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“D” is for Dixon, Dorsey (1897-1968) and Howard Dixon (1903-1961)

“D” is for Dixon, Dorsey (1897-1968) and Howard Dixon (1903-1961). Musicians. The Dixon Brothers, popular in the mid-to-late 1930s, composed many original songs on diverse subjects, including the life and labors of textile mill workers. With Dorsey on guitar and Howard leading on steel guitar, their sound was more distinct than the traditional mandolin-guitar or twin guitar duets. Their vocal harmony—albeit somewhat rough—nonetheless had a style uniquely their own. Born in Darlington, the brothers recorded some fifty-five sides for Bluebird, some of which are exceedingly rare. Among their popular titles were “Spinning Room Blues,” “How Can a Broke Man Be Happy,” “She Tickles Me,” “Wonderful Day,” and “Wreck on the Highway.” The enduring appeal of the Dixon Brothers can be demonstrated by the fact that most of their albums have been reissued on compact disc.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.