8 February 1929, Marshall, Texas, USA, d. 26 July 2006, Los Angeles, California, USA. Dixon, aka J. Riggins Jnr., began playing piano and singing as a child, absorbing every influence from gospel and blues to jazz, and even hillbilly. In 1942 his family moved to Los Angeles and he came into contact with fellow ex-Texan Charles Brown who, sensing Dixons potential, introduced him to his brand of cool, jazzy night club blues as singer and pianist with Johnny Moores Three Blazers. When the Blazers split up, Dixon was the natural choice for a substitute Charles Brown, and he made early recordings in the Brown style with both Eddie Williams (the Blazers bass player) for Supreme and with Johnny Moores new Blazers for Aladdin Records and Combo. His own trio recorded extensively for the Modern Records, Peacock and Aladdin labels between 1947 and 1952; later, they played in a harder R&B style for Specialty Records, Cat and Checker Records, and in the late 50s and 60s for a host of tiny west coast and Texas independent labels.
In 1975 Dixon made a comeback, beginning with a tour of Sweden, and became the first artist to be featured on Jonas Bernholms celebrated Route 66 reissue label. Dixon was commissioned to write Olympic Blues for the 1984 Los Angeles games. In the 90s he surfaced on the Alligator Records label. He continued to perform and record into the new millennium, albeit with his voice now much rougher than his early 50s heyday.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.