Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Dale Hawkins - RIP

I can't believe Dale Hawkins has gone. I'm not sure how many heroes I've got left, but there's certainly one big one less. I only saw him once at the Tennessee Club in London, and although he'd lost his baggage and played in the clothes he travelled in, he was in great spirits and put on a superb show. I had my photo taken with him afterwards and it was in the men's toilet. He couldn't have been any more cheerful with the gathered crowd if he'd been back stage at the Albert Hall.

Everyone knows his story, if not there's loads of obits out there, and deservedly so. He had a shed load of crackers but here's my top 5.

1. Every Little Girl
From March 1960, the great Roy Buchanan picks behind a wonderful Dale vocal. It's on MCA's 1993 reissue of the Oh! Suzy-Q album as a bonus track. It's my favourite Dale hawkins numbers, I love it, and I can't believe that Ace didn't include it on their otherwise superb Rock 'n' Roll Tornado CD.

2. Lovin' Bug
I first heard this on the Chess Rockabillies lp many moons ago. Roy Buchanan launches this song into orbit from the get-go and it must be aone of the rockinest songs of 1961. A bit too boppin' for the Bobby era.

3. Superman
The summer of 1958 was one hell of a lot hotter the day he cut this at the KWKH Radio studio in Shereveport.

4. See You Soon Baboon
Are you sure Tarzan did it this way? It was good enough for Mark Lamarr to use the intro for his radio programme and it's good enough to make my top 5.

5. Little Pig
One of his classics, this winter '57 number first came my way courtesy of the Polecats. I'd bow my head in shame, but I like there version to.

There's a load of others that I love from the great ballad Heaven, to La-D-Dada, to Teenage Dolly, Mrs Merguitory's Daughter, to Wildcat Tamer. Oh yeah, then there's that one with the cowbell.

To sum him up, nearly in his own words - Four Letter Word (Dale).

Rest In Peace buddy, you were one of the greats.

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