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R&B Legend Floyd Dixon Dies At 77

by Ife Oshun ·

Floyd DixonR&B legend Floyd Dixon died last week (July 26) at the age of 77 in Los Angeles. An American music pioneer, the self taught pianist helped transform swing into R&B, built the Los Angeles R&B scene and, as the LA Times and Hollywood Reporter point out, helped mold Ray Charles.

From the LA Times: During a tour with Ray Charles, “Dixon encouraged Ray to switch from his suave Nat King Cole approach to a more gospel-inspired delivery” that led to a string of Charles hits, according to an obituary for Alligator Records, which put out Dixon’s 1996 album, “Wake Up And Live!”

“Ray Charles took a lot of my dad’s style, in vocals as well,” Dixon’s son said. The two remained good friends, he added.

You can hear for yourself where Charles patterned his style in the audio links offered by Dallas’ blog. There’s also a great picture of Dixon here. RIP.

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