Thursday, December 20, 2007
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Willie Dixon
Song:Walkin' The Blues
Album:The Chess Box
Usually when a record company releases a box set, it's supposed to be a career retrospective on that performer. This box set is different because Willie Dixon's contribution as a songwriter and producer was much greater than as a performer. He was born July 1, 1915 in Vicksburg, MS. Like a lot of blues greats, he moved to Chicago and won the Illinois Golden Gloves Heavyweight Boxing Championship. His partner at the time was guitarist Leonard "Baby Doo" Caston and they had several groups including The Big Three Trio. When the Chess brothers started their label, Dixon was initially hired as a bass player but they liked his writing and Dixon became an integral part of Chess sessions. The success of Dixon's Hoochie Coochie Man for Muddy Waters earned him a promotion to session producer. Though Dixon occasionally recorded as a solo artist, his legacy is the many great songs he wrote and produced for Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Koko Taylor and many others. His own recordings are overshadowed and that is represented on The Chess Box. Willie Dixon would become more active as a performer later on and was a great live draw in the 70s & 80s. He was also in the forefront of the battle over songwriters getting the royalties they deserve. Willie Dixon died on Jan. 29, 1992 at age 76. He was a true legend of the blues. Here's Wille Dixon performing I'm Nervous with Memphis Slim & Matt "Guitar" Murphy at the 1962 American Folk Festival.