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Tom Dickson?

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Do any of you know anything about Tom Dickson?  I just got the CD "Trouble Hearted Blues - Vintage Guitar Blues (1927-44)" from Document  Records and really like Tom Dickson's guitar playing.  He's not mentioned in the books I have.  I believe his tracks on the CD, 'Death Bell Blues' and 'Labour Blues' were recorded in 1928.

Hi Janmarie,
I don't know very much about Tom Dickson, but I agree, he was really a nice player.  I believe he was a Memphis musician, and he is a little unusual in that, of the very few sides he recorded, each of the ones I've heard (Death Bell, Labor, and Happy Blues) was in a different key and position.  He was definitely not a one-trick pony type of musician, and seemed pretty sophisticated, with lots of original ideas.
All best,

Bill Roggensack:
If you don't have the Document CD mentioned by Janmarie, Tom Dickson can be heard singing "Death Bell Blues" (1928) on the Yazoo recording "Memphis Masters" (Yazoo 2008). He seems to be rolling his right hand a bit with the thumbed base notes leading the high string picking by a barely noticeable lag. Nice smooth playing. So I listened to the whole CD and among the other cuts, really liked Joe McCoy's "Pile Driver Blues" with Minnie doing the interesting guitar parts.

Tom Dickson's "Labor Blues" is on the Yazoo CD titled "Frank Stokes Dream" - an album title that has always made me curious - what were they thinking? "Happy Blues" is on the Document compilation - "The Essential Country Blues".

I was wondering if Tom might be realted to Pearl Dickson, who also recorded in Memphis at about the same time. However, it seems her correct name was Dixon.

Well, I've got a little more. Tom Dickson's complete works are on Document's Memphis Blues Vol. 1 ('28-'35) DOCD-5014. The recent remastering is excellent on all four sides. The other title is Worry Blues. The recording session was Feb. 27, 1928 in Memphis. The liner notes by Alan Balfour concern only Robert (Tim) Wilkins, whose 17 sides make up most of the CD. No mention in Santelli's Big Book of Blues. Lee (Reso1) remarked to me about TD after listening to this CD for the first time after PT this summer. Worked anything out yet, Lee?
All for now.
John C.

uncle bud:
Our own Frank Basile did a nice version of Death Bell Blues on the old Yahoo groups site.  :) Cool tune.



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