Led Zeppelin - “You Shook Me:” Led Zeppelin blatantly stole from Willie Dixon, crediting some of his songs as their own. LZ weren’t the only ones to screw Dixon out of money and songwriting credits. He later sued the band who settled with him. Setting that aside, Robert Plant was a great blues-rock singer and this is a great, great moment from their debut.
The Rolling Stones - “I Just Want To Make Love To You:” The Rolling Stones took their name from a song Muddy Waters wrote but it could have just as easily been a Willie Dixon song as Waters, like Wolf, often recorded Dixon tunes. The Stones heard Muddy’s version and sped it up, rocking it out and making it a hit for themselves. The Stones’ bad boy image was inspired by taking on raunchy blues numbers like this.
Otis Rush - “I Can’t Quit You Baby:” Most people know the Zeppelin version best but it’s Otis’ version of that song Zeppelin copied and covered. As far as I’m concerned, Willie and Otis should have both gotten some money from Page and Plant.
Koko Taylor - “Wang Dang Doodle:” Howlin’ Wolf hated recording this song but it became one of the biggest hits and signature songs for The Queen of The Blues.
Muddy Waters - “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man:” This might be one of the most famous songs everybody knows without knowing that they know. This riff, this rhythm, these words- everything about this song is in the DNA of just about every song written since. Muddy’s version stands apart as the definitive one but this has been done by everybody.
Sonny Boy Williamson - “Bring It On Home:” Another Willie Dixon song famously associated with Led Zeppelin but I wanted to talk about the great Sonny Boy Williamson because it clearly influenced Robert Plant’s vocal when Zeppelin later recorded it.
Check out these 10 songs and celebrate the legacy of Willie Dixon. Do you have a different favorite version of a Willie Dixon song? Let’s hash it out in the comments. Happy Birthday, Willie!