R&B Legend Floyd Dixon Dies At 77
by Ife Oshun ·
R&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.