Jessy Dixon passes away

Numerous national media sources are reporting that Jessy Dixon, long-time soloist and Gaither Homecoming fixture, passed away Monday morning. He was 73. He is survived by a brother and a sister.

His sister informed the national media that he had been ill, but declined to elaborate.

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44 Letters to the Editor

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  1. Sad to hear; I had no idea he was that old. Was he ill, or was this sudden? Praying for his family…

    • He didn’t look 73 to me, either!

      • I thought he was in fifties. Praise the LORD for the life well spent

  2. We are so shocked! Yes, he certainly was a Gaither fixture…and our family loves to imitate his infamous “Jessy Scream”! This is sad to hear. We wish condolences to his brother and sister.



  3. Ditto to all of you. At first I thought it must be a different person.

    • I did, too, but then I saw Wes Hampton’s tweet about it, and I figured that the Gaither Vocal Band member with the longest current/unbroken tenure other than Bill would know what he was talking about.

      (I just realized how odd that sounds as I was talking about it!)

  4. He will surely be missed. The Homecoming Choir in heaven just got a wake up call! Woooooooo! We will see you again….

    • Interesting turn of phrase – “Homecoming Choir in Heaven.”

      I wonder, of all the people with a solo on Homecoming videos, what percent are still here – and, also, what that percentage would be for people with a solo on the first 5 years of videos (91-96).

      • Notice I didn’t say Gaither Choir, but Homecoming Choir. 🙂 There aren’t many of the ‘old’ originals still around. Ben Speer…ummm…who am I forgetting? Was Ray Reece an original or Ed O’Neal?

      • Buck Rambo, the Gatlins, Jim Hill, Michael English, Mark Lowry, and a few others were at the first one or two. I’m sure there are a few others.

      • Jim Murray & Ben Speer (I think) on the first. Ed Enoch, Ed Hill and Rick Strickland might have been on the first as well.

      • I think you’re right on all counts, now that you say that. In fact, I had Jim Murray in my mind, and posted Jim Hill instead. Thankfully, I think I ended up correct anyhow! 🙂

      • Yeah, I remembered Murray for sure and of course he was the GVB tenor at the time. He, English, Glen and George sang together. I know only Glen and George were the only Cathedrals on the first, but I think all of the Stamps were there. I am not sure if J.D. insisted the whole group come or none, if he just asked or if Scott and Ernie just wanted the time off or had other plans. It is hard to say. 🙂

      • Well, of course, we’re reading retrospectively back into how important that date was. For them, it wasn’t much different than, to take a recent example, Mark Trammell singing a guest vocal on Libbi Perry Stuffle’s solo CD.

        Perhaps the Stamps were just on their way back from a date, and they happened to still be on the bus, while the Cathedrals had a day off in the interim.

      • I don’t really consider Mark Lowry and Mike English the ‘oldies’, but I know where you are going with this. 🙂 I didn’t realize Buck Rambo was there and forgot that Jim Murray was. Thanks for the reminders.

      • Mark, especially, was the new kid on the block. Michael had been on the scene for a decade or more, with the final pre-reunion lineup of the Goodmans, and then with the Singing Americans.

      • 🙂 I kept thinking, “Who are the Catlins????? The font makes the C’s & G’s look similar.

      • Regarding the font and the Cs and Gs, I have noticed it several times, most notably with Gold City appearing (at least to these eyes) as COLD City–which would not have been very nice!

      • Oh, my! 🙂

      • Michael English sang for the Goodman’s? That is an interesting combination.

      • He did, for one exceptional album, Chosen.

      • Rosa Nell and Mary Tom are still living!

  5. So sad. I was preparing to sing at a funeral this morning, and happened upon the clip of Jessy Dixonand Dottie Rambo singing “I’ve Never Been This Homesick Before”. I stopped for a few minutes to enjoy. What a performance! He was a great talent.

  6. Speaking of how old Jessy was, here’s a old blog from Mark Lowry in which he asks Jessy his age but doesn’t get an answer.

  7. I am shocked and sick, I had no idea Jesse was even sick. I loved him with all my heart. My heart and sole goes out to all of the Gaither family members and his family. He will be greatly missed.

    • A lot of people don’t realize how many careers Bill and Gloria Gaither brought back to life by inviting retired Gospel singers to join them after that first fluke of a video they did. I say “fluke” because it was meant to be a “remembrance-type” video for Bill who has loved Gospel singing since he was a boy. He had NO idea how wide-spread the desire to hear all these “oldies, but goodies” would be!! We have every tape and then DVD that has come out from the Gaithers. They are an extraordinary couple and we love them dearly for all they have done for the singers we remember from childhood!! We will miss Jesse, just as we have missed each singer who has passed on to Glory since the Homecoming series started. We love them all!!!

  8. I was truly shocked when i got home from work last night, turned on the computer, and read the news. He would have been one of the last ones i’d guess that would have passed away.

  9. Really sad. I love hearing him sing Sanctuary and Wait ‘Till You See My Home. Jesse, you are Home.

  10. Original (Very First) Homecoming Line-up

    GVB-(Mark Lowry, Michael English, Jimmy Murray and Bill Gaither)

    Howard and Vestal Goodman

    George Younce

    Glen Payne

    Brock, Ben, Rosa-Nell(Powell), Mary-Tom(Reid), Faye Speer

    Larry Gatlin

    James Blackwood Sr.

    Hovie Lister

    Jake Hess

    Eva Mae LeFevre

    Jim Hill

    J.D. Sumner

  11. Jessy seemed to almost always be full-throttle. He had the soul and a great range. I tell you, what probably freaked me out the most about him was his high falsetto notes. He could wail away high notes higher than many first tenors had. We are talking the territory of the tenor on the Kingsmen’s “Love Lifted Me”. One that comes to mind is on the Homecoming song “His Eye Is On the Sparrow”. Lillie Knauls hit it after him and I think she was struggling because she didn’t quite hit the note to begin with if memory serves. In fact it is about 3:40 here. However, I suggest listening starting around 3:30. That is a Bb above high C for me. 🙂

  12. I thought Lily Fern Wetherford and Doris Akers were there also.

    • @ FRANK…I don’t remember Lily Fern Wetherford nor Doris Akers at that very first gathering. I could be mistaken…I’ll have to look at the tape again, but I’ve watched it so many times and don’t remember seeing either of them. Remember when Doris shoved Bill off the piano bench in one of the videos…she wasn’t at all pleased with his playing of her song!! No one enjoyed that more than Bill himself! S-m-i-l-e She was one wonderful songwriter! Now singing with all the others who have gone on to that great choir in Heaven!!

  13. I’m so sorry to learn of Jessy’s passing. I’ve always been a huge fan. He was an amazing live performer, and when he got excited, so did we! I loved to watch his “moves” on stage. I actually pitched a song to him once at a Homecoming concert. He was very gracious. Yes, Heaven has a great new voice today, and I think they’re singing with a little more soul today! Jessy…we’ll see you There!

  14. Only found out about Jessy’s passing last night and just can’t get him out of my mind. I have had precious moments praying with his features on the Gaither Videos. Was actually at one of his live performances in London, England. What a loss, but Heaven is richer. Glory to God!

  15. I was so sad to hear about Jessy’s passing. He was such a blessing to me everytime he sings.
    Although I miss him, he is in a better place still singing and dancing. To God be the Glory. I will see him again one day.

  16. Just learnt about this. Just listen to our church choir renderred Iam redeemed. The whole congregation put on ire by this song. Only to learn just last week he passed away september last year. Ifeel really touched . Idid not know him in person but listening to his rendition of The highway to heaven, I have made my preparation., My brand new home, always sets my mind heavenward. I will miss him greatly. But the message in these songs live on and will bless more .

  17. Eu fiquei sabendo do cantor Jessy Dixon na data de sua morte. Descobri sua música em novembro de 2012. Estou surpresa em ver tanta unção e amor de uma pessoa em louvar o Senhor! As vezes choro assistindo aos vídeos.

  18. I heard the singer Jessy Dixon on the date of his death. I discovered his music in November 2012. I’m surprised to see so much love and anointing a person praise the Lord! Sometimes crying watching the videos.

    • @ EVA…You’re not alone, my dear. I weep every single time I watch a Gaither video. I love all those people as family!!

  19. I read somewhere, I can’t recall where that the cause of death was cancer. I have tried to find out where he is buried, but am unable, I contacted someone at his website, but she declined to say where he is buried. I know he had a house in Chicago and a house in Crete, Il, near where I grew up in Steger, Il. my guess is that he is buried somewhere in Chicago or possible Crete, Il.