Dale Hawkins Biography

Delmar Allen Hawkins, 22 August 1936, Goldmine, Louisiana, USA. Born into a musical family where his father Delmar, and later. his younger brother Jerry were both musicians. The latter recorded three unsuccessful singles. Dale Hawkins was one of the earliest exponents of rockabilly, and this underrated singer-guitarist was discovered in 1955 by Shreveport record distributor Stan Lewis and signed by the Chicago-based Chess Records label. Among his earliest singles was the Bobby Charles composition ‘See You Soon Baboon’, an answer record to Bill Haley’s ‘See You Later Alligator’ (which was also written by Charles), but Hawkins’ biggest hit was the excellent Howlin’ Wolf -influenced ‘Suzie-Q’, with Roy Buchanan on lead guitar. It reached the US Top 30 in 1957 and was later covered by numerous artists, including the Everly Brothers, the Rolling Stones and Creedence Clearwater Revival, for whom the song was a Top 20 hit in 1968.

Hawkins and his Hawks recorded further hard-rocking tracks such as ‘La-Do-Dada’ and ‘Class Cutter’ over the next few years, featuring guitarists Scotty Moore and James Burton. Hawkins left Chess in 1961 and made occasional records for a number of other labels, including ABC Records, Roulette Records, Atlantic Records, Bell Records and Paula but during the 60s he concentrated on production, creating Top 10 hits for Bruce Channel (‘Hey Baby’, 1962 and ‘Keep On’ in 1968) and the Five Americans (‘Western Union’, 1967). Hawkins returned to recording with a pleasant country rock album for Bell in 1969 which contained versions of Leiber And Stoller’s ‘Hound Dog’ and Jimmy Reed’s ‘Baby What You Want Me To Do’. Among the artists Hawkins produced in the 70s was Texas rock band Rio Grande.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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