Jessy Dixon, a singer and songwriter who helped popularize gospel music v his energetic style and who discovered a more comprehensive audience touring and also recording v Paul Simon, passed away on Monday at his house in Chicago. He to be 73.
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His sister, Miriam Dixon, stated he had actually been sick because that over a year yet declined to administer details.
Mr. Dixon wrote much more than 200 song in a career the spanned 5 decades. He to be perhaps ideal known for his 1993 fight “I am Redeemed,” which stayed on the gospel and Christian charts for 5 years. He also composed song for several pop singers, among them Randy Crawford, Cher, Diana Ross, Natalie Cole and also Amy Grant.
Though the was currently well known in gospel circles, Mr. Dixon reached the tendency pop-music audience in the 1970s, when he collaborated through Mr. Simon on the albums “Paul Simon in Concert: Live Rhymin’ ” (a follow-up to Mr. Simon’s struggle album “There go Rhymin’ Simon”) and “Still stunner After all These Years.” The two musicians had met in ~ the Newport Jazz Festival in 1972, and also Mr. Simon was impressed through his vocals.
Mr. Dixon and his group, the Jessy Dixon Singers, toured with Mr. Simon because that the next eight years. Mr. Dixon likewise played keyboard with the funk group Earth, Wind and Fire and collaborated through the guitarist Phil Upchurch.
Born on march 12, 1938, in mountain Antonio, Texas, Mr. Dixon studied classic piano together a boy and started singing as a teenager at the Refuge Church of Our mr Jesus Christ. The son of a porter and a seamstress, he saw a local Catholic university on a scholarship however dropped out to go after a career as a musician. In ~ 17, he to be touring and also playing black churches in California, Texas and also Louisiana.
It was during a performance at a theatre in san Antonio in 1957 the the Rev. James Cleveland, the good Chicago-based gospel musician, uncovered Mr. Dixon and also asked the to move to Chicago. Over there he became a pianist and singer through Mr. Cleveland’s group, The original Chimes.
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Mr. Dixon called The connected Press in 1997 that being a young musician ~ above Chicago’s southern Side in the 1960s was like obtaining an advanced degree in blues and also gospel music. “Going come church was favor going to school,” he said.
In the mid-1960s, Mr. Dixon started composing choral music because that the Thompson neighborhood Singers, and some of his early songs have become church standards, including “Sit in ~ His Feet and Be Blessed” and “I Love to worship His Name.”
Ms. Dixon claimed that her brother took pleasure in a close friendship v Mr. Simon and that he had took pleasure in his time playing pop music. Yet she stated that that was also a deeply spiritual man who taught bible classes, quoted bible in daily conversation, and often had friends end to his house to sing hymns.
“What you observed onstage to be what he was,” she said. “He to be for real. He love the Lord.”