|Born||September 27, 1941|
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
|Genres||Blue-eyed soul, blues, soul music, country music|
|Instrument(s)||Guitar, saxophone, harmonica|
Don Nix (born September 27, 1941, Memphis, Tennessee, United States) is an American songwriter, composer, arranger, musician, and author. Although cited as being "one of the more obscure figures in Southern soul and rock", he is a key figure in several genres of Southern rock and soul, R&B, and the blues. He played "Memphis soul" sound.
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Nix came from a musical family (his brother, Larry Nix, became a mastering engineer for Stax Records and for the Ardent Studios in Memphis). Don Nix began his career playing saxophone for the Mar-Keys, which also featured Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn and others. The hit instrumental single "Last Night" (composed by the band as a whole) was the first of many successful hits to Nix's credit. Without Nix, the Mar-Keys evolved into Booker T. & the M.G.'s.
As a producer, Nix worked with other artists and producers, such as Leon Russell of Shelter Records; Gary Lewis and the Playboys in Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars; George Harrison, of the Beatles; and John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. One notable achievement was his collaboration with Harrison, Russell, and others in the production of the "Concert for Bangladesh". Nix agreed to organize a backing chorus group for the benefit concert at Madison Square Garden in 1971.
Throughout his career, Nix worked behind the scenes as producer, arranger, and musician and in other roles for artists including Lonnie Mack, Furry Lewis, Freddie King, Albert King, Delaney, Bonnie & Friends, Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, Jeff Beck, Brian May, Eric Clapton, and many others. He wrote and produced albums for solo artists and for groups, such as Don Nix and the Alabama State Troupers, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, and Larry Raspberry and the Highsteppers.
His song, "Going Down", originally released by the band Moloch on their eponymous album in 1969, has become a rock-and-roll standard, having been covered by Freddie King, Jeff Beck, Deep Purple, JJ Cale, Marc Ford, Chicken Shack, Bryan Ferry, Pearl Jam, Gov't Mule, Sam Kinison, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Satriani, the Who, Led Zeppelin, Sammy Hagar, Joe Bonamassa, Sturgill Simpson, Fraternity, Fun Lovin' Criminals and others. Nix released a version of the song as a single for Elektra Records in 1972. The songs "Black Cat Moan" and "Sweet Sweet Surrender" were covered on the 1973 album Beck, Bogert & Appice. The Rolling Stones performed "Goin' Down" with John Mayer and Gary Clark, Jr. live on Pay-Per-View television on December 15, 2012, as part of the Stones' 50th Anniversary Tour.
In 2014, Alabama State Troupers Road Show was released as a CD.
In God We Trust (LP)
Living by the Days (LP)
The Alabama State Troupers Road Show (2 LPs)
Furry's Blues / Brownsville / I'm Black / A Chicken Ain't Nothin' but a Bird / Will the Circle Be Unbroken / Amos Burke / Mighty Time / Jesus on the Mainline / Mary Louise / Yes, I Do Understand / Opening / Living in the Country / Joa-Bim / Dixie / Heavy Makes You Happy / Iuka / Furry's Rap / Asphalt Outlaw Hero / Olena / My Father's House / Going Down
Hobos, Heroes and Street Corner Clowns (LP)
Gone Too Long (LP)
Goin' Thru Another Chance / Feel a Whole Lot Better / Gone Too Long / Backstreet Girl / Rollin' in My Dreams / Yazoo City Jail / Harpoon Arkansas Turnaround / Forgotten Town / A Demain (Until Tomorrow)
Gone Too Long/Skyrider (CD)
|Icehouse IHCD 9401||
Back to the Well (CD)
Goin' Down the Road to Memphis / Waiting for the Help / Plastic Flowers / Angel Tears / Easy Street / Out on the Road Again / Fools Paradise / Too Dumb / Moon Madness / Dance Chaney Dance / Cruise Control / Jerimiah Gage
Don Nix & Friends: Goin' Down – The Songs of Don Nix (CD)
Don Nix also produced Michael Chapman on Decca around 1974. The album was Savage Amusement recorded at Sawmills Studio in Cornwall and featured Keef Hartley (drums) and Rick Kemp (bass) plus other musicians and backing singers (Mutt and Stevie).
Books by Don Nix
- Road Stories and Recipes (1997), Schirmer Books/Simon & Schuster, New York. ISBN 0-02-864621-5
- Who's That with Don Nix? – A photojournal of Don Nix's personal experiences.
- Memphis Man: Living High, Laying Low (1997, 2015) Sartoris Literary Group, Jackson, Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-941644-39-3
- Colin Larkin, ed. (1995). The Guinness Who's Who of Blues (Second ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 282. ISBN 0-85112-673-1.
- "Don Nix | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
- "Memphis Man" Living High, Laying Low (1997, 2015) Sartoris Literary Group, Jackson, Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-941644-39-3 p. 100
- "Don Nix". SecondHandSongs.com. September 27, 1941. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
- George Harrison, plate XXXI, p. 399
- "Cover Versions of Going Down by Moloch". SecondHandSongs.com. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
- "Newark 15th December, Prudential Center". Rollingstones.com. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
- "Alabama State Troupers Road Show - Alabama State Troupers | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
- Leng, Simon (2006). While My Guitar Gently Weeps: The Music of George Harrison. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Hal Leonard. pp 140–141.