, Stevie raving up “Gimme Some Lovin’”
We’ll close this birthday tribute with something from the Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2010. For your enjoyment, Stevie and his old bandmate Eric Clapton giving us Stevie’s classic Traffic tune, “Dear Mister Fantasy” and their classic Blind Faith number, “Had To Cry Today”
For our second encore, Stevie cranking it up on Rockpalast in 1997, offering up what originally brought him to the big time! "I'm A Man" and "Gimme Some Lovin'"
Thanks for all the fantastic tunes over the years, Stevie! I’ve been dancing to your music since the very beginning, and you just keep getting better as the years rock on. Happy and merry everything!
©2014 Robert Wilkinson