Don Dixon (musician)


Don Dixon (born December 13, 1950) is an American record producer, songwriter, musician, bass guitarist, and very occasional actor. Dixon is considered to be one of the key producers of what is called the jangle pop movement of the early 1980s.

Don Dixon
Born (1950-12-13) December 13, 1950 (age 70)
Lancaster, South Carolina, United States
GenresAlternative country
Rock music
Folk music
Jangle pop
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, bass, guitar
Years active1980s-present
LabelsEnigma Records
Capitol Records
Gadfly Records
123 Records
Arcade Records
Sugar Hill Records
Dixon Archival Remnants
Associated actsMarti Jones
R.E.M.
Chris Stamey
Mitch Easter
Tommy Keene
The Smithereens

Early life


Don Dixon was born in Lancaster, South Carolina. He learned guitar at age 13, and made his first recording as a jazz bassist at age 15. He attended the University of North Carolina, where his roommate was the writer Bruce Brooks.[1]

Dixon and several fellow UNC freshmen formed the band Arrogance, who recorded six albums and inspired others in the North Carolina music scene. Dixon spent thirteen years as a member, and learned the essence of record production during this time.[2]

Production


Dixon was still playing with Arrogance in 1982 when Mitch Easter asked him to co-produce R.E.M.'s debut LP Murmur and their 1984 follow-up LP Reckoning (both Dixon and Easter are credited in the Reckoning liner notes as "Machinists").[2]

Dixon then spent several years producing the work of artists including Chris Stamey (formerly of The dB's), The Smithereens, Fetchin Bones,[3] Richard Barone, Guadalcanal Diary and Marshall Crenshaw.[2] Considered to be a highlight of this period was Tommy Keene's Run Now EP.[4]

Working with Mitch Easter at Fidelitorium Recordings in Kernersville, NC, Dixon produced Mixed Reality, the sixth studio album by American alternative rock band Gin Blossoms. It was released on June 15, 2018, on Cleopatra Records.[5]

Recordings


In 1985, success as a producer led to Dixon's solo debut Most of the Girls Like to Dance But Only Some of the Boys Like To, a collection of early demos. This album reflected his love of classic pop melodies and spiky, Nick Lowe-inspired word play.[6]

In 1987, Dixon recorded Romeo at Juilliard described as Big Star-style power pop. Chi-Town Budget Show (1988) was a recording of a Chicago's Park West nightclub broadcast. In 1989, his album EEE featured The Uptown Horns.[6]

In 1992 Restless Records released a Don Dixon "Best Of" album entitled "(If) I'm A Ham, Well You're A Sausage".

In 1995, after taking time off to raise a family, Dixon released Romantic Depressive, a somewhat darker-themed album.[6]

In 1996, Dixon produced the original cast recording of King Mackerel & The Blues Are Running (Songs And Stories of the Carolina Coast) which featured Bland Simpson (Red Clay Ramblers) and author/composer Jim Wann.[7]

It was another four years before he released The Invisible Man (2000), an album about mortality, with songs from viewpoints of people of various ages.[8]

Note Pad #38 in 2001 was an odds-and-ends collection of unreleased material from his solo career.[6]

In 2006, Dixon released The Entire Combustible World in One Small Room, a concept album revolving around rooms in a house.[9]

Dixon and wife Marti Jones released the download-only album Lucky Stars: New Lullabies for Old Souls in 2008. A departure from their previous sound, this project began as a request from a friend who was putting together an album of lullabies to sell in hospitals to new parents. The album featured six vocal songs and five instrumentals.[10]

In 2008, Dixon released The Nu-Look with The Jump Rabbits, his bandmates of 20 years: Jamie Hoover of The Spongetones, and Jim Brock.[11]

In 2009, a book of Dixon's song lyrics, Songs 101: the Lyrics of Don Dixon was published by VanZeno Press.[12]

Although Dixon and wife Marti Jones have collaborated on each other's albums for years, in 2011 they released Living Stereo, their first proper duet album.[13]

In 2014, Dixon released High & Filthy & Borderline, based on the lives of a male and a female assassin.[13][14]

Personal life


Dixon has been married to the singer/artist Marti Jones since 1988.[15]

Discography


Studio albums

  • 1985: Most of the Girls Like to Dance but Only Some of the Boys Like To (Enigma Records)
  • 1987: Romeo at Juilliard (Enigma Records)
  • 1989: EEE (Restless Records / Capitol Records)
  • 1995: Romantic Depressive (Sugar Hill Records)
  • 2000: The Invisible Man (Gadfly Records)
  • 2006: The Entire Combustible World in One Small Room (125 Records)
  • 2010: Don Dixon Sings the Jeffords Brothers (Arcade Records)
  • 2014: High & Filthy & Borderline (Dixon Archival Remnants Records)

Live album

  • 1988: Chi-Town Budget Show (Restless Records)

Don Dixon and Marti Jones

  • 2008: Lucky Stars: New Lullabies for Old Souls (Lava Head Music)
  • 2011: Living Stereo (Dixon Archival Remnants Records)

Don Dixon & the Jump Rabbits

  • 2008: Nu-Look (Dixon Archival Remnants Records)

Compilations

  • 1992: (If) I'm a Ham, Well You're a Sausage (Restless Records) – best of
  • 2001: Note Pad #38 (Dixon Archival Remnants Records) – rarities

Performs on

Production credits


As producer

Selected albums
ArtistTitleLabelYearOther notes
DumptruckPositively DumptruckEnigma1986
Fetchin BonesCabin FlounderDB1984
Fetchin BonesBad PumpkinCapitol1985
Guadalcanal DiaryWalking in the Shadow of the Big ManDB1984
Guadalcanal Diary2x4Elektra1987
Guadalcanal DiaryFlip-FlopElektra1989
Fetchin BonesGalaxy 500Capitol1987
R.E.M.MurmurIRS1983co-produced with Mitch Easter
R.E.M.ReckoningIRS1984co-produced with Mitch Easter
The SmithereensEspecially for YouEnigma1986
The SmithereensGreen ThoughtsCapitol1988
The SmithereensA Date with the SmithereensRCA1994
Chris StameyInstant ExcitementCoyote1985
Wednesday WeekWhat We HadEnigma1987
James McMurtryWhere'd You Hide the BodyColumbia Records1995
The Red Clay RamblersYonderRCR Records2001
More complete list
ArtistTitleLabel, Other notes
Rod AbernethySoloAvanti
The AcceleratorsLeave My HeartProfile
The AcceleratorsThe AcceleratorsProfile
Chris AllenGoodbye Girl and the Big Apple CircusRosa
Chris AllenThings UnbrokenRosa
ArroganceGive Us A BreakSugarbush
ArroganceProlepsisSugarbush
ArroganceLivelyMoonlight
The BackslidersSouthern LinesMammoth
Richard BaronePrimal DreamParadox/MCA
Matt BarrettThe RuseMoonlight
Beat RodeoStaying Out Late with Beat RodeoZensor/IRS
Bell & CooperForty Words for FearGaff
Bell & CooperPostcards Out of the BlueDogjaw
The BlazersTen Easy LessonsMoonlight
Jim BrockTropic AffaireReference
Brotherhood Of PeaceCuttin' LooseAvanti
Mark Bryan30 On A RailAtlantic
The Buzz of Delight (Matthew Sweet)Sound CastlesDB
Kim CarnesGypsy HoneymoonEMI
The Carpenter AntsPicnic with the Lord
The Carpenter AntsInsect BallAlpo
The Carpenter AntsAnts in Your Pants
Andrew CashBoomtownIsland Canada
David Childers and
the Modern Don Juans
Room 23
David ChildersRun Skeleton RunRamseur Records
John CodyZelig BelmondoDuke Street/MCA Canada
The CommonStare Too LongBalls City Blasting Co.[16]
The ConnellsDarker DaysTVT
Marshall CrenshawMary Jean & Nine OthersWarner Bros.
Kyle DavisRaising HeroesN2K Encoded Music
Pat DiNizioSongs And SoundsVelVel/BMG
Don DixonMost of The Girls Like To Dance...Mega DK / Demon UK / Enigma US
Don DixonRomeo at JuilliardEnigma
Don DixonEEEEnigma
Don DixonRomantic DepressiveSugar Hill
Don DixonThe Invisible ManGadfly
Don DixonNotepad #38DAR
Don DixonThe Entire Combustible World in One Small Room125 Records
DumptruckPositively DumptruckBig Time/RCA
emmet swimmingArlington To BostonEpic/Sony
The Fabulous KnobsThe Fabulous KnobsMoonlight
Fast AnnieUnsafe at Any SpeedChelsea
Fetchin BonesCabin FlounderDB/Capitol
Fetchin BonesBad PumpkinDB/Capitol
Fetchin BonesGalaxie 500DB/Capitol
Moxy FrüvousThornhillBottom Line/BMG
G.B. LeightonShake Them GhostsSallycat
The GraphicPeople in GlassDolphin
GreerBetween Two WorldsSugarbush; collector's item in the UK; value US$300+
Guadalcanal DiaryWalking in the Shadow of The Big ManElektra
Guadalcanal Diary2 x 4Elektra
Guadalcanal DiaryFlip FlopElektra
The HangupsSecond StoryRestless/BMG
Hey MavisRed Wine2010 Self-Release
Hey MavisHoney Man2013 Self-Release
Hootie & the Blowfish"City By A River"
Hootie & the BlowfishScattered Covered & SmotheredAtlantic
Hootie & the Blowfish"Use Me"
In Tua NuaThe Long AcreVirgin UK
Jesus: The Epic Mini-seriesCBS TV soundtrackSparrow/Capitol
Marti JonesUnsophisticated TimeA & M
Marti JonesMatch GameA & M
Marti JonesUsed GuitarsA & M
Marti JonesAny Kind of LieRCA
Marti JonesLive at Spirit SquareSugar Hill
Marti JonesMy Long-Haired LifeSugar Hill
Marti JonesMy Tidy Doily Dream DAR
Tommy KeenePlaces That Are GoneDolphin
Tommy KeeneBack Again...TryDolphin
The Killer WhalesThe Killer WhalesMoonlight
Toby KingOperatorJosie
Let's ActiveCypressIRS
Original Cast RecordingKing Mackerel & The Blues Are RunningSugar Hill
Michael McDermottGethsemaneSBK
James McMurtryWhere'd You Hide The BodyColumbia/Sony
Jeff O’KelleyJust Passing ThroughBuddy Dog Records
The PinetopsAbove Ground And VerticalSoundproof/Monolyth
The Pressure BoysRangledoonRoot-a-Doot
R.E.M.MurmurIRS
R.E.M.ReckoningIRS
R.E.M.Dead Letter OfficeIRS
The ReiversSaturdayDB/Capitol
RosaveltThe Story of GasolineGaff
Bland SimpsonFollow You All Over the WorldGaff
Madison Smartt Bell & Wyn Cooper40 Words for FearGaff; with Jim Brock
The Smithereens2011E1 Music The SmithereensEspecially for YouEnigma
The SmithereensGreen ThoughtsEnigma/Capitol
The SmithereensA Date with The SmithereensRCA
SneakersIn The RedCarnivorous
Treva SpontaineS'il Vous PlaitMoonlight
Chris StameyInstantExcitementCoyote/TwinTone/A & M
SurfaholicsTiki-A-Go-GoPixler Discs
Matthew SweetInsideColumbia
US Secret ServiceUS Secret ServiceMoonlight
Jim WannSings Johnny Mercer;
Pardon My Southern Accent vol 1
Creekmore
Jim WannSings Jim Wann;
Pardon My Southern Accent vol 2
Creekmore
Wednesday WeekWhat We HadEnigma
X-teensBig Boy's DreamMoonlight
X-teensX-teensDolphin
X-teensLove & PoliticsDolphin

Additional credits

Including co-production, engineering, etc.

ArtistTitleLabel, Other notes
Bill AgleCaptivaTGS (arrangements)
Mike CrossBorn in the CountryTGS
The SpongetonesWhere-Ever Land
Rebecca RippyTelling Storiesvocals

Actor


References


  1. Bledsoe, Wayne (October 7, 2016). "Singer-songwrier-producer Don Dixon may be doing the Devil's work". Knoxville News. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  2. Himes, Geoffrey (March 18, 1987). "Don Dixon, Out On His Own". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  3. Ira Robbins. "Fetchin' Bones". Trouser Press. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  4. Jack Leaver. "Talk Memphis". Allmusic. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  5. Gary Graff. "Gin Blossoms Return With Tom Petty-Inspired 'Break': Premiere". billboard. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  6. Cummings, Jon (November 3, 2008). "The Popdose Guide to Don Dixon". Popdose. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  7. Jim Wann. "King Mackerel & The Blues are Running". jimwann.com. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  8. archive (April 30, 2000). "Don Dixon: The Invisible Man". No Depression. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  9. Harris, Will (2006). "Don Dixon: The Entire Combustible World in One Small Room". bull-eye.com. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  10. Cummings, Jon (March 2, 2009). "The Popdose Guide to Marti Jones". Popdose. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  11. Wright, Renee (August 29, 2015). "Don Dixon & the Jump Rabbits at the Evening Muse". AXS. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  12. archive. "Songs 101: The Lyrics of Don Dixon". pretty famous.com. Retrieved October 28, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  13. Ward Law, Matt (October 29, 2015). "The Remnants of the Day: Don Dixon and Marti Jones Make Albums at Their Own Pace". Cleveland Scene. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  14. Borack, John (2014). "Some things old, some things new". Goldmine Magazine. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  15. Gerson, Ruth (June 6, 2008). "Don Dixon: Songwriter, Producer, Musician in Living Stereo". Huffington Post. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  16. [dead link]