Song: “Roll With It” by Steve Winwood
Reached #1: July 30, 1988 (his second, 4 weeks)
Steve Winwood’s career is, in its way, as amazing as his contemporary Stevie Wonder. I’ll leave it to the fringe to jump on the “S.W.” thing.
Winwood’s been in the music business for 50 years. He’s 64.
He became the lead singer of the Spencer Davis Group at age 14, and by 17, the group had their first UK #1 single. Winwood would co-write the Group’s signature track, “Gimme Some Lovin’”, before leaving. At age 19.
All he did then was form Traffic. Again, he was 19.
How much did you do before your 20th birthday?
And if that wasn’t enough, he joined Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker in Blind Faith. At age 21.
It would be no surprise to learn that he took some time off before making a “comeback”. At age 29.
He was about a decade into his solo career when he assembled an all-star lineup for Back In The High Life, which provided his first US #1, “Higher Love”. The followup album was Roll With It.
Winwood hasn’t slowed down, continuing to make albums every few years, touring, and working with contemporary artists like Christina Aguilera and Swedish singer Erik Prydz (who sampled my favorite Winwood track, “Valerie”, and took “Call on Men” to #1 in the UK in 2004).
He and Eric Clapton still get together on stage as well, last working together on a 2009 tour.
That’s one hell of a half-century, and I’ve barely scratched the surface. Go Google him. He’s probably one of the best musicians you’ve kind of forgotten about…
Tomorrow, we’ll hear from one of the names I dropped today…
Other songs that reached #1 on July 30:
1966 – “Wild Thing” by the Troggs (their first, 2 weeks)
1977 – “I Just Want To Be Your Everything” by Andy Gibb (his first, 4 weeks)