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Mary Lou

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Album Review

There are no liner notes or credits on this budget-priced collection, but it doesn't take a powerhouse rock historian to figure out "Who Do You Love," "Suzie Q," and "Bo Dudley" are the cuts most folks are looking for here — one listen to the howling switchblade guitar solos on those tracks will tip off anyone that Robbie Robertson is the guy handling the freeboard on that Telecaster and that version of the Hawks is comprised of the same guys who would be become better known as the Band. The cuts with Robertson and Company backing up Ronnie Hawkins are easily the most exciting stuff on this disc, but that's not to say Hawkins and his other musicians didn't have plenty to offer. If Hawkins wasn't a top-shelf rockabilly singer (he was a bit short on imagination and his wild-man moves don't sound very spontaneous), he had energy and swagger to spare and there's an infectious sense of fun to all ten of these songs, with even the less stellar musicians giving Hawkins solid support. Rhino's The Best of Ronnie Hawkins & the Hawks is the best place to investigate Hawkins' body of work, and much of his classic material for Roulette has been reissued on disc, but someone looking for an inexpensive way to check out the Hawks could do worse than to pick this up.


Born: 10 January 1935 in Huntsville, AR

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Ronnie Hawkins is a rockabilly singer who formed his original backing band, the Hawks, while attending the University of Arkansas. After auditioning unsuccessfully for Sun in 1957, he started working regularly in Canada the following year, eventually taking up permanent residence there. After one release on the Canadian Quality label, he signed with Roulette in New York in 1959, having hits with "Forty Days" and "Mary Lou." The live fervor of Hawkins (known as Mr. Dynamo) and the Hawks' show continued...
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Mary Lou, Ronnie Hawkins
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