Hollis Dixon

03/13/2011

hollis dixon

by Donnie Fritts

I had the honor of being involved in the earliest days of Muscle Shoals Music. This is an area in NW Alabama that became known all over the world for the great records that were recorded there.

Some of the great people from the early days and beyond are – Arthur Alexander (who had the first Muscle Shoals R&B hit “You Better Move On”), Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham, Billy Sherrill, David Briggs, Norbert Putnam, Jerry Carrigan, Peanut Montgomery, Travis Wammack, Rick Hall, and later on the brilliant rhythm section of Jimmy Johnson, David Hood, Barry Beckett and Roger Hawkins. Then the late great Eddie Hinton arrived and the list goes on. But I’m not here to tell you about those guys. I want to tell you about an unsung hero, a man named Hollis Dixon.

Hollis started one of the first rock and roll bands around town and believe me, he always had the best. He had a great voice, but even more important he was the best front man that I have ever seen and that still holds true today. He was so funny and always great with the audience. Just about all of the musicians and songwriters that made their mark in Muscle Shoals and went on to be extremely successful were, at some point, in Hollis’ band. Hollis provided us with a gig that honed our skills and helped pay the bills until we could make a living writing our songs, playing sessions, publishing or producing records.

Hollis Dixon’s contribution to the growth of Muscle Shoals music was unprecedented. Whenever I hear “Whole Lot of Shakin”, “Blueberry Hill”, “Johnny B Good”, “Shout”, or “Suzie Q”, I remember fondly the years I spent in Hollis’ band. We must have played those songs a thousand times.

Hollis could definitely have had a successful career in the music business but his family was much more important to him. He and his beautiful wife Rae, raised three wonderful children. Really, you can’t get any more successful than that.

To Hollis, Thank you from all of us. Hollis Dixon 1935 – 2010.

Posted in Featured, Singers / 2 comments

2 Comments on Hollis Dixon

  1. Raye Dixon says:

    Donnie , Thank you so much for all you’ve done to honor Hollis. He always thought so much for all the guys he met in music. He made them all a part of his family..There are so many stories that he told me over the years. Some funny,and some like he was talking about one of his brothers. He loved you all. God bless you Donnie
    Mrs. Hollis Dixon
    (RAYE)

  2. Scott E. Dixon says:

    Donnie,

    What a sincere, touching and thoughtful write up you did for my Dad. Honestly, I myself never knew just how big he was to the music of Muscle Shoals and will never be able to know just how many lives he touched through his life. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have done and are still doing today to keep that flame burning. I don’t think Dad would have wanted it any other way. Again Donnie, thank you and God bless you.

    Scott E. Dixon

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