5 Things You Didn't Know abut Steve Winwood

May 12, 2016

Happy 68th birthday to Steve Winwood, who will be featured along with Stevie Wonder on Friday.

A lot of people remember him from his 1980s solo career, when he gave us songs like "Higher Love," "Arc of a Diver," and "When You See A Chance," but his career goes way back to 1963 and the Spencer Davis Group. He was also in a short-lived band with Eric Clapton called Blind Faith, and he's in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with Traffic.

Here are some more things you may not have known about Mr. Winwood.

1. Steve was asked to join the Spencer Davis group when he was just 14 years old. That's hime belting out "Gimme Some Loving" and "I'm a Man." (He also co-wrote those classics).

2. He was asked to join Crosby, Stills and Nash, but declined. His pal from Blind Faith, Eric Clapton also passed on the opportunity.

3. He played organ on the Jimi Hendrix song "Voodoo Chile" from the album Electric Ladyland.

4. Winwood really got around as a session player, adding his musical skills to recordings from everyone from Billy Joel to Lou Reed, George Harrison and Gov't Mule.

5. While best known as a keyboard player and amazing singer, he is also an excellent guitar player. He picked up guitar at age nine, and says the first song he learned to play was "Well All Right" by Buddy Holly, which is a song that ended up on Blind Faith's album.