(July 1, 1915 – January 29, 1992)
A Grammy Award winner who was proficient on both the upright bass and guitar (as well as his own singing voice), Willie Dixon is arguably best known as one of the most prolific songwriters of his time. Dixon is recognized as one of the founders of the Chicago blues sound. His songs have been recorded not only by himself, or that of the trio and other ensembles in which he participated, but an uncounted number of musicians representing many genres between them. A short list of his most famous compositions include "Little Red Rooster", "Hoochie Coochie Man", "Evil", "Spoonful", "Back Door Man", "I Just Want to Make Love to You", "I Ain't Superstitious", "My Babe", "Wang Dang Doodle", and "Bring It On Home". They were written during the peak of Chess Records, 1950–1965, and performed by Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Little Walter, influencing a worldwide generation of musicians. Next to Muddy Waters, he was the most influential person in shaping the post-World War II sound of the Chicago blues. He also was an important link between the blues and rock and roll, working with Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley in the late 1950s. His songs were covered by some of the biggest artists of more recent times, including Styx, Bob Dylan, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Foghat, The Yardbirds, The Rolling Stones, Queen, Megadeth, The Doors, The Allman Brothers Band, and Grateful Dead.