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Marie Dixon

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Information about Marie Dixon

Profile image of Marie Dixon

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Music Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Take What You Got And Make What You Want Out Of It.$

Birthplace

Born:
8/1/1937
Birth Location:
Oxford, Mississippi

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Music Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Take What You Got And Make What You Want Out Of It.$

Birthplace

Born:
8/1/1937
Birth Location:
Oxford
See how Marie Dixon is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Nonprofit executive Marie Dixon was born on August 1, 1937 in Oxford, Mississippi. Her mother was Amelia Booker and her father was Fred Booker. Dixon comes from a family of fourteen brothers and sister. Her family had deep roots in Oxford, as both of her parents were born and raised there. Dixon attended New Hope, the school at her local church in Oxford, and then Oxford Training School. Then, in 1954, Dixon left Oxford and moved to Chicago.

Dixon first worked in retail and attended the Red Cross School in order to become a nurse. Then, in 1956, Dixon met the legendary blues musician, producer, and her future husband, Willie Dixon. In the late 1970s, Willie had a vision for a blues foundation, and, in 1984, he established the organization as the “Blues Heaven Foundation,” a non-profit designed to promote the blues and to provide scholarships, royalty recovery advice, and emergency assistance to blues musicians in need. After her husband’s death in 1992, Dixon purchased the building of the legendary Chess Studios in Chicago in 1993 in order to house the Blues Heaven Foundation. She then went on to serve as the foundation’s president. Through the efforts of Dixon, her daughter Shirli, and others, the Blues Heaven Foundation and museum finally moved into the restored Chess Studios in 1997.

In 2003, after her daughter Shirli’s untimely death, Dixon’s other daughter, Jacqueline, joined in order to help in running the Blues Heaven Foundation as the new executive director. In 2012, Sugar Blue, a famous blues harmonica player, presented Dixon with the Blues and Spirit Award at the third biennial Blues and the Spirit symposium held at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. Then, in 2013, she was honored with the Willie Dixon’s Legendary Blues Artist induction, as well as the induction of the Willie Dixon Blues Heaven Foundation, into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame. Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation provides an annual Muddy Waters Scholarship to a full-time Chicago college student studying music, African American studies, history, journalism, or a related field. The foundation also sponsors and performs harmonica workshops.

Marie Dixon was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 25, 2013.

Dixon passed away on November 20, 2016.

See how Marie Dixon is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Marie Dixon's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marie Dixon lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marie Dixon describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marie Dixon talks about her mother's life in Oxford, Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marie Dixon describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marie Dixon talks about her parents' elopement
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marie Dixon describes her likeness to her father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marie Dixon lists her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Marie Dixon remembers her siblings' migration away from Oxford, Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Marie Dixon describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Marie Dixon talks about segregation in Oxford, Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Marie Dixon describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Marie Dixon recalls the music at the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Oxford, Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Marie Dixon talks about her early experiences of racial discrimination
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marie Dixon recalls moving to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marie Dixon recalls the importance of church to her family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marie Dixon remembers her childhood home
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marie Dixon remembers enrolling at Oxford Training School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marie Dixon remembers the Oxford Training School in Oxford, Mississippi, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marie Dixon recalls caring for her younger brothers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marie Dixon remembers her introduction to blues music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marie Dixon talks about the themes of blues music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Marie Dixon talks about her early exposure to live music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Marie Dixon remembers attending high school in Oxford, Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Marie Dixon recalls a lack of opportunities for women in Oxford, Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Marie Dixon talks about her decision to move to Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marie Dixon talks about her decision to move to Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marie Dixon describes her early employment in Chicago
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marie Dixon remembers the nightlife on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marie Dixon remembers how she met Willie Dixon
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marie Dixon talks about her relationship with Willie Dixon
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marie Dixon talks about Willie Dixon's songwriting career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Marie Dixon talks about the movie 'Cadillac Records,' pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marie Dixon talks about the movie 'Cadillac Records,' pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marie Dixon talks about Willie Dixon's lawsuit against the Arc Music Group, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marie Dixon talks about Willie Dixon's lawsuit against the Arc Music Group, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marie Dixon describes the importance of music publishing rights
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marie Dixon describes Willie Dixon's role in the founding of the Chicago Blues Festival
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marie Dixon remembers establishing the Blues Heaven Foundation
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Marie Dixon describes the Blues Heaven Foundation's education initiatives
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Marie Dixon describes the Blues Heaven Foundation's assistance programs
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Marie Dixon talks about the blues scene in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Marie Dixon talks about the closure of blues clubs on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Marie Dixon talks about white musicians' interest in the blues
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Marie Dixon remembers the popularity of blues in Chicago's Jewish community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Marie Dixon recalls Billy Branch's involvement in the community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Marie Dixon remembers a Thanksgiving story about Willie Dixon
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Marie Dixon remembers acquiring the Chess Records building
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Marie Dixon describes the operations of the Blues Heaven Foundation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Marie Dixon talks about the Blue Heavens Foundation building
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Marie Dixon describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Marie Dixon talks about the funding for the Blues Heaven Foundation
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Marie Dixon talks about her family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Marie Dixon reflects upon her legacy and how she would like to be remembered