Dottie Dodgion was born in Brea, California. Her early years were spent in a musical environment as her father was a professional drummer. She began her musical career as a singer in the San Francisco area with groups that included the likes of Nick Esposito and Charlie Mingus. Her love affair with jazz continues until this day.

In 1964 she joined the Marian McPhartland trio with Eddie Gomez. In Chicago, she played with the Billy Mitchell-Al Grey Quintet. After touring extensively with a host of groups, Dottie returned to New York City's Half Note in 1969 to play with al Cohn and Zoot Zims.
In 1984 Dottie moved to California. In 1990, she settled in Monterey where she immediately went to work with the best artists in the area. One of those she found to be a musical soul mate, Flugelhornist Jackie Coon, and has enjoyed working with him.

Dottie performed with Ruby Braff at the Concord Jazz Festival (with Milt Hinton and Hank Jones), then in 1973, she performed with Ruby Braff and Tony Bennett for a television special in Hawaii. Numerous television performances followed, including appearances on the Dick Cavett Show, the Dave Garroway Show and The Today Show.

In 1976, Dottie moved to Washington, D.C., where she quickly became one of the areas most popular, and respected drummers. Through 1978, she was the musical director for the Rogue and Jar, a well-nown jazz club. The list of artists that she has since played with is endless. Among them: The Becker Brothers, Tommy Flanagan, Bob Cranshaw, George "Jiri" Mraz, Thad Jones, Roland Hanna, Jimmy Rowles, Frank Wess, Carol Sloane, Pepper Adams, Joe Newman, Kenny Acher, Harold Danko, Chis White, Herb Ellis and Sal Nestico. She also played with the late Joe Venuti during much of 1973 and in Denver with the Dick Gibson Jazz Party in 1974. In 1978, Dottie took part in the first women's jazz Festival in Kansas City where she was the drummer for a group features that best women artists in the field.