Dale Hawkins: Oh! Suzy-Q; The Definitive and Remastered Edition (Hoodoo)

 |   |  1 min read

Dale Hawkins: Suzy-Q
Dale Hawkins: Oh! Suzy-Q; The Definitive and Remastered Edition (Hoodoo)

If he'd done nothing else other than his tough-edged swamp-rockabilly hit Suzy-Q, Dale Hawkins out of Louisiana would still have made the rock'n'roll history books: Suzy-Q was co-written with guitarist James Burton who plays the stinging and memorable solo, and it took Hawkins to the Apollo in Harlem where he was the first white rock'n'roll/rockabilly singer to play that prestigious place.

But there was more to Hawkins than that one song, albeit a pretty terrific one. His 1958 album on the Chess label which featured the song -- this one, here remastered and with extra tracks -- was bristling with sassy, sharp and sometimes witty rockabilly/swamp rock'n'roll, featured three tracks with Roy Buchanan on guitar, had songs with a bluesy edge (Heaven) and on material like Wild Wild World he proved what a smart songwriter he was in his idiom.

The additional tracks -- 12 more -- show the high regard in which he was held by fellow musicians: among the players are Willie Dixon, Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana (of Elvis' early sessions), and Leonard Chess himself handled much of the production.

Hawkins' career was remarkably short however: Suzy-Q had no strong follow-up single despite the talent on hand, although the songs here crackle with energy. Hawkins shifted labels, went into production (the Five Americans' Western Union was one of his) and then fell prey to benzedrine addiction and quit the business.

He started a rehab centre, built a studio in the mid Nineties and in '99 released his first album of new material in 30 years. He died in February 2010.

Rockabilly fans and lovers of early rock'n'roll will delight in this album . . . and Suzy-Q -- covered by the young Stones and Creedence Clearwater Revival among many others -- is a bona fide classic.

Like that? Then try this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Onelung: Binary Pop Songs (Monkey/Global Routes)

Onelung: Binary Pop Songs (Monkey/Global Routes)

Behind the unappealing nom de disque is Auckland electronica musician Kevin Tutt whose previous album Nu Scientist was a real, if overlooked, gem. Once again located somewhere between the harder... > Read more

The Green Pajamas: Summer of Lust (Green Monkey)

The Green Pajamas: Summer of Lust (Green Monkey)

Green Pajamas out of Seattle are one of the great, if largely ignored, pysch-pop band (think Rubber Soul/Revolver) and at last they have got around to releasing . . . their debut album?... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

CHINA POWER; ART NOW AFTER MAO, a documentary by PIA GETTY (DV1/Southbound DVD)

CHINA POWER; ART NOW AFTER MAO, a documentary by PIA GETTY (DV1/Southbound DVD)

In a recent documentary Drilling for Art, the spotlight was put on Dubai as a place with no art history (other than some minor folkloric things) and a city where 95 percent of people come from... > Read more

Azymuth: Pure, The Best of Far Out Years 1995-2006 (Far Out/Southbound)

Azymuth: Pure, The Best of Far Out Years 1995-2006 (Far Out/Southbound)

The Brazilian trio at the core of Azymuth have been together since Adam was a young man: they started playing together in the 60s, named themselves Azymuth in the early 70s, and are still going... > Read more