Willie Dixon

One of the cornerstones of blues and rock and roll history, Willie Dixon's songs inspired Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix and continue to evoke the spirit ingrained in classic American music. Discovering the blues while working on prison farms in Mississippi in the 1930s, he sang in gospel quartets and began putting his own rhymes to the music he heard on the radio. Moving to Chicago, he became an Illinois Golden Gloves heavyweight boxing champion and played stand-up bass in jazz groups, but was imprisoned during WWII for conscientious objection. It was as a producer and songwriter for Chess Records during the 1950s and 1960s that his legend was formed though, as he penned the classics Hoochie Coochie Man, Evil and Wang Dang Doodle for the likes of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Koko Taylor. The Rolling Stones reached Number 1 in the US with his track Little Red Rooster, Cream had a big hit with Spoonful and Led Zeppelin turned You Need Love into Whole Lotta Love; but it wasn't until he released solo album I Am The Blues (1970) and toured Europe with the Chicago Blues All Stars that he started to receive proper recognition. He later won a Grammy Award for the album Hidden Charms (1988) and was posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame after his death from heart failure in 1992.

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Stations Featuring Willie Dixon

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