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Floyd Dixon

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Floyd Dixon (8 February 1929 – July 26, 2006) was an American rhythm and blues pianist.

Dixon was born Jay Riggins Jr. in Marshall, Texas. 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 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 hits 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.

Dixon died in Los Angeles in July 2006, at the age of 77, from kidney failure. A public memorial service was held at Grace Chapel, in the grounds of the Inglewood Park Cemetery.

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