The guy demonstrated significant talent from the recreation, effective the newest Illinois State Fantastic Gloves heavyweight tournament (beginner department) in 1937

The guy demonstrated significant talent from the recreation, effective the newest Illinois State Fantastic Gloves heavyweight tournament (beginner department) in 1937

William James “Willie” Dixon (erican blues artist-songwriter, nearly all whoever music turned into classics of one’s Chicago organization style and you may were later included in major rock designers. He was along with a recorded bassist, arranger, and record music producer to have Chicago’s premier organization title, Chess Ideas, in heyday when you look at the 1950s and you may very early 1960s.

Dixon published such as for instance blues moves just like the “Nothing Red-colored Rooster,” “Large Workplace Guy,” “Spoonful,” “Back-door Son,” “I just Should make Choose to You,” “My personal Girl,” “Wang Dang Doodle,” “Hoochie Coochie Kid,” and you can “Carry it toward Family.” His audio had been did of the organization greats such as for example Dirty Oceans, Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed, and you may Little Walter. The guy plus influenced a creation from younger writers and singers who later filed his audio, including Sam Cooke, The newest Going Stones, Otis Redding, Eric Clapton, New Doorways, The brand new Pet, Bob Dylan, Lotion, Added Zeppelin, The fresh new Yardbirds, brand new Grateful Dry and others.

Dixon plus formed a primary link between the organization and you will material and you may roll because of the handling rock musicians particularly Chuck Berry and you may Bo Diddley in their very early years. Alongside Dirty Waters, he is felt more important shaper of post-World war ii voice of Chi town blues and that is believe from the particular becoming 1st organization songwriter ever.

Early lives

Dixon was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi towards July step 1, 1915. Their mother, Daisy, will authored rhymes through the casual conversation, a practice Dixon learned to imitate. Within period of seven, the guy became an admirer off a ring that featured blues pianist Nothing Sister Montgomery. Dixon is actually further produced to the organization as he offered big date towards jail facilities inside Mississippi since the an earlier-teenager. The guy as well as read simple tips to play balance of a city carpenter titled Leo Phelps. Dixon performed trout in Phelps’ category, new Jubilee Vocalists, a local gospel quartet one regularly featured into Vicksburg radio route WQBC. Around this time Dixon first started trying out songwriting by adapting poems he had created into the audio, and you will happened to be in a position to offer several so you’re able to regional songs teams.

Dixon left Mississippi for il for the 1936. One from epic prominence on 6 feet 6 ins significant and you will weighing over 250 lbs, he took up boxing. Dixon following turned professional as good boxer and you will did temporarily given that Joe Louis’ sparring spouse. Immediately following five expert matches, although not, he given up the brand new boxing organization due to a disagreement together with his manager over a point of currency.

At boxing gymnasium, Dixon is actually found by-fellow singer Leonard “Child Doo” Caston, exactly who assisted your become seriously interested in musical as a position. Dixon performed in many singing organizations in the il, and Caston based him 1st trout, made of a tin can plus one string. Dixon plus learned your guitar.


When you look at the il, Dixon and Caston assisted means the 5 Breezes, a group one to blended organization and jazz, targeting singing harmonies. Dixon’s progress in learning to experience the bass is actually halted whenever he was imprisoned to have ten days once resisting new draft while in the The second world war. Adopting the combat, the guy briefly designed the brand new Five Leaps of Jive then reunited that have Caston to create the top Around three Trio, hence proceeded in order to listing briefly for Columbia Records.

Dixon first finalized having Chess Facts into the 1948 given that a tracking musician, however, soon began working on name as a company and arranger. Because of the 1951, he had been an entire-day employee from the Chess, in which he acted given that producer, ability lookout, course singer to the trout, arranger, and you can employees songwriter. In the event his reference to the fresh new label is either burdened, the guy remained which have Chess through the very early 1960s. During this time period their returns and you may determine try prodigious.

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