WILLIE DIXON.
1915 to 1992.


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Willie Dixon.Willie Dixon is born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, on 1 July 1915.

Having discovered a talent for boxing, Willie wins the heavyweight division of the Illinois Golden Gloves competition in 1937.

In 1940, after several disputes with his boxing managers, Willie turns his attention to music. The group he has formed with singer/guitarist Leonard 'Baby Doo' Caston, the Five Breezes, records eight numbers for the Bluebird record label.

Shortly after the USA's entry into World War II in 1941, Willie is arrested for ignoring his enlistment papers.

Willie is spared enlistment after being classified as unfit for military service. In 1942 he forms a new group, the Four Jumps of Jive.

Now 1945 Willie is the founder member of the Big Three Trio, again with Baby Doo Caston and two years later the Trio obtain a recording contract with Columbia Records. On the road, they are a huge success on a circuit that takes in the Mid-West and the northern states.

The Big Three Trio breaks up in 1952 and Willie takes a job at Chess as a writer and arranger but also as an odd-job man.

In January 1954, Muddy Waters takes one of Willie's songs and creates a spectacular blues recording '(I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man'.

Little Walter has a Number 1 R&B hit with Willie's composition 'My Babe' in 1955, the following year dissatisfied with conditions at Chess, Willie leaves for El Toscano's Cobra and Artistic label.

He records his first LP in 1959, Willie's Blues, for the Bluesville Record label and in 1960 he provides Howlin' Wolf with the songs 'Wang Dang Doodle', Back Door Man', 'Spoonful' and 'The Red Rooster'.

Willie tours Europe in 1962 as part of the American Folk Blues Festival. He will also act as agent for the festival throughout the 1960's.

The Rolling Stones have a British Number 1 hit in 1964, with Willie's composition 'Little Red Rooster' the first time a blues record has topped the pop charts.

In 1982 Willie sets up the Blues Heaven Foundation to aid young musicians.

Willie receives compensation from Led Zeppelin in 1987 over the similarity between their 'Whole Lotta Love' and his 'You Need Love'.

Willie Dixon dies of a heart condition on 29 January 1992.


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