Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Feb 16th 2010 11:30AM by Emily Tan
Hawkins made his mark with the 1957 hit, 'Susie Q,' which featured guitarist and future Rock and Roll Hall of Famer James Burton, who also played in Ricky Nelson and Elvis Presley's bands. Recording and performing well into his 70s, Hawkins has also played with Roy Buchanan and Scotty Moore.
Hooked on blues, R&B and gospel in his younger years, the Louisiana native worked at the prominent Stan Lewis record store in Shreveport, La. In 1956, Hawkins recorded a demo of 'Susie Q' at a local radio station, which inspired Lewis to pass Hawkins' music to Chess Records.
Aside from 'Susie Q,' which hit No. 27 on the charts, Hawkins also recorded other singles for Chess Records including 'La-Do-Dada,' 'My Babe' and 'Tornado,' which were loved by rockabilly fans. Unfortunately, they never had as much of impact as 'Susie Q,' which was covered by Creedence Clearwater Revival and the Rolling Stones.
In the '60s, Hawkins became a successful producer with hits like the Five Americans' 'Western Union,' the Uniques' 'Not Too Long Ago' and John Fred and the Playboy Band's 'Judy in Disguise (With Glasses).' Hawkins released 'L.A., Memphis & Tyler, Texas' in 1969, which was rereleased on CD by England's Rev-Ola.
After recovering from drug addiction, he ended up leaving the music industry to become a motivational speaker. However, Hawkins didn't say goodbye for long as he built a recording studio in Little Rock with the royalties earned from his hit song.
He finally returned to performing in the 1990s when he played the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. He also released 'Wildcat Trainer' in 1999 and appeared in the New Orleans' Ponderosa Stomp festival.