Dale Hawkins (born, Delmar Allen Hawkins, Aug. 22, 1936) died yesterday, he had been suffering from colon cancer for the past few years. He cut some of the greatest rock'n'roll records of all time for the Checker label between 1956-61 (a full discography can be found here).
I'm not going to post any tunes, you can buy 'em. If those labels go out of business, there won't be anymore rock'n'roll.
After leaving Checker he cut some singles for Tilt, a mediocre twist album for Roulette, produced hits for the 5 Americans and Mouse & the Traps amongst others, made a good country album for Bell in the 70's and generally kept busy on the other side of the glass. He returned to performing in the 90's and at the first Ponderosa Stomp, Dr. Ike re-united Dale with James Burton who as a fifteen year old had played on Suzi Q, his first and greatest hit. It was the highlight of an incredible night of music, too bad so many people missed it since they went onat 7 PM.
I've been meaning to post about Dale Hawkins, whose band was the training ground for so many great guitar plays (Burton, Roy Buchanan, three fingered Carl Adams, Kenny Paulson about whom nobody seems to know anything other than he died of a heroin overdoes in '73,
and many others). Unfortunately, I've never been able to find the right words to express just how great Dale Hawkins was, and I still can't. So do yourself a favor, you'll appreciate it more if you actually have to work for it, dig out those records, or go find 'em. They're as good as it gets.
RIP Dale Hawkins.