Sir Charles Dixon
Charles "Sir Charles Mixin" Dixon has long been a force behind syndicated mixshows, radio programming and record promotions and artist development. Not only is he one of the music industry's most unsung pioneers, he is also one of the most dedicated. With over 3 decades of experience under his belt, Charles continues doing the daily grind, even working on Sundays because as he puts it plainly, "everyone else is still sleeping". As a result of his intense work ethic and infinite drive, Charles is a bonafide triple threat - a successful music exec producer, DJ, and promoter/consultant. The first R&B mixer ever to join Music Choice in 1998, Charles entertained the satellite television channel’s 56 million potential music-starved listeners with The R&B/Hip-Hop Mixtape, his self-produced weekly music series for over 12 years. His Mixtape's blend of R&B and hip-hop has garnered rave reviews from fans around the world.
As the founder of Sir Charles Independent Productions, he has marketed and promoted music by a wide range of artists from Grammy Award-winning producer Kay Gee (Zhane) to R&B/pop songstress Beyonce. And if that isn't enough, Charles keeps his ear to the streets and tests out new music every week late Friday night on his Grown Folks Soulful dance music mix and visiting clubs and lounges all over the Tri-State Market.
But this successful career didn't blossom overnight. It all started back in 1983 when Charles was an engineering student at the University of Maryland, College Park. He was inspired by a combination of Grand Master Flash's hip-hop sound and the house music of O'Dell's, a local Baltimore club that rivaled New York City's infamous night spot, The Garage.
Dixon began DJing at parties around campus under the moniker "Sir Charles". His DJ name was initially meant to describe his preppy British style, which featured his signature tweed blazers and horn-rimmed glasses. However, after his fellow students heard him spin, "Sir Charles" came to denote his royal turntable skills. He had a knack for mixing the current hits and classics with refreshing new songs, while never missing a beat.
In 1985, Sir Charles secured a position as an Urban Pool Director at OMAP Record Pool, where he reviewed and compiled the charts of 75 of the hottest DJs that played over 10 different formats in the Washington DC area. This was more than just a job to pay for school books and preppy clothing. Sir Charles was laying the groundwork for a successful career in making and breaking records.
Two years later, he began DJing at a new local club called The Dome. Using the information he gathered as a chart editor, he implemented a format which would go on to change the sound of Washington DC. As the head DJ at the new nightspot, Sir Charles encompassed sounds of hip-hop, R&B, Pop, Dance, go-go, and house music, creating an unparalleled style that appealed to the masses. Under the guise of Dixon, The Dome was named Night Club of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine, a mere six months from its opening night. Dixon also captured the attention of Albie D, the new Music Director of WPGC-FM, who felt that if Sir Charles could bring his wide audience to the station, he would helm their take-over of the DC market. As Charles remembers, "He invited me to do a live mix on the air and the rest was history. I used my multi-musical format of go-go, rap, R&B, Latin freestyle, house, hi-energy, techno and 70's & 80’s classics, for a live five hour mixshow." Sir Charles' record pool connections allowed him to compete effortlessly with other radio stations, as he had access to new records long before they received them. He introduced WPGC listeners to British imports like Soul to Soul's "Keep On Moving", Lisa Stanfield's "All Around the World"and Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” before they were released in the states. Sir Charles had carte blanche at WPGC and was able to get these international hits added to the station in regular rotation. Sir Charles hosted the first primetime mixshow on a commercial station during the highly coveted 7pm-midnight timeslot and after only three short years, his distinctive style helped take WPGC from number 22 to number 1 on the highly regarded Arbitron chart.
WPGC's mixshow format was ultimately copied by over 40 stations consulted by Jerry Clifton,(WPGC’s former consultant) including KBXX in Houston, KPWR in Los Angeles, and WQHT in New York (former PD Steve Smith came to Hot from WPGC). After 3 years in New York, it was time for Sir Charles to take on the Big Apple. In 1993, he brought his innovative sound to WBLS, the leading urban station at the time. Dixon quickly made believers out of everyone who thought his blend style wouldn't work in the New York market. His mix during, "The Thunderstorm mixshows" was the first to put classic jams like Zhane’s “Hey Mr DJ”, Brandy’s ”I Wanna Be Down”, "Believe In Love" by Teddy Pendergrass and "Treat U Right" by Angela Winbush in a mixshow with current hip-hop and R&B records. During his tenure at the station, Charles was also responsible for bringing Grandmaster Flash, the DJ he credits for inspiring him to spin, to WBLS.
As his DJ career was coming full circle, Sir Charles was promoting records to radio. With his record pool background, he understood how important the DJs were in the development of an artist's career. Charles brought his expertise to several major record labels, including Tommy Boy Records (1990), where he created and implemented their first mixshow mailing list, which was the first list ever established in the music industry to target all DJs spining on commercial radio stations around the country. Sir Charles' next goal was to tackle the internet. Recognizing the lack of an urban music presence on the web, he was invited to developed "88 Soul", an hour-long R&B spin off of 88HipHop.com. The show ran for a little over a year, going live every Wednesday night with Canadian supermodel Wendy Brooks and vocalist Renee of the R&B duo Zhane serving as hosts.
Dixon continued to keep his finger on the Trans-Atlantic music pulse, programming and mixing shows for Choice 96.9 FM in London and Music Choice UK and US, the premiere Cable/Satellite television channel in America. At the same time, Sir Charles held key record label positions, serving as head of DJ Promotions at TVT Records and later as Senior Director of Mixshow Promotions at Columbia Records. In 2003, he decided to take the entrepreneurial leap and start his own production and promotions company. His services are now available to all record labels through Sir Charles Independent Productions (SCIP).
In May of 2005, Dixon discovered Australian talent Che'Nelle and signed her to his production company SCIP Records. It wasn't long before Dixon's contact at Virgin records, Steve Tramposch, set up a meeting for him with the new CEO, Jason Flom. Jason closed a deal with Dixon for Che'Nelle in one week! In February of 2006, Dixon's deal with Virgin records was official and "Things Happen For A Reason", Che'Nelle's debut LP was in production.
In August of 2007, the album was released internationally and sold successfully in Japan, Europe, and South East Asia. In 2010, Charles signed Che’Nelle directly to EMI Japan where she released 5 albums and multiple singles and remains one of the most successful pop artists in Japan.
Today, while maintaining his SCIP production company, Sir Charles continues to consult companies like InMusic (a parent company of several music technolgy brands including: Numark, Akai, Denon DJ, Ion, Alesis, Alto Pro, M-Audio…) and bring a musical balance to the airwaves by spinning positive urban dance music that uplifts and inspires his listeners every week 1am to 2am Friday Late nights and various times during the holiday season’s master mix shows.