Watch Chicago Blues Trailblazer Willie Dixon Nail His 1954 Blues Standard “Hoochie Coochie Man” Live

Willie Dixon in the backyard of Muddy Waters' house in 1981
Willie Dixon in the backyard of Muddy Waters' house in 1981 (Image credit: Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

Born in Mississippi on this day in 1915, Willie Dixon brought the spirit of Delta blues to Chicago while still in his teens. Following a brief career in heavyweight boxing Dixon entered the arena of music, eventually landing a deal with Chicago’s legendary Chess Records. Established in 1950, Chess quickly became the hub of the Chicago blues sound, and the original site is now home to Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation (opens in new tab)

Willie Dixon at Chess Records

Willie Dixon at Chess Records (Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Dixon penned the song originally known as “I'm Your Hoochie Cooche Man” for fellow Mississippian Muddy Waters. As a seasoned performer Dixon made his studio debut in the band playing upright bass and the 1954 single became Waters’ biggest hit. The record’s standout success reinforced Dixon's relationship with Chess Records who now viewed him as a force to be reckoned with. 

Muddy Waters records at Chess Records circa 1952 in Chicago, Illinois

Muddy Waters recording at Chess Records in the early-'50s with a Goldtop Les Paul (Image credit: Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images)

Along with his contemporaries – including “Father of rock ‘n’ roll” Chuck Berry – Dixon played a pivotal role in defining the sound of Chicago blues while cementing the amped up foundations of rock ‘n’ roll firmly in place.

Buy Willie Dixon's classic album I Am The Blues here (opens in new tab)

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