Pentagram is saddened to learn of the passing of the legendary blues guitarist Johnny Winter. Our partner Paula Scher worked with Johnny on cover designs for several of his seminal albums of the late 1970s and early 1980s, when she was an art director at CBS Records. Johnny was signed to Blue Sky Records, a custom label distributed by CBS Records and lead by Steve Paul, who managed Johnny and his brother Edgar Winter, as well as Muddy Waters, Rick Derringer and David Johansen. Paula designed covers for all of them.
Steve Paul liked working with the stars of the profession, and Paula collaborated with top photographers for many of the Blue Sky covers. Richard Avedon photographed the Winter brothers for the cover of “Together” (1976). The brothers were legally blind but had cover approval, and had to hold the comps very close to their faces to see them. The Winters were popular at the time and the only albinos in the record business. Paula knew they would be instantly recognizable, and she persuaded Steve Paul to run Avedon’s image without any typography.
The striking cover of “White, Hot & Blue” (1978) was photographed by Art Kane. For “Raisin’ Cain” (1980), Johnny handed a photograph he had to Paula and she hand-colored it in-house.