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Dick Dickerson (1928-2006)
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The following is from The Seattle Times (Sunday Feb 5, 2006)
Seattle landmark's organist always had a song to play
By Tan Vinh
Seattle Times staff reporter

Richard Dickerson's mother made him play the piano, and he fell in love with music.
The boys'-night-out crowds, the reunion brats and the men whose hearts had been broken would stumble into the Dog House and head back to the bar to hear the organist play a Frank Sinatra melody or a silly television tune.
Whatever the mood, Richard Dickerson always had a song, friends and former patrons said. Mr. Dickerson, who played the organ at the old landmark Dog House, a restaurant and bar, died last Sunday from respiratory problems, his family said. He was 77.
For 14 years, Dickerson livened the crowd at the former Seattle institution on Seventh Avenue and Bell Street with sing-along melodies and show tunes. The crowds danced. Even the quiet bystanders would belt out songs after a few beers, former patrons recalled.
"He was good enough to realize that if a person could not sing real well, he would play a little louder to drown that voice out," said George Cappleman, an in-law and frequent patron. "He helped people have fun and made them not feel self-conscious."
Born on Aug. 19, 1928, Mr. Dickerson grew up in Minot, N.D., in a farming community. His mother made him play the piano, and he fell so in love with music that he earned his degree in pipe organ at Minot State University in North Dakota in 1949.
After graduation, Mr. Dickerson played at hotels, churches and weddings in Montana, North Dakota and Washington in the early 1950s, his family said.
By the mid-1950s, Mr. Dickerson moved to Alaska to become a public-school music teacher, returning to Seattle in 1959. The musician became a fixture at civic events and weddings around Western Washington before finding his niche in 1980 at the Dog House, a greasy spoon and smoky bar known for serving ribeye steak with the warning: "tenderness not guaranteed."
He played at the 24-hour restaurant until the Dog House closed its doors in 1994.
Mr. Dickerson could read music but didn't need to, his family said. "He could hear a song once and play it on the organ. He had an ear for music," which served him well at the Dog House with all the requests, Cappleman said.
Mr. Dickerson retired when the Dog House closed. A lifelong bachelor, Mr. Dickerson in the last 10 years enjoyed watching concerts on public television or finding good church services with outstanding choirs or organ music, said his sister, Constance Laabs of Seattle.
He is survived by his sisters, Constance Laabs and her twin, Corrine Paulson of Sun City West, Ariz. Services were held Saturday at the Queen Anne Lutheran Church.

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