Dale Hawkins is a rockabilly singer and guitarist, and one of the first of his kind to put songs on the charts. His name at birth, in 1938 in Goldmine, Louisiana, was Delmar Allen Hawkins.
Dale didn't get to the charts in the usual way, however. He recorded for the Checker label, which was primarily a record company for R&B singers. He toured with package shows that were made up of R&B singers. The song he is best known for is Susie-Q from 1957. This is a rockabilly song, with an R&B beat, using a cowbell. Not only that, but it features a fantastic guitar solo by the inimitable James Burton [Burton went on to establish himself as a legendary guitar player with Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley, Emmylou Harris, John Denver, and others]. The song was released before Hawkins turned 19. It helped to establish rockabilly music in the minds of the record buying public, and served to make listeners familiar with Burton's work. Susie-Q was covered by Creedence Clearwater Revival and helped to launch their career in 1968.
Hawkins' live stage shows were very well received. He picked up Roy Buchanan as a guitarist on a lot of his subsequent records. In addition to Susie-Q, Hawkins had only one other top forty song with La-Do-Dada in 1958.
In the 60's Dale Hawkins went from label to label and became a record producer. He produced hits with Bruce Channel, The Five Americans, and others. He continues to be active in the music business.
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