Monday, February 15, 2010

Rockabilly Pioneer Dale Hawkins Passes Away At 73

Rockabilly pioneer Dale Hawkins has lost his battle with colon cancer at the age of 73.

The singer/songwriter and record producer died on Valentine's Day.

He was perhaps best known for his 1957 hit Susie Q, which was the first release of a white artist on Chess Records.

The song later became a hit for rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival. Others who recorded the song include The Rolling Stones, Gene Vincent and Lonnie Mack.

Hawkins, who died Saturday in a Little Rock, AR, hospital, was known for his exceptional ear for guitarists: His other accompanists included Roy Buchanan and Presley's original picker, Scotty Moore.

Hawkins, was considered the architect of “swamp rock boogie” and recorded his first hit in 1956 with a 15-year-old guitarist by the name of James Burton.

I wrote that little guitar lick when I was 14,” Burton said, according to the Shreveport Times. “It got to be so pop in the club that Dale decided to write some lyrics to it and that became ‘Susie Q.’”

Hawkins recorded more than 40 songs for the Chess record label and was the third artist to appear on “American Bandstand.”

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