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Serving Our Seniors is someone to call when you need help.
419-624-1856 800-564-1856
Aging & Rocking …
He is known as “
Big John Dickerson
”. He
was born and raised in Sandusky. He is
81 years old and comes from a family who
live a long life. His grandfather lived to be
99 years old and his father lived to be 97.
“Big John” has worked as a singer/performer
his entire life. He has been in TV commercials, one movie
called “N 3 Dragon”. He is best known for his success as
a blues singer.
As a kid, he was told he couldn’t sing and was thrown out
of the choir. His love for singing got the attention of others
at age 17. He and his brother, Sam, use to sing “Doo-
Wop” together. At Sandusky High School he started a
singing group called “The Fabulous Upsetters”. His father
took him to Detroit/MoTown to meet Barry Gordy. There
Vikings, The Clovers and The Coasters.
In 1957 he joined the Air Force and served his country
for four years. He returned to Sandusky for a short time,
until he went on the road with a band called “Lonnie
Woods Trio”. Later, he formed his own band -- “Big John
Dickerson” and toured overseas in the 1960’s.
In 1979 he moved to Minnesota and started the blues
band called “Down Right Tight Band”, which later became
known as “Blue Chambers”. They were hired by Famous
Dave’s BBQ & Blues in uptown Minneapolis. They
were the house band. In 2007 he was inducted into the
Minnesota Rock and Country Hall of Fame. In 2014, The
Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame inducted him as a “Blues
His experiences were vast. Not only did he teach himself
to sing, he also taught himself how to play drums as a
teen. This served him well. His talents positioned him to
meet BB King and they became very good friends. Big
John sang with BB King’s daughter. He also worked as
a drummer for The Temptations, The Jackson 5, Jack
McDuff, Jimmy Smith and he recalls singing the song
“Passing Strangers” with Aretha Franklin.
He performed for a week with Elvis Presley. He said he
was paid $1,500.00 for that show. He also shared, “I was
the only black guy there, sitting like this. Then Elvis came
over said, “You OK, man?”
Being a successful performer, I had to ask Big John, “So
I take it that the women liked you…Am I right about that?”
Big John looked at me and said with a smile, “I had my
His daughters, Rebecca and Ernestine, love to hear their
father sing the song, “What a Wonderful World”. (You
can hear him sing by going to and type in
Big John Dickerson.) Rebecca describes her father as a
joyful, fun-loving man. He has always been a wonderful
dad and loving uncle to Kathy Dickerson and Myrtle
Dickerson. Kathy & Myrtle, sang with the singing group
“The Main Attraction”, which was started by “Big John’s”
brother, Sam Dickerson.
Ernestine, has gotten to know her father later in life – in
the last 10 years. She sees many similarities between
herself and her dad. She treasures the day “Big John”
gave her away on her wedding day July 2, 2005.
John also has other daughters, whom he loves and
Artie Rodriguez
, age 71, said he never
thought he would live this long. “When I
was a kid I remember when I thought 50
was old,” he said as he laughed.
But Not In A Chair
By Sue Daugherty