Fred first came onto the music scene in the late 60s with two obscure 45s by The Friday Afternoon for Trend Records (the label best known for releasing the BENT WIND LP). This single, issued on the predominantly country record label, was recorded a year later and features Excellent Hippie-Folkrock. Plenty of historical Canadian numbers here, chiefly from pioneer Upper Canada sources.
Fred Dixon was born in 1943 in Perth, Ontario, into a proud music-loving Irish family. Fred’s mother played piano and steel guitar and, at the age of five, at a family gathering, Fred performed “Bell Bottom Trousers” and was impressed by the fact that people gave him money to sing. His early years included piano lessons and attempts to play his mother’s SS Stewart Hawaiian steel guitar. Thanks to a local radio repairman, Fred was able to combine an old guitar, a fiddle pickup and a radio to create his first amplifier.
As a teen, Fred was attracted to the Buddy Holly Style, and Elvis, Johnny Cash and other Sun Record performers influenced his emerging talents. His writing career was nurtured by his father’s love of Canadian history. Fred’s signature song, “The Last Fatal Duel” (later recorded by Stompin’ Tom Connors), resulted from his mother’s stories and a visit to the Perth graveyard. A chance meeting with Ron McMunn at CJET Radio encouraged Fred to keep writing, and an Inuit entertainer George Korshian, taught him new chords introduced him to Hank Williams songs and helped him give entertaining its proper perspective.
Much of Fred’s performing career was in the top clubs, fairs and package shows of the Ottawa Valley. He has opened for Ronnie Hawkins, Dave Dudley, Lynn Anderson, and many other touring acts. Fred has appeared on the Family Brown, Regional Contact and a number of cable television shows. His numerous record releases have been carried on the Quality, Boot and Rodeo labels. Fred’s latest release, “Common Ground”, reflects his Irish heritage and, as has been the case in previous recordings, pays tribute to historical figures and achievements in the Valley.
As a writer, Fred has achieved national acclaim. Mac Beattie’s “story” songs were an influence. Fred was commissioned to prepare material for famed producer Patrick Watson, and he has written for Ottawa’s Crawley Films. He also prepared the sound track for the Stompin’ Tom Connors film, “Across this Land”. His lyrical narratives rekindle memories of times and characters that were at the heart of Canada’s evolution.