08/02/2018

Floyd Dixon

Floyd Dixon (February 8, 1929 – July 26, 2006) an American rhythm and blues pianist and singer.
Dixon was born Jay Riggins, Jr. in Marshall, Texas, United States. He was influenced by blues, gospel, jazz and country music growing up. His family moved to Los Angeles, California in 1942 and Dixon met his influence Charles Brown there.
Self-dubbed "Mr. Magnificent," Dixon signed a recording contract with Modern Records in 1949, specializing in jump blues and sexualized songs like "Red Cherries", "Wine Wine Wine", "Too Much Jelly Roll" and "Baby Let's Go Down to The Woods". Dixon replaced Brown on piano and vocals in the band Johnny Moore's Three Blazers in 1950 when Brown departed to start a solo career. The group recorded on Aladdin Records. Staying with the record label, Dixon had a small hit under his own name in 1952 with "Call Operator 210".
Dixon switched to the Specialty Records label in 1952, and the Atlantic Records subsidiary Cat Records in 1954. "Hey Bartender" (later covered by The Blues Brothers) and "Hole In The Wall" were hit singles during this time.
In the 1970s Dixon left the music industry for a quieter life in Texas, though he did occasional tours in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1984 he was commissioned to write "Olympic Blues" for the 1984 Summer Olympics.
In 1993, Dixon received a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. In the mid-1990s, he secured a contract with Alligator Records, releasing the critically acclaimed album, Wake Up And Live.
On June 1 and 2, 2006, Dixon hosted a concert with Pinetop Perkins and Henry Gray, celebrating the intergenerational aspect of blues piano. The band was led by Kid Ramos and included Larry Taylor and Richard "Bigfoot" Innes. Kim Wilson, Fred Kaplan (from the Hollywood Blue Flames) and Lynwood Slim also performed. This concert was filmed and was released March 6 2013 on HighJohn Records.
Dixon died in Orange County, California in July 2006, at the age of 77, from kidney failure, having suffered with cancer. A public memorial service was held at Grace Chapel, in the grounds of the Inglewood Park Cemetery.

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