Monday, February 15, 2010

Rockabilly Pioneer Dead

ROCK AND ROLL legend Dale Hawkins passed away over the weekend at age 73. He was best known for the raucous 1957 hit Suzy Q -- covered by more famous acts like the Rolling Stones in 1964 on 12 X 5 and later in the decade by Creedence Clearwater Revival, whose own impassioned rendition not only introduced Hawkins to a new generation but also managed to take the song to new heights (and lengths too, stretching it out to almost 9 minutes!), giving it the trademark CCR swamp-blues treatment on their landmark 1968 debut album.

Unfortunately, Youtube is sorely lacking when it comes to tracking down Dale Hawkins archival footage. The above grainy footage of Hawkins is the best the site has to offer. However, there is a cool clip of the very young Stones tearing into it on the American TV show Shindig! with Mick showing off some fine dance moves and Keith shredding lead six-string before the band slows things down with Heart of Stone.

Finally, here's an in-depth obituary from the Shreveport Times for the Louisiana native. According to the article, not only was he one of the few white musicians to record for Chicago's Chess Records back in the '50s -- releasing over 40 tracks for the mostly black blues label -- but Hawkins was the first white performer to play at Harlem's famed Apollo Theater. That's big-time crossover appeal and street cred rolled into one.


Anonymous said...

12 x 5 that was the blues album I was talking about at the game, the Stones recorded some cuts on this album at Chess Studios. Muddy Waters helped them bring in their equipment into the studio.
J Starr

The Warden said...

I think you are correct sir! The Stones talked the talk and walked the walk.

Anonymous said...

You have to express more your opinion to attract more readers, because just a video or plain text without any personal approach is not that valuable. But it is just form my point of view

Anonymous said...

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