“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, August 18, 2015

Six years

Six years ago, I walked into our home on the Zebra Ranch for the first time as a widow. The phone was ringing. I answered it. It was a reporter from Reuters, a world wide news organization. Jim had been dead a handful of hours. I couldn't believe the news had broken so fast. I hung up the phone in a daze after talking to the reporter. The second I put the phone down, it rang again. It was my niece from Florida, giving me her condolences for my loss. I was bewildered. It was the first inkling I had of the magnitude of Jim's fame. Since then James Luther Dickinson's legacy has spread. Cody dedicated the magnificent movie he conceived and produced (with his partner, Martin Shore), "Take me to the River," to his father, and played with Luther on the NMA CD that Luther mostly wrote, "Keys to the Kingdom." The music they play around the world keeps his legacy alive, proving his now famous last words, "I'm just dead, I'm not gone." 

Surprise! The best is yet to come! That is a promise!

Meanwhile, an important man in the life of Luther and his family, the Rector of Gray St. Luke's Episcopal church and school, was so touched by Luther's songs in "Keys to the Kingdom," that he asked Luther to play for the church these songs and tell how he came to write them. I do believe this is the best, most transcendent playing that has ever come out of Luther's guitar.

What do you think?

 As Jim would say, "Sit back, relax, pour some whiskey in your glass. Enjoy"

 World boogie is coming!

Up Over Yonder: The Sights and Sounds of Heaven with Luther Dickinson from the band North Mississippi Allstars from Grace-St. Lukes Episcopal Church on Vimeo.

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