“There are cool cats and there are cool Memphis cats but no one, not
Elvis, not Jerry Lee, not even the Wolf came close to epitomizing Memphis
and cool like Jim Dickinson did. He was the Top Cat Daddy, an
inspiration, a mentor and my friend.

If you knew his music and understood his role as one of the links between
black and white culture and between blues and rock and roll, you know what
I'm talking about. If he is unfamiliar to you, now's as good time as any
to get to know him, even though he's checked out of the motel.”

--Joe Nick Patoski

For more about Jim go to

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Jim Dickinson: The Man Behind the Console (Trailer)

Robert Allen Parker and Nan Hackman did a great job on their short documentary film, "The Man Behind the Console," about Jim Dickinson's life as a music producer. The film won the Hometowner award for Best Short Documentary at the Indie Memphis Film Festival. The only problem with the film is that there needed to be more of it! Good job, Robert and Nan. The Dickinson family thanks you.

Trailer: Jim Dickinson: The Man Behind the Console from Meanwhile in Memphis on Vimeo.

The Replacements - Alex Chilton on The Tonight Show

Back in September, The Replacements appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and played "Alex Chilton" from their 1987 release, Pleased To Meet Me, produced by Jim at Ardent Studios. Of course, another link to the song is Jim's involvement with Big Star's album, Third, featuring Alex Chilton.

Another factoid related to the Pleased To Meet Me album - a teenage Luther Dickinson plays guitar on one of the tracks ("Shooting Dirty Pool"). Luther tells a great story about the lyrics and being in the studio with The Replacements.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Check out Luther Dickinson in the Cellar Sessions - ONE on ONE at the City Winery in NYC, recorded this week. Jim would be so proud!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

People's Choice Video Award Winner!

Barry Shankman became the randomly selected by computer winner out of all who "liked" and "shared" the "Wild Horses" video. It was computer magic because Barry is a musician, producer, studio owner with whom Jim collaborated back in the days of wild and wooly Barbarian Records. Here is his wonderful take on Jim's playing on "Wild Horses."

"Jim Dickinson's Legacy... James Luther Dickinson & The Rolling Stones. Jim's great artistic abilities not only as a musician Piano Player but always thinking as a producer can be known by listening to his work on 'Wild Horses’ with the Rolling Stones. Hear how his left hand never over- plays the bass yet is right there in the groove, complementing the kick & snare- adding his own style to a band with such a strong style of its own; while his right hand brings that strong slow but driving lick that makes 'Wild Horses' such a uniquely different Stones’ tune.Part of Jim's legacy is this talent. If one listens one can hear his technique as a producer in what he plays and most importantly, in the space he leaves between the notes, so the music can breathe. That allows it a life that expresses the talent of those he is working with as well as his talent in influencing the song’s direction. On the 'Wild Horses' session Jim taught me how he played his part by what he played and did not play. Even today I hear him in the track influencing the sound and touching how I listen to and produce music. This just goes to show how great he was. 'Wild, wild horses- we’ll ride them someday.' Thank you, James Luther Dickinson from all of us who are touched by your talent & ability. 'Let's all get Dixie Fried' & 'World Boogie is coming!' Jim Dickinson's Legacy lives on..."

Congratulations, Barry, and thank you to everyone that participated in this fun contest.

Visit the Jim Dickinson's Legacy Facebook page.

Jim Dickinson's Legacy People's Choice Video Award

We are excited to announce the Winner of the Jim Dickinson's Legacy People's Choice Video Award. It is the video of Jim playing with the Rolling Stones. Out of 11 video's 114 people liked it, 54 people shared it, and it reached 5730 people. (For comparison, the announcement of the contest was liked by 21 people, shared by 3 people, and reached by 593 people).

The winner of the prize will be announced later. He was chosen by a computer program and is a most appropriate individual. I was amazed by the insight he showed as he wrote about his reaction to watching Jim and Keith Richards IN THE MOVIE, "GIMME SHELTER" and listening to Jim playing with the Rolling Stones and taking the piano solo. Stay tuned for more about the winner. This message below I wrote him describing the prize he won:

"The pic of Jim on the Dickinson carriage (not grave) stone is from "Dixie Fried," Jim's first record, which is being re-released next year. You'll get this version with six extra tracks! You'll also get his masterpiece, "Beale Street Saturday Night" which is being re-released and will come out next spring. "I'm Just Dead" is GREAT! It is Jim playing with NMA and Jimmy Davis at the New Daisy Theater on Beale Street- released posthumously. "Dinosaurs Walk in Circles" is Jim's last recording. It's awesome! It is a jazz record, including "When You Wish Upon A Star," which he had never before played until this recording. You'll hear Jim learning the song as he's being recorded. it's heartbreakingly good. The essay you wrote about listening to Jim play with the Rolling Stones proves you will understand this cut in a way that few people could.

"You'll have Jim's first and last records, his masterpiece, him playing with his sons, and last but not least, a surprise- a record of Jim's the likes of which you've never heard!!! 5 cds in all. How would this be?"

Saturday, September 6, 2014

CONTEST VIDEO #11 - Final Contest Video

This recording of Jim, Luther, Cody, Paul Taylor, and the big man in the hat, Jim Spake, playing "You Made Your Move Too Soon" puts a big smile on my face.  It's one of the few songs Jim performed that he modified the lyrics to fit his life.

This song "pretty much wraps it up, ties it so to speak," says Jim.

(At first it's about two star-crossed lovers….)

"Freezing snow out in Birmingham,
Thought you might wonder baby where I am,
I dialed your number all night long,
No consolation on the telephone.
So I went on out I call it midnight,
A little love makes everything all right.
Landlord said, 'You moved away.  Left me
With all of your bills to pay.'
I gotta tell you, Baby I think you kinda made your move too soon."

(But a little irony slips in….)

"You left me stranded with a Bingo card
Down in Tunica where they just ain't got a heart.
I ran it up to about fifty grand,
Cashed it and held it in the palm of my hand…"

(What?  This guy's not a loser after all!)

"That kinda news really gets around,
Tends to make a lost lover come up found
Here you come at my door,
You ain't living here with me no more.
You made your move too soon
You vacated the premises prematurely"

(Jim triumphs!)

Luther takes a rousing solo.

Jim introduces the band,
"Not because I don't think you know who they are but because we have a short set. We haven't rehearsed and we haven't played together for a year and a half, but it really is fun to play with this particular aggregation in this particular situation, as it were…"

(After he finishes with the band, Jim introduces himself in the last verse….)

"As for me….

'I've been from Memphis down to Mexico,
Orange Mound to Ontario.
I'm not the type to make the news,
I'm just a country boy likes to play the blues.
I takes my liquor with me everywhere and
If you don't like it, child, I really don't care.
The towns come up, my friends fall down,
They love to see us when we roll into town.
We never make a move too soon….'"

You notice at the end of the song there are only a few people clapping.  Jim liked it that way.  He told me, "I love it when people walk out.  It means the ones who are left are serious!" If you're still here and reading this, listening to the tune, you are serious and like me, happy because Jim is "just dead. He's not gone."  Thanks for sticking around.  You're the best.

Visit the Jim Dickinson's Legacy Facebook page to vote for your favorite video! One entry for each Like and one entry for each Share! This is the final video and the last chance to become part of the contest before we select the People's Choice Award and select a winner from all those that voted and shared that video!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Jim always said, "The best songs don't get recorded and the best recordings don't get released."   "Rumble" is a special case, the exception to the rule.  It's a great song recorded in moments of time stolen from other sessions by artist/producer Jim Dickinson and his co-conspirator, Barbarian Record Company owner, Jim Blake. 

"We went to every studio in Memphis and every musician we were working with played on it - the likes of Sid Selvidge, bass player Tommy McClure, Jim Lancaster, Richard Roseborough, Jimmy Crosthwait, Fred Ford, and many others. Lee Baker took a distinctive 'chicken scratching' solo. That's Danny Graflund screaming, 'NEET NEET!'" said Blake.  "We worked for free because we knew it was important.  It took four or five years. We went to Ardent for their orchestra chimes.  A fraternity brother of mine from college was running a car lot/garage behind the original Sun Studio which was run down and empty.   He said we could use the building but there wasn't any electricity.  Someone who shall remain nameless broke the seal on the Memphis utility Light, Gas and Water meter box and turned it upside down.  Presto, electricity.  That was big time illegal.  A topless dancer shook her money maker on the hood of a car because Jim wanted her to."

"Cops patrolled the street and never even noticed us," laughed Dickinson.

On another session, a Memphis motorcycle outlaw named Campbell Kinsinger stole the show.  Jim had him bring his Harley into Dan Penn's studio, Beautiful Sounds, a tiny outback building in Mid-town.  Jim wanted the gleaming silver and black hog to play the song itself, with the deep bass rumble of the growly Harley motor keeping time. To make this happen Campbell whipped out a long screwdriver and retarded the spark of the motor, slowing down the pulsing of the engine until it was playing in sync with the music.  Dickinson described the scene, "By the time the session was over, the air was blue with carbon monoxide and the motorcycle was shooting flames a foot long out of its tail pipes."

The noise at the end of "Rumble" is a recording of the first explosion of the atom bomb.

 "Rumble" reeks of danger.  Kick back, pour yourself a gin, and take a listen.  You ain't heard nuttin' yet.

Visit the Jim Dickinson's Legacy Facebook page to vote for your favorite video! One entry for each Like and one entry for each Share!