Though his name won’t mean that much to too many people, genial Scouser GEORGE DIXON played a pivotal role in the Liverpool music scene. Sadly we have learned that George died in December. He was aged a magnificent 88!
Born in Liverpool in 1935, George was active on the local music scene from the late fifties and on till the Covid restrictions hit. A guitarist and singer, he worked with various local bands, notably The Casuals, the In Crowd (pictured below) and Just Us but sadly, the groups had little more than a local impact. Yes, in the late 50s/early 60s most British record companies were not interested in British black born musicians; however the In Crowd did record and release some records which are now hugely collectable. George’s pioneering work though helped pave the way for other black Liverpool bands like the Chants, the Real Thing and the Christians.
George and his groups also had an impact on a little know outfit called the Beatles. Merseyside musical folk lore tells of young black-dressed musicians John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison closely watching In Crowd gigs at local clubs and learning many of the soul and R&B songs that the band featured in their act! To reciprocate, one of George’s band mates went to see the Fabs at the Cavern and when asked what they were like the supposed reply was that “They were nothing and they couldn’t play a song, they could only sing and back themselves with three chords”. Wonder whatever happened to them?
After playing in various bands, George Dixon became a regular in the local bar and club scene in Liverpool where he would entertain with his songs and memories. His funeral takes place this Friday, 12th January at St Peter’s Church, Woolton, Liverpool – where, by coincidence, in the summer of 1957 John Lennon met Paul McCartney for the first time at the church’s summer fair. It’s also the church, where if you look hard enough, you’ll find the grave of a certain Eleanor Rigby!