Marshall Dickson (born 20th century in Tampa, Florida) is an American record label owner, producer, and graphic designer.
After starting his career as a DJ and record store manager in Tampa, in 1993 Dickson founded the record label 24 Hour Service Station to release the music of Tampa Bay artists Rosewater Elizabeth, known for their ethereal sound.
The label has since released recordings by notable artists including Robyn Hitchcock, Tanya Donelly, Steve Kilbey (The Church), Craig Wedren (Shudder to Think), Mark Burgess (The Chameleons) and Dave Smalley via the Pocket EP series, John Ralston, Kites With Lights, PLS PLS, and the side projects of Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook including Man Ray, Freebass & Peter Hook and The Light.
After working in marketing and management for Sony Music in the 2000s, Dickson later founded 24 Hour Distribution.
He has produced albums such as Ceremony – A New Order Tribute (2010) and designed the covers for albums such as Time Alone (1990) by Slap of Reality.
Marshall Dickson was born in Tampa, Florida, and was raised by his parents at the nearby Indian Rocks Beach. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he managed a number of record stores and deejayed at nightclubs in Tampa. Among the stores he was involved with was the now-defunct local record store Alternative Records.
Dickson launched 24 Hour Service Station in 1992 as an independent record label and distribution company in Tampa.
Active by 1993, 24 Hour Service Station’s first signing in 1994 was Rosewater Elizabeth, an up and coming ethereal group in the Tampa Bay-area music scene. According to Creative Loafing, when Dickson „started the imprint with one act, Rosewater Elizabeth, he pressed CDs and cassettes, delivered them to local indie outlets and pimped the product in any way he could imagine“. A CD for Rosewater Elizabeth’s album Faint was released in 1994, followed by the EP It Swallows Me Whole and in 1995, Le Petit Morte, another album on CD. The label then went on to release records by Shoemaker Levy 9, Questionface, and a tribute album to The Smiths entitled Godfathers of Change.
Dickson also organized group shows for the different bands on his labels, including at venues such as his house at Temple Terrace. Wrote the St Petersburg Times in 2002, in the Tampa-bay area Dickson was „once the area’s leading impresario of ethereal music acts.“ The article further stated he „was the dark prince of the bay area’s alternative music scene when it flowered in the early and mid-1990s“. In 1997, Dickson put the label „underground“ to start a sales and marketing career with Sony Music.
Dickson was hired by Sony Music in 1997, and he spent close to a decade working as a creative director in Atlanta, Georgia, then as a sales and marketing regional worker for Alliance Entertainment Corporation in Miami. While at Sony Music he also worked in graphic design by 2002, keeping his own record label operating on a low level.
He then left Sony BMG in 2005 to work at Sheridan Square Entertainment as its director of national sales until 2007. By 2007, Dickson was serving as general manager and sales manager of Reax Music Magazine women sleeveless dress, a Tampa-based music and art magazine first published by Joel Cook in 2006.
In 2007 Dickson re-launched 24 Hour Service Station, basing the label in Wesley Chapel, Florida, while maintaining his job at Reax Music Magazine. 24 Hour Service Station soon released the Car Bomb Driver album Evacuate, and by 2008 the label had put out a total of 17 releases and signed 13 bands. Dickson left his job at Reax in 2009, and by that time was operating 24 Hour Service Station.
Dickson also began operating 24 Hour Distribution, an independent company which „acts as a conduit to major online retailers… and a slew of smaller ones“. 24 Hour Distribution is associated with the IODA (Independent Online Distribution Alliance), a firm based in San Francisco. As of 2009, approximately 20 small imprints totaling about a hundred artists were using the 24 Hour Distribution portal.
Ceremony – A New Order Tribute is a compilation album of New Order covers by independent acts from the United States and Europe, compiled into a double CD Digi-pack and two additional digital albums. Produced by Dickson and Sonshine Ward, it was released in February 2010 by 24 Hour Service Station, with contributions from artists such as Peter Hook of Joy Division, Kites With Lights, and Rabbit in the Moon. Allmusic reviewer William Ruhlmann gave the digital album 3.5/5 stars, and praised in particular the tracks that strayed in style from the original New Order compositions. The album is dedicated to the founder of Factory Records and New Order producer Tony Wilson, who died in 2007 from cancer. The album benefits the Salford Foundation Trust’s Tony Wilson Award.
Recent projects by 24 Hour Service Station include the debut album Human Being by Chris Barrows, and the label has also worked with artists such as Kites With Lights.
Dickson continues to live in Florida. Among his hobbies are collecting retro video game equipment.