producer, songwriter, all-around-raconteur and sire of North
Mississippi All Stars Luther & Cody passes away following
heart surger. He was 67.
By Fred Mills
Music lovers all across the globe will be in mourning as
this news gets out tonight and throughout the rest of the weekend. The word
literally just arrived, so apologies for the haste with which we post this
item – while we prepare a proper
tribute, please read our good friend Bob Mehr’s obituary, posted today to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
UPDATE: Mehr’s obit has been expanded, with photos added, at a new page.
By Bob Mehr, from the Memphis Commercial
musician and producer Jim Dickinson has died.
The 67 year-old Dickinson
passed away early Saturday morning in his sleep, according to his wife Mary
Lindsay Dickinson. Dickinson had been in ill
health for the past few months, and was recuperating from heart surgery at Methodist Extended Care
Hospital. “He went
peacefully,” said Mary Lindsay.
Just last weekend, a tribute concert, headlined by John Hiatt, had been held
honor at the Peabody Skyway, to help defray his medical costs.
A third generation piano player, Dickinson was born in Little
Rock, Ark., but raised in Memphis. During the
course of his colorful half-century career, Dickinson built a reputation as a session
player for the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, a producer for Big Star and the
Replacements, a sometime solo artist, and patriarch of a small musical dynasty
that includes sons Cody and Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars.
health woes began following a high-profile performance with Elvis Costello at
the Beale Street Music Festival in May. After a physical exam revealed serious
cardiac issues, Dickinson was immediately sent
into surgery where doctors at Methodist Le Bonheur Hospital in Germantown put in a pair of stents, then sent
him home to rest up for bypass surgery.
Dickinson seemed in good health and spirits
when The Commercial Appeal caught up with him at his Coldwater, Miss., home in late May,
to talk about the release of his new album of classic pop standards, Dinosaurs
Run in Circles.
However, just before he was to celebrate the CD release with a show at
Huey’s on May 31, he had to be rushed back to the hospital with complications.
He remained there before finally undergoing triple bypass surgery on June 24.
Two days later he went into cardiac arrest. He was revived and spent several
weeks recuperating in a cardiac intensive care unit.
Late last month, Dickinson
was relocated to a rehabilitation facility; family and friends and physicians
had hoped for a slow but eventual recovery that did not come.
“He just never did really get a break,” says Mary Lindsay. “He had so many
different things go wrong with him. Every time he would work so hard to get
better, something else would happen. It was a long drawn out experience the
last few months.”
Dickson’s wife says her husband was in a good place mentally and spiritually
at the end. “He had a great life, and he was a consummate family man. He loved
music and his family. And he loved Memphis
The family says there are no immediate plans for a memorial.