“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

Monday, September 27, 2010

Memphis Music and Heritage Festival, Joe Nick Patoski, and Ruthie Foster honor Jim:

A year after Jim’s death, his legacy continues:

     September 4th and 5th, 2010 , the Memphis Music and Heritage Festival in
downtown Memphis was dedicated to Jim Dickinson.  This festival  was
closest to Jim’s heart.  It was where sons,  Luther and Cody,  made their
professional debut with him in 1988 when they were barely teenagers. 
The Zebra Ranch and the Dickinson family want to thank festival director, 
Judy Peiser,  for honoring Jim by presenting to Cody and Jim's widow, 
Mary Lindsay, a framed copy of the snazzy poster painted by artist, Bob Gray.  
Thanks, Bob.  You got Jim’s likeness just right,including his much beloved tube
recording equipment, mojo candles, and even our dear dog, Lightnin’.
     After Jim died August 15, 2009, Luther and Cody’s dream was to keep their
father’s legacy alive by continuing to record at the Zebra Ranch, where
Jim’s sonic genius and musical ambiance remain intact. As Bob Mehr wrote 
in the Commercial Appeal,  on September 3, 2010, “Over the past year,
(Zebra Ranch)  has been a hive of activity.  Aside from the new Hill Country 
Revue and North Mississippi Allstars albums, the studio has hosted sessions 
for British bluesman Ian Seigal, Canadian roots artist  Ross Neilsen, and 
Replacements/Guns and Roses member Tommy Stinson.”
     Other artists include Country Boy Rolling Stone, featuring Johnny Cash’s
only drummer, W.S. “Fluke Holland,”  Andy Cohen, Reba Russell, Shannon
McNally, NMA offshoot-Duo LuCo, and Booker T. Jones.
     The future looks bright for the Zebra Ranch, as Jim’s legacy continues
to be celebrated.  Ruthie Foster recently  described one of Jim’s last
sessions on her Memphis-based album, “The Truth According to Ruthie Foster,
“We weren’t sure he was going to make it, but in he walked one day and
when he thought he had some ideas of what he could add, he hobbled over
to the B3 organ and then the piano.  It was just beautiful.  And he had
such great stories, amazing stories.  And I know he was an amazing
producer, too, so I admired the way he stepped in as a session player and
was very giving and accommodating to us.”