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SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments - Jessy Dixon

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“Camp Meeting” captures some of Jessy Dixon’s irrepressible spirit and gifts for gospel songwriting and arranging.

Jessy Dixon enjoyed an extraordinary career. Between founding the Original Gospel Chimes in 1957 and before his death in the Fall 2011, he traveled the world, recorded with some of pop and gospel’s biggest names, and some wrote memorable songs.

With the Chimes, he released several gospel classics, including “God Can Do Everything But Fail,” “Jesus Will See You Through” and “There is No Failure in God.” After working with the Rev. James Cleveland for a time, Jessy joined Paul Simon, touring with him for more than eight years and providing the memorable gospel harmonies on songs like “Love Me Like a Rock” and “Jesus is the Answer.”

When my wife Mary and I interviewed Jessy in Chicago in 2009, at age 70, he was still full of great ideas and big plans. Here’s one of my favorite tracks from the LP He’s Only a Prayer Away from 1965, the single “Camp Meeting” – which captures at least some of Dixon’s irrepressible spirit.

MUSIC: “Camp Meeting” from the LP He’s Only a Prayer Away by the Original Gospel Chimes, Side 1, Track 2

2235 Original Gospel Chimes - Camp Meeting.mp3

I’m Robert Darden … “Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments” is produced by KWBU, the Black Gospel Music Preservation Program at Baylor University Libraries and is funded by generous support from the Prichard Foundation.