Ronnie Hawkins, the name you might know as the cross-border rockabilly legend and excellent musician, showman, and mentor from Canada. He was an endearing singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, and actor.
Let me tell you 10 facts about Ronnie Hawkins:
Hawkins’s father and mother contradicting personalities:
Hawkins’ father Jasper was a barber, and her mother, Flora Cornett, was a teacher. Hawkins described his father as a champion redneck who liked to drink, chase women, and fight in an interview. He went on to say that he used to do everything that rednecks enjoy. His mother, on the other hand, was a devout Christian who had never missed church in 40 years. Hawkins claimed that his father used to get irritated by his mother’s practice of donating 10% of her earnings to the church.
Hawkins’ family moved to Fayetteville when he was nine years old, and he began to develop an interest in music. Ronnie continued, “I used to sneak down to Sherman’s Tavern or Irene’s Tavern, regular meeting places for black artists because of his interest in music. He also listened to gospel at a neighboring African American church and appreciated Dixieland jazz artists like Ralph “Buddy” Hayes. Hawkins admitted to his fans that he just went to school to please his mother.
Hawkins is known as “the granddaddy of Canadian rock ‘n’ roll”
Rock & roll began in the 1950s in the United States. Its popularity rose quickly, even crossing the Atlantic to England. Hawkins not only popularized rock n roll, but he also made significant contributions to it over the years, among other Canadian performers. If you go into the history of Canadian rock and roll, you’ll find that it’s a lively, amusing, and largely unsung narrative. It is fair to claim that Ronnie’s band, The Hawk, was responsible for the great singles of the 1970s, Canadian musicians’ dominance on the pop charts in the 1990s, and Canada’s indie-rock comeback in the 2000s.
What was the reason behind the nickname Ronnie Hawkins?
“You might be wondering where Ronnie Hawkins’ nicknames “Romin’ Ronnie” and “Mr. Dynamo.” came from. We’ll find out. At Hamilton’s Golden Rail Tavern and The Grange, his band The Hawks made their first appearances in Ontario nightclubs. Hawkins’ straight-ahead rockabilly sound blended rock, blues, and country influences. His bawdy demeanor and athletic stage antics contributed a lot to the whole experience. In the middle of a song, he did a backflip. His signature “camel walk inspired Michael Jackson’s famous moonwalk.” He continued to rock, with no signs of slowing down. These nicknames have been given to him because of his eccentric stage character.
Do you know Hawkins was a college dropout?
Hawkins’ developing interest in music and other activities quickly pushed college to the back burner. The majority of individuals have no idea. He established a nightclub in Fayetteville while still a teenager and funded it with proceeds from the sale of bootleg whiskey in Oklahoma’s “dry” state. Ronnie created a ragtag band with his friends at the club, but his musical commitment remained spontaneous. Hawkins did not finish high school. Instead, he joined the army and served at Fort Chaffee in Sebastian County, Arkansas, and Fort Sill in Oklahoma. He developed into a genuine rock ‘n’ roll performer while stationed at Fort Sill.
Under what circumstances did Ronnie Hawkins move to Canada?
While stationed in Fort Sill, he led the rock ‘n’ roll band The Black Hawks for six months. A group of African-American artists known as the Black Hawks. In the days building up to the American civil rights movement, it was clearly a risky move. In terms of increasing his professional options, he wasn’t making enough progress. The nightclub, on the other hand, gave him even tighter ties to the rock ‘n’ roll scene in Fayetteville. He met prominent personalities like Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Conway Twitty in this town. Canada, Twitty believed, was the promised country for a rock singer. As a result, he encouraged Hawkins to join The Hawks so that he might pursue better possibilities throughout the country. Therefore, he moved his band to Canada.
Hawkins called Canada “my promised land”
In order to advance their careers, many Canadian musicians used to relocate to the United States. On the other hand, Hawkins was the first person in the United States to do exactly the opposite. Hawkins referred to Canada as “my promised land” as an audience yearning for true American rock & roll accepted him wholeheartedly. His band recorded “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” “Up on Cripple Creek,” and “The Shape I’m In” in Canada. Hawkins’ outrageous cover of Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?” became a signature song for him.
The success rate of Hawkins in America was quite low
In comparison to America, he fared significantly better in Canada. Hawkins only had two hit records in America during his entire career. In 1959, his cover of Chuck Berry’s “Thirty Days” and his version of Young Jesse’s “Mary Lou” both charted at No. 45 and No. 26 in the United States, respectively. He won the 1982 Juno Award for Best Male Country Vocalist in China, which is the equivalent of an American Grammy. Hence, his decision to relocate his band to Canada proved to be a wise one.
A day specified for the musician, “Ronnie Hawkins Day”
The city of Toronto declared October 4th “Ronnie Hawkins Day” in 2002, when he was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. It was in honor of his lifetime dedication to music as well as his generous support of the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario and other charitable organizations.
Ronnie beat cancer charismatically
Hawkins was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003. Doctors were unable to remove it surgically because it was entwined around an artery. They offered him medications and told him he would die in six months. Hawkins, on the other hand, was adamant about not taking any medicine. “I’d take a drag from a cigarette. It is the world’s most effective healer, “he exclaims. Later on, Hawkins beat cancer with the use of alternative medicines, herbal remedies, and sheer will.
Family and Home
Ronnie Hawkins married Wanda Hawkins. They had two sons Ronnie Hawkins Jr. and Robin Hawkins and a daughter Leah Hawkins. Hawkins and his wife Wanda made their home. in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.
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