Dixon was born in Marshall, Texas. Some sources give his birth name as Jay Riggins, Jr., although he himself stated that Floyd Dixon was his real name and that his parents were Velma and Ford Dixon.Growing up, he was influenced by blues, gospel, jazz and country music. His family moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1942. There Dixon met Charles Brown, who had an influence on his music.
The self-dubbed “Mr. Magnificent”, Dixon signed a recording contract with Modern Records in 1949, specializing in jump blues and sexualized songs like “Red Cherries”, “Wine Wine Wine”, “Too Much Jelly Roll” and “Baby Let’s Go Down to the Woods”. Both “Dallas Blues” and “Mississippi Blues”, credited to the Floyd Dixon Trio, reached the Billboard R&B chart in 1949, as did “Sad Journey Blues”, issued byPeacock Records in 1950.