Willie Dixon, one of 14 children, was born on 1 July 1915 in Vicksburg, Mississippi. After stints as a gospel singer and boxer, he settled in Chicago where he met Phil and Leonard Chess and began a long association with their seminal record label.
The burly bass player played on most of the classic Chess sessions of the 50s, and also wrote countless classic songs, including Little Red Rooster, I Just Want To Make Love To You, Spoonful, I’m your Hoochie Coochie Man and Back Door Man.
In 1985, more than 15 years after they scored their only Top Ten hit with Whole Lotta Love, Led Zeppelin were sued by Dixon who claimed the song was a remake of his own composition, You Need Love.
Dixon died of heart failure in a Burbank, California, hospital on 29 January 1992, aged 76.