Dixon, who was born with the surname Dixson, but used the more common spelling professionally, had his first hit when Bill Haley recorded "Dim, Dim the Lights (I Want Some Atmosphere)" in 1955. That song, Haley's follow-up to "Shake, Rattle and Roll," reached No. 11 on the pop charts and was Haley's first crossover to the R&B audience.
Among the other hit songs the South Carolina native wrote or co-wrote are "It Hurts to Be in Love" for Annie Laurie, "Begging, Begging" for James Brown, "Three Ways (to Love You)" for Kitty Wells, and "The Clouds," an instrumental by the Spacemen.
Besides his namesake Julius Dixson Jr., of New York, his survivors include three other sons, William Dixson of France, Oliver Shock of Chicago and Alton Dixson of North Plainfield, N.J.; two daughters, Beryl Hearns of Chicago and Darlyne Creecy of Richmond, Va.; and two sisters, Jenny Lou Ross of Manhattan and Ada Marion Anderson of Long Island City, the New York Times reported.