Google+ Followers

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Willie Dixon born 1 July 1915

Willie Dixon (July 1, 1915 – January 29, 1992) was a well-known American blues bassist, singer, songwriter, and record producer.

He was born as William James Dixon, in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He was a producer for Chess and Checker Records in Chicago and is considered one of the key figures in the creation of Chicago blues. He worked with Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Led Zeppelin, Otis Rush, Bo Diddley, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Koko Taylor, Little Milton, Eddie Boyd, Jimmy Witherspoon, Lowell Fulson, Willie Mabon, Memphis Slim, Washboard Sam, Jimmy Rogers, and others.

He had a colourful life. In his teens he had many scrapes with the law, and decided to hitchhike his way to Chicago. A giant of a man, he took up boxing, and was so successful as to win the Golden Gloves heavyweight title in 1936. In 1940, after several disputes with his boxing managers, Willie turns his attention to music. The group he has formed with singer/guitarist Leonard 'Baby Doo' Caston, the Five Breezes, records eight numbers for the Bluebird record label.
Shortly after the USA's entry into World War II in 1941, Willie is arrested for ignoring his enlistment papers. Willie is spared enlistment after being classified as unfit for military service. In 1942 he forms a new group, the Four Jumps of Jive.
Now 1945 Willie is the founder member of the Big Three Trio, again with Baby Doo Caston and two years later the Trio obtain a recording contract with Columbia Records. On the road, they are a huge success on a circuit that takes in the Mid-West and the northern states.
Dixon subsequently signed for Chess Records as a recording artist, but by 1951 he was a full time employee of the label. His relationship with them was sometimes strained, although his spell there covered the years from 1948 to the early 1960s. During this time his output and influence was prodigious. Indeed, he once claimed "I am the blues." This may seem a little arrogant, but there is no doubt that he was one of the major influences on the genre, through his original and varied song writing, live performances, recording, and copious production work.
His double bass playing was of a high standard. He appears on many of Chuck Berry's early recordings, further proving his linkage between the blues and the birth of rock 'n' roll.
He records his first LP in 1959, Willie's Blues, for the Bluesville Record label and in 1960 he provides Howlin' Wolf with the songs 'Wang Dang Doodle', Back Door Man', 'Spoonful' and 'The Red Rooster'.
Dixon's genius as a songwriter lay in refurbishing archaic Southern motifs, in contemporary arrangements. This produced songs with the backbone of the blues, and the agility of pop music. British R&B bands of the 1960s constantly drew on the Dixon songbook for inspiration.
In addition, as his song writing and production work started to take a backseat, his organisational ability was utilised, putting together all-star, Chicago based blues ensembles for work in Europe.

     Here's "Little Red Rooster" from above 1969 album.

His health deteriorated in the 1970s and 1980s, due to long-term diabetes, and eventually his leg had to be amputated. In 1982 Willie sets up the Blues Heaven Foundation to aid young musicians.

He had bypass surgery in 1987. But, in 1988, he released of Hidden Charms, which won a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Recording. Dixon died at the age of seventy-six of heart failure at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Burbank, California on Jan. 29, 1992. He was buried in the Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois.

He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. His work was covered by a varied range of artists, from the blues, to modern day rock music practitioners.
 (Info various sources, mainly edited from Wikipedia) 

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For Willie Dixon - I Am The Blues (1969) go here:

1. Back Door Man (6:13)
2. I Can't Quit You, Baby (6:44)
3. The Seventh Son (4:18)
4. Spoonful (4:58)
5. I Ain't Superstitious (4:07)
6. You Shook Me (4:18)
7. I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man (4:52)
8. The Little Red Rooster (3:40)
9. The Same Thing (4:41)

Drums – Clifton James
Guitar – Johnny Shines
Harmonica – Walter "Shakey" Horton
Piano – Lafayette Leake, Sunnyland Slim
Vocals, Bass – Willie Dixon

For WILLIE DIXON The Big Three Trio :- go here:

1) Big 3 Boogie (2:34)
2) If The Sea Was Whiskey (3:06)
3) I Ain’t Gonna Be Your Monkey Man (2:59)
4) 88 Boogie (2:34)
5) Money Tree Blues (2:46)
6) Big 3 Stomp (3:06)
7) Since My Baby Gone (3:02)
8) Hard Notch Boogie Beat (2:46)
9) No One To Love Me (2:52)
10) Don’t Let That Music Die (2:32)
11) It’s All Over Now (2:39)
12) Tell That Woman (2:39)
13) Got You On My Mind (2:55)
14) Etiquette (2:18)
15) You Don’t Love Me No More (2:21)
16) Come Here Baby (2:26)
17) O.C. Bounce (2:20)
18) Cool Kind Woman (2:21)
19) Juice-Head Bartender (2:48)
20) What Am I To Do (2:21)
21) Signifying Monkey (2:52)

A big thank you to Williards Wormholes for link