Saturday, August 15, 2009

James Luther Dickinson, 1941-2009

Legendary Memphis musician and producer Jim Dickinson passed away yesterday in his sleep, while recovering from a recent heart surgery. During his colorful half-century career, he was a highly-touted session player for Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Ry Cooder, and the Rolling Stones; and as a producer he worked with artists ranging from Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Jason & the Scorchers to such groundbreaking rock acts as the Replacements and Big Star. He was the patriarch of a musical family which includes his two sons, Cody and Luther of the North Mississippi Allstars. He was one of thew few people whose work was followed by blues and indie rock enthusiasts alike, as in, "It's a Jim Dickinson [band/album/project]. Of course I'm gonna check it out." He was prolific as ever during his final years, cranking out a handful of good albums this decade while producing a bunch and he had just started a new rock band in Memphis this year. Just last week, a benefit concert led by John Hiatt was done in Memphis to help defray his medical bills. Jim was 67 and his wife said he went in peace.

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