R.I. P Jim Dickinson
Hard news from Memphis. I saw him perform there in May, he was still wonderful–though more here will know him for his work with other artists and his family. One of a kind he was. -Barry Mazor
Memphis musician Jim Dickinson dies at 67
Originally published 11:02 a.m., August 15, 2009
Iconic Memphis 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.
Iconic Memphis musician and producer Jim Dickinson has died at age 67.
Just last weekend, a tribute concert, headlined by John Hiatt, had been held in Dickinson’s 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 has 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.
Dickinson’s 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 music, specifically.”
The family says there are no immediate plans for a memorial.