Reginald DixonView in iTunes
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One of England's best loved multitaskers, Reginald Dixon made his mark with inhuman feats of musical dexterity on some of the most massive and complicated pipe organs in the world. His longtime stint as resident organist at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom saw him helming that venue's massive 3m/14r "Wonder Wurlitzer" for countless concerts and popular Sunday afternoon radio broadcasts, and put him on the map as one of the world's best-known and all-time greatest theater organists. Born in 1904 in Sheffield, England, Dixon honed his musical skills on the Wurlitzers of the West End Birmingham, the Regent Dudley, and the Preston before finally landing his dream job at Blackpool. A major innovator in his field, Dixon developed a particular sound and style that featured heavily tremulated tibias and a galloping right hand. His unique approach earned him the nickname "Mr. Blackpool" and his signature sound became known as the "Blackpool Sound" -- instantly recognizable to any Brit who had a wireless between 1930 and 1976. Dixon was awarded the M.B.E. (Member of the British Empire) in 1966 and continued his regular Sunday concerts at the Tower until his "retirement" in the '70s. "Retirement" for Dixon consisted of playing all over the U.K. and abroad, and continually recording albums. He passed away in his sleep on Thursday May 9, 1985. ~ J. Scott McClintock