Artist Catalog

Don Nix

Born: September 27 1941
Born in: Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
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Don Nix

Don Nix (born September 27, 1941, Memphis, Tennessee) is an American songwriter, composer, arranger, musician, and author. Although cited as being "obscure", he is a key figure in several genres of Southern rock and soul, R&B, and the blues. He was instrumental in the creation of the distinctive "Memphis soul" developed at Stax Records.

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Nix came from a musical family (his brother, Larry Nix, became a mastering engineer for Stax and for the Ardent Recording 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 many others in the production of the "Concert for Bangladesh", a star-studded benefit concert at Madison Square Garden in 1971.

Throughout his career, Nix worked behind the scenes as producer, arranger, 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.

The 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 and others. Nix released a version of the song as a single for Elektra Records in 1972. The song "Black Cat Moan" was 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.

He did the first time performance in Japan, Tokyo and Kobe, in Mar. 2013, with his pal Terry Wall and Joel Williams.

In 2014, "Alabama State Troupers Road Show" was released as CD. Celebration event was held in Stax Museum in Memphis.