Jessy Dixon is listed in the credits for the following albums:
|1978||Janny Grein||He Made Me Worthy||Background Vocals|
|1979||Evie||Never the Same||Songwriter|
|1985||The Cause||Do Something Now||Vocals, Choir|
|1985||DeGarmo & Key||Commander Sozo & the Charge of the Light Brigade||Duet Vocals|
|1992||Larry Howard||Cornerstone Blues Jam||Vocals|
Jessy Dixon (March 12, 1938 – September 26, 2011) was an American gospel singer, songwriter, and pianist, with success among audiences across racial lines. He garnered seven Grammy nominations during his career.
Early Life and career
Born in San Antonio, Texas, Jessy sang and played his first song at the age of five. As a youngster he moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he was heard and discovered by James Cleveland, who was one of the first artists to sing and record Jessy Dixon's compositions, "God Can Do Anything But Fail," and "My God Can Make A Way." The organizers of the Newport Jazz Festival invited him to perform his new song, "The Wicked Shall Cease Their Troubling," at New York's Radio City Music Hall in 1972. After the performance, Dixon and The Jessy Dixon Singers were requested to do four encores. Paul Simon, of Simon and Garfunkel, was in the audience and invited Dixon to share the stage with him as lead vocalist on NBC-TV's Saturday Night Live. Dixon found himself touring with Simon across the U.S., France, Canada, Scandinavia, Israel, and Japan. Dixon's affiliation with Simon lasted eight years, during which time he recorded two albums, Live Rhymin (1974) and Still Crazy After All These Years (1975), both of which sold a million copies.
Bill Gaither Gospel Hour
The years Dixon spent writing, singing, and producing have enabled him to realize the abiding dream of demolishing the walls dividing cultural musical styles. A few years ago, Jessy found two allies who shared his dream. Bill and Gloria Gaither invited him to sing at a Homecoming video taping and provided him yet another opportunity to see his dream become a reality. "Christian music isn't just one style," says Bill Gaither, "It's a theology wrapped up in a lot of different styles..." Jessy has played an important role in the unifying quality of the Homecoming video series. Dixon is now a favorite on the series, and has traveled all over the United States and abroad surprising gospel audiences with his stirring performances of "It's A Highway To Heaven," "Operator", "Leaving On My Mind", "Blood Bought Church", "The Wicked Shall Cease Their Troubling", "Lord Prepare Me To Be A Sanctuary", and "I Am Redeemed".
He toured Europe four to six months each year, and performs the hit Broadway show, Black Nativity with The Jessy Dixon Theater Group. Dixon was also an ordained minister with Calvary Ministries International of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Jessy Dixon. (2011, September 27). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 12:30, September 27, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jessy_Dixon&oldid=452628294
Jessy Dixon, a singer and songwriter who helped popularize gospel music with his energetic style and who found a wider audience touring and recording with Paul Simon, died on Monday at his home in Chicago. He was 73.
His sister, Miriam Dixon, said he had been sick for over a year but declined to provide details.
Mr. Dixon wrote more than 200 songs in a career that spanned five decades. He was perhaps best known for his 1993 hit “I Am Redeemed,” which remained on the gospel and Christian charts for five years. He also composed songs for several pop singers, among them Randy Crawford, Cher, Diana Ross, Natalie Cole and Amy Grant.
Though he was already well known in gospel circles, Mr. Dixon reached the mainstream pop-music audience in the 1970s, when he collaborated with Paul Simon on the albums “Paul Simon in Concert: Live Rhymin’ ” (a follow-up to Mr. Simon’s hit album “There Goes Rhymin’ Simon”) and “Still Crazy After All These Years.” The two musicians had met at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1972, and Mr. Simon was impressed with his vocals.
Mr. Dixon and his group, the Jessy Dixon Singers, toured with Mr. Simon for the next eight years. Mr. Dixon also played keyboard with the funk group Earth, Wind and Fire and collaborated with the guitarist Phil Upchurch.
But these were side projects. It was in the gospel genre that he left an important musical mark, releasing 18 albums between 1964 and 2006 — five of them went gold — and touring worldwide until 2001. After his work with Paul Simon, Mr. Dixon built a large following in Europe.
Born on March 12, 1938, in San Antonio, Texas, Mr. Dixon studied classical piano as a boy and started singing as a teenager at the Refuge Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The son of a porter and a seamstress, he went to a local Catholic college on a scholarship but dropped out to pursue a career as a musician. At 17, he was touring and playing black churches in California, Texas and Louisiana.
It was during a performance at a theater in San Antonio in 1957 that the Rev. James Cleveland, the great Chicago-based gospel musician, discovered Mr. Dixon and asked him to move to Chicago. There he became a pianist and singer with Mr. Cleveland’s group, The Original Chimes.
Mr. Dixon told The Associated Press in 1997 that being a young musician on Chicago’s South Side in the 1960s was like getting an advanced degree in blues and gospel music. “Going to church was like going to school,” he said.
In the mid-1960s, Mr. Dixon started composing choral music for the Thompson Community Singers, and some of his early songs have become church standards, including “Sit at His Feet and Be Blessed” and “I Love to Praise His Name.”
Ms. Dixon said that her brother enjoyed a close friendship with Mr. Simon and that he had enjoyed his time playing pop music. But she said that he was also a deeply religious man who taught Bible classes, quoted scripture in everyday conversation, and often had friends over to his house to sing hymns.
“What you saw onstage was what he was,” she said. “He was for real. He loved the Lord.”
McKinley Jr., J. C. (2011, September 26). Jessy Dixon, Gospel Singer and Songwriter, Dies at 73. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/27/arts/music/jessy-dixon-gospel-singer-and-songwriter-dies-at-73.html
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