"Sad Journey": Floyd Dixon R.I.P.
Dixon, passed away Wednesday at the age of 77.
Floyd Dixon was one of
the many Texas-based artists who moved to Los Angeles in the 1940s
and helped popularize a post-swing style of music that would soon
dubbed R&B. He was a teenage protégé of Charles
Brown himself. And, though he, like many of his Central Avenue compatriots,
was heavily influenced by the Brown’s smooth jazzy take on
blues, Dixon found his greatest success playing a more rudimentary
jump blues style similar to that of his friend Amos Milburn –
a racket that was, in essence, rock’n’roll. And, a few
years into his career found his biggest success in that idiom, the
now-standard “Hey Bartender.” He even had a Lieber and
Stoller hit, “Too Much Jelly Roll” penned for him.
As R&B gave way to
soul, Dixon, like most of his fellow swing-based musicians, faded
into obscurity, retiring to Paris, TX. He made a comeback in the
1980s after a number of his recordings were re-released and, in
1996, shocked everyone with a live album called “Wake Up and
Live!” which proved that he hadn’t lost an ounce of
his either his energy or chops.
One of the youngest members of his generation of Central Avenue
jump blues pianists, Dixon, who was active until the end, was one
of the last standing. Another marker of the end of an era. He was
truly magnificent. In honor of Floyd Dixon’s death, I leave
you with a little hint of his greatness, my personal favorite, the
mysterious Chess version of “Please Don’t Go.”
Don't Go" MP3