Born in Atlanta in 1947, Dr. Dixon grew up listening to his dad’s record collection. It wasn’t until he heard it at an outdoor concert, however, that he was compelled to take up the harmonica. He recalls, “The guitarist pulled out a harmonica and started playing. In this moment I didn’t hear the harmonica with my ears, I heard it with my heart. At that moment I knew that the sun was not going to go down without me having a harmonica.” Known as the “Blues Physician,” he was soon approaching dressing rooms backstage to introduce himself and his harmonica to artists like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and John Lee Hooker. He ended up regularly playing for them when they passed through Atlanta on tour.
How We Helped:
In addition to his musical pursuits, Dr. Dixon has devoted much of life to teaching with and without his harmonica. A visual artist by training, he has worked in Georgia and South Carolina teaching art to children with special needs. When he was younger, he was deeply involved in the civil rights movement, lending his graphic design and printing talents to drawing editorial cartoons for the Atlanta Voice and designing newsletters like the Mississippi Independent for Stokely Carmichael and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
Whether on the stage or in the classroom, Dr. Dixon hopes to show that you can create rather than destroy, and love rather than hate. On his stylized business cards there’s the tag-line “healin’ wit da feelin’!!!”, and Dr Dixon will tell you, “when I play, that’s the way it is.”