Best remembered for co-authoring the pop classic "Lollipop," songwriter Julius Dixon was born in Barnwell, SC, in 1913. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, he was assigned to Special Services in Germany, hosting his own weekly radio show, Variety Jive, before returning stateside and settling in New York City. The origins of Dixon's career as songwriter roughly coincided with the birth of rock & roll -- he often partnered with singer/composer Beverly Ross, and their collaboration was almost certainly one of the few musical pairings of an African-American male and a white female in the pre-civil rights era. Dixon and Ross scored their first hit in 1955 when Bill Haley & His Comets recorded their "Dim, Dim the Lights (I Want Some Atmosphere)" -- the song not only fell just shy of the pop Top Ten, but also proved Haley's first R&B chart hit. Dixon and Ross wrote "Lollipop" for the latter's singing duo Ronald & Ruby -- their original version reached the Top 20 in 1958, but the Chordettes' rendition reached the number two spot the following year, becoming the definitive version. Dixon never again reached the same commercial heights, but he notched a series of subsequent hits, including Annie Laurie's "It Hurts to Be in Love," James Brown's "Begging, Begging," Kitty Wells' "Three Ways (To Love You)," and the Spacemen's "The Clouds." Dixon died on January 30, 2004, in Manhattan -- he was 90 years old.
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