Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dale Hawkins, 1936-2010

LaVern Baker, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Bo Diddley, Don and Phil Everly, Bill Haley, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Ritchie Valens: these are the stars of the first generation of rock and roll. Today only Chuck, the Everlys and (improbably) Jerry Lee survive. There were others of that cohort who didn't achieve the same degree of fame but nevertheless influenced the history of rock. Among these were Charlie Gracie, Janis Martin, Big Joe Turner, Link Wray, and Dale Hawkins. With the death of Dale Hawkins last Saturday, Charlie Gracie is the only survivor of these five.

The clip above, from Dale's own YouTube channel, shows him performing a tribute to Bo Diddley, backed on guitar by James Burton, who has played with, among others, Elvis and Marshall Chapman.

Thanks to Michael Simmons for giving me the following Hawkins quote; his advice to aspiring rockers: "Study the masters, man. . . . Grab the roots and see how it evolved and know what's real."