A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Nix’s musical career began back at the beginning of Stax Records. He was a member of the young record label’s house band The Mar-Keys, where he played sax. The band had a hit in 1961 with the instrumental “Last Night”, and they went on to tour extensively as well as providing studio backing for a host of Stax artists. They later broke up, members going on to form off-shoot groups The Memphis Horns and Booker T & The MGs. Nix himself went on to befriend Leon Russell, and started work behind the scenes as a producer and songwriter. One of his most notable compositions was “Goin’ Down”, first recorded by Freddie King in 1971, which has since become a blues standard. He also worked with George Harrison on the Concerts For Bangladesh, and produced an album for Albert King (1971’s Lovejoy, on Stax).
He released his first solo album the same year, on Leon Russell’s Shelter Records label. In God We Trust was a fantastic album, a rootsy blend of rock, R&B and gospel. It was recorded at Muscle Shoals, with backing provided by their house band of Barry Beckett (keyboards), Eddie Hinton (guitar), David Hood (bass) and Roger Hawkins (drums). Mostly made up of original songs (many with strong Christian themes to the lyrics), it also featured versions of the traditional spirituals “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and “I’ll Fly Away”. Another song (“He Never Lived A Day Without Jesus”) was co-written with Bobby Whitlock, who also featured it on his own solo debut a year later.
Somewhere around this time Nix apparently befriended Furry Lewis, the old one-legged bluesman who originally recorded in the 1920s and had recently returned to popularity through the folk revival. Lewis appears in a bizarre guest spot, one short track consisting of just him talking followed by a quick bit of slide guitar. He would later go on tour with Nix. (by stuckinthepast08.blogspot)
What a great debut Album … full of souful gospel songs ! Don Nix was much more as his classic “Goin Down” !
Don Nix was one of the most underrated musiscian of all time !
Barry Beckett (keyboards)
Roger Hawkins (drums)
Eddie Hinton (guitar)
David Hood (bass)
Furry Lewis (slide guitar)
Don Nix (vocals)
Larry Raspberry (guitar)
J,A, Spell (fiddle)
01 In God We Trust (Nix) 4.25
02. Golden Mansions (Nix) 4.04
03. I’ll Fly Away (Traditional) 3.26
04. He Never Lived A Day Without Jesus (Whitlock/Nix) 4.02
05. Nero My God To Thee (Traditional) 1.04
06. Amos Burke (Nix) 2.57
07. Long Way To Nowhere (Nix/Raspberry) 3.32
08. Iuka (Nix) 5,15
09. Will The Circle Be Unbroken (Traditional) 3.54
10. I’ve Tried (Truckers Lament) (Nix) 1.28