Based in Richmond, California, Hawkins was an early discovery of label-owner Bob Geddins who found him playing piano and singing in an Oakland club in 1946. With a band that included William Staples on tenor saxophone and Ulysses James on guitar, Hawkins had his first recordings released on Geddins Cavatone and Down Town labels in 1948. Some of the tracks raised sufficient interest for Modern Records to purchase Hawkins contract and some of the Down Town masters. This new label began recording him seriously over the next three years with some of Los Angeles finest musicians, including Maxwell Davis, T-Bone Walker and Johnny Moore. Hawkins biggest hits were the visionary Why Do Everything Happen To Me, reaching number 3 in the US charts in 1950, and the ironic The Thrill Is Gone, which reached number 6 in the USA in 1951. Subsequent Modern/RPM sessions and those for Rhythm (1958) and Kent (1961) featured Hawkins only...