December 1, 2004

SJP


Artist: Hawkins, Ronnie




Born: Ronald Hawkins on January 10, 1935 in Huntsville, Arkansas, United States.

Hawkins passed his time away in high school with a pick-up band. After graduation he put together a semi-pro band that toured around Arkansas. This was the first edition of Hawkins' The Hawks who stayed with the singer through his starving years in Memphis (not even Elvis nor Carl Perkins could catch a break in Memphis - until Elvis' "Heartbreak Hotel" in 1956).

In 1958 a friend of Hawkins, Harold Jenkins (aka Conway Twitty) was playing in a rockabilly band called the Rock Housers who was brought to Hamilton, Ontario to play a club called The Grange by booking agent Harold Kudletts.

Hawkins played the same brand of rock and roll and was also invited up to Canada to play the club as well. One gig led to another which rolled over into a permanent residency at the club and in Canada. By this point The Hawks had been reformed three times and with Hawkins setting up shop in Canada, many of the members became homesick and returned to the US.

Drummer Levon Helm did stick it out and a new Hawks was formed that included Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, and Garth Hudson. They would soon grow tired of Hawkins' straight ahead rockabilly and branch out on their own, first as Bob Dylan's backing group during his 'electric' period, but as prominent superstars The Band.

Hawkins was unphased and began recruiting new members to become yet another version of The Hawks. This group would appear on three singles in 1964 and 1965 for Hawkins' own Hawk Records. They would leave shortly thereafter and become Robbie Lane & The Disciples.

Without missing a beat, Hawkins brought in harmonica legend Richard Newell (aka King Biscuit Boy) who was then in charge of recruiting the new musicians. By the late '60's Newell had assembled a stellar group of musicians in Larry Atamniuk (drums), Roly Greenway (bass), Kelly Jay [aka Blake Fordham] (vocals, piano), Rheal Lanthier (guitar), Richard Bell (keyboards) and John Gibbard (slide guitar).

Hawkins named these guys And Many Others and used them for the recording of an album. They too grew tired of the low paying job of entertaining in some of the worst dives Canada had ever seen and split from him.

As with the band, And Many Others would record one album with Newell under the name Crowbar. Once Newell went solo, Crowbar established a career of their own culminating in the Daffodil Records hit single "Oh! What A Feeling".

Hawkins again shrugged off the defectors, wished them luck and set about trying to organise a peace festival with John Lennon in 1969. Lennon and Yoko Ono would visit Hawkins on his northern Ontario farm for several days.

Hawkins and Australian music journalist Ritchie Yorke were later recruited as Lennon peace emmissaries and toured the world spreading Lennon's message of 'Love Not War' all around the globe. The two were nearly arrested in China when they waved a banner with this slogan on the Great Wall Of China.

With his return to Canada and rock and roll, Hawkins put together another ad hock version of The Hawks -- this time with Hugh Brockie (guitar, banjo) and Dwayne Ford (guitar) as Ronnie's Rock 'n' Roll Revival And Traveling Medicine Show. By the early '70's Brockie and Ford had quit Hawkins' employ and formed Atkinson, Danko, and Ford before changing several members and re-christening themselves Bearfoot.

The critically acclaimed album 'The Hawk And Rock' was recorded live in England in 1982; He won a Juno for 'Country Male Vocalist' for his 1984 LP 'Making It Again'.

His most recent album, 1995's 'Let It Rock' went gold and gave him a 1996 Juno Award nomination. Also in 1996, Ronnie won the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award as CARAS' Industry Builder. Earlier, he went to The White House as a guest of President Bill Clinton, and to launch 'Let It Rock' in Washington.

Hawkins is also an accomplished actor in the television/film industry. He has hosted a number of television shows and has been the guest star on countless television variety shows. In 1981/82 he hosted his own television show called 'Honky Tonk', followed by the release of an award-winning documentary film on his career entitled 'The Hawk'. In 1983, he hosted a nationally syndicated special, 'In Concert', which marked his 25th year in Canada. Until the last few years, Hawkins had been the host of CITY-TV's New Years Eve Countdown from Nathan Philips Square in Toronto.

Hawkins' screen appearances include: 'The Last Waltz', a documentary film about the final concert by The Band; the controversial 1979 cinematic disaster 'Heaven's Gate', in which Hawkins played Major Walcott in a cameo; 'Renaldo & Clara' produced by Bob Dylan, wherein Hawkins portrays Dylan himself; 'Snakeater' with Lorenzo Lamas featuring Hawkins playing multiple rolls as well as musical contributions to the soundtrack.

Hawkins made a comeback shortly after a cancer scare in 2001 with a celebration at Massey Hall featuring a long list of musical friends. Bullseye Records of Canada released his long delayed 2002 'Still Cruisin'' studio CD in 2006 which included appearances by members of The Tragically Hip, Wide Mouth Mason, Goddo, David Foster, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson and long-time backing vocalist Beverley D'Angelo.


Singles
as RONNIE HAWKINS
1967 Home From The Forest/Will The Circle Be Unbroken (Yorkville) YV-45016
1968 Mary Jane/Reason To Believe (Yorkville) YV-45019
1970 Down In The Alley/Matchbox (Cotillion) 45-44060
1970 One More Night/Little Bird (Cotillion) 45-44076
1970 Matchbox/Little Bird (Hawk) IT-301
1970 Down In The Alley/Home From The Forest (Hawk) IT-302
1970 Forty Days/Bitter Green (Hawk) IT-305
1970 Patricia/Black Sheep Boy (Hawk) 1205-01
1972 Cora Mae/Lawdy Miss Clawdy (Monument - UK) MNT-S-8292
1973 Lonesome Town/Kinky (Monument) ZS7-8561
1973 Bo Diddley/Lonely Hours (Monument) ZS7-8573
1973 Diddley Daddy/Cora Mae (Monument) 1976 Will The Circle Be Unbroken/Lady Came From Baltimore (Polydor) 2065-303
1980 Home From The Forest/[B Side by Terry Jacks] (Arc)
1981 (Stuck In) Lodi/Brown-Eyed Handsome Man (Quality) Q-2392X
1981 Only The Lucky/300 Lbs Of Heavenly Joy (Quality) Q-2399X
1982 Wild Little Willy/Johnny B. Goode (Quality)
1984 Hit Record/Ode To A Truck Drivin' Man (Trilogy)
1985 Making It Again/Patricia (Epic) E4-7080
1985 Good Timing Song/Look Out Time (Epic) E4-7104


as RONNIE HAWKINS AND THE HAWKS
1958 Hey! Bo Diddley/Love Me Like You Can (Quality) K-1827
1959 Forty Days/One Of These Days (Apex) 76499
1959 Mary Lou/Need Your Lovin' (Apex) 76561
1959 Southern Love/Love Me Like You Can (Apex) 76623
1960 Lonely Hours/Clara (Roulette - US) R-4228
1960 Ruby Baby/Hayride (Roulette - US) R-4249
1960 Ballad of Caryl Chessman (Let Him Live, Let Him Live, Let Him Live)/Death of Floyd Collins (Roulette - US) R-4231
1960 Summertime/Mister And Mississippi (Roulette - US)
1961 Cold Cold Heart/Nobody's Lonesome For Me (Roulette - US) R-4311
1961 Come Love/I Feel Good (Roulette - US) R-4400
1963 Bo Diddley/Who Do You Love (Roulette - US) R-4483
1963 High Blood Pressure/There's A Screw Loose (Roulette - US) R-4502
1963 Honey Don't (Roulette - US) RET-1024
1964 Got My Mojo Workin/Let The Good Times Roll (Hawk) HR-002
1965 Bluebirds Over The Mountain/Diddley Diddley Daddy (Hawk) HR-106
1965 Goin' To The River/Little Red Rooster (Hawk) HR-107
1987 Mary Lou/Girl With The Dark Brown Hair (Epic) E4-3022
1987 Days Gone By/Mama Come Home (Epic) E4-3026

Albums
as RONNIE HAWKINS
1959 Ronnie Hawkins (Roulette) R-25078
1960 Mr. Dynamo (Roulette) R-25102
1960 The Folk Ballads of Ronnie Hawkins (Roulette) SR-25120
1960 Sings The Songs of Hank Williams (Roulette) SR-25137
1964 Best of Ronnie Hawkins featuring His Band (Roulette) SR-42045 1967 Mojo Man (Roulette) SR-25390
1968 Ronnie Hawkins (Yorkville) YVS-33002
1970 Ronnie Hawkins (Cotillion - US) SD-9019
1970 The Hawk (GRT) 9205-9039
1972 Rock & Roll Resurrection (Monument) Z-31330
1974 Giant of Rock'n'Roll (Monument) BZ-33855
1976 The Hawk In Winter (Polydor) 2424-121
1978 Sold Out (Roulette)
1978 Rockin' (Pye - UK) NSPL-28238
1979 Rrrracket Time (Charly - UK) CR-30180 1979 The Hawk (United Artists) UA-LA968-H
1981 Greatest Hits (Quality) SV-2074
1981 Legend In His Spare Time (Quality) SV-2092
1982 Premonition (Accord) SN-7213
1983 The Hawk And Rock (Trilogy) TR-50000
1985 Making It Again (Epic) PEC-80104
1989 Greatest Hits [3 LPs] (Silver Eagle) SE-10873
1989 Treasure Chest (Polygram) 871-739-2
1989 Rock'n'Favourites (Silver Eagle) SED-10873
1990 Greatest Hits/Rock 'n' Roll Faves (Polytel) 847-051-2
1991 Then and Now (Elite - EU) 845-648-2
1995 Let It Rock (Quality) QCD-2104
2001 Can't Stop Rockin' (Sony) 24110
2002 Still Cruisin' (Hawk/Bullseye) BLR-CD-8106
2005 Mary Lou (Collectables) 9940

as RONNIE HAWKINS & THE HAWKS
1973 Rock Story Volume 1 (Bellaphon - Germany) BI-1566
1973 Rock Story Volume 2 (Bellaphon - Germany) BI-1569
1987 Hello Again... Mary Lou (Epic) PEC-80127
1990 Best of Ronnie Hawkins And The Hawks(Rhino - US) RZ-70966
1995 The Roulette Years [2CD] (Sequel - UK) WED-CD-266
2002 The EP Collection (See for Miles) SEECD-709


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Compilation Tracks






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