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Ronnie Hawkins by Ronnie Hawkins

Tom Radigan

11 Jul 2022

Ronnie Hawkins or also known as ‘The Hawk’ released his self titled debut album on Roulette Records in 1959.

This album represents the interesting character of who Ronnie Hawkins was. I got introduced to Ronnie Hawkins from knowing that his band the Hawks later became the innovative band of the late 60’s called the Band. He had a memorable appearance in their movie “The Last Waltz” where they did the Bo Didley song “Who Do You Love?” His drummer of the Hawks at the time was a young Levon Helm. Hawkins was from Arkansas.

Hawkins got advice from Conway Twitty about moving to Canada due to it being very popular for rock music which is what Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks did.
He never got the credit that other rock musicians at his time had like Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash.

This record definitely got him some recognition with the hit of the Chuck Berry song “Thirty Days” retitled “Forty Days.” He appeared on the famous Dick Clark show “American Bandstand.”

The album came out at a time when rock ‘n’ roll was on the verge of crashing down due to the fact that the 6 main rock stars at the time were collapsing with Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis having scandals, Little Richard decided to become a preacher, Elvis was in the army, Bill Haley was taking his career across seas and Buddy Holly was killed in a plane crash.

This album is very 50’s. This album has the typical 50’s songs and nothing that really is groundbreaking yet I feel that it is able to keep rock music alive with some good fun songs.
It definitely also has a good band with rocking guitars, jumping pianos, a soothing saxophone, enjoyable backing vocals and wild lead vocals from Ronnie Hawkins.

I will say that he doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves as an entertainer or front man of a band.
Ronnie Hawkins might not have the greatest voice in rock ‘n’ roll but by listening to a Hawkins song he brings so much presence to his music and brings a lot of commitment to his performance which gives him enough characteristics for the audience to relate with him.

The most outstanding songs on this album is “Forty Days,” “Mary Lou,” “Need Your Lovin’ (Oh so Bad)" and “My Gal is Red Hot.”

The best way to describe this album is that it’s a fun record. That's what 50’s records were at the time, just fun music and there's nothing wrong with that.

Ronnie Hawkins by Ronnie Hawkins