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The Folk Ballads of Ronnie Hawkins

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Album Review

Originally issued on Roulette, this album was a kind of cash-in on the folk boom spawned the year before by Johnny Horton with his recording of "The Battle of New Orleans." The folk material here, includes a wailing version of "Motherless Child" and a subdued version of "The Cherry Song" (as "I Gave My Love a Cherry"), and works like "John Henry" and "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" (done very moodily) in Hawkins' arrangements, and there's also stuff like Gershwin's "Summertime" and "Brave Man" from a Paramount movie Red Garters. Hawkins' aggressively moody vocals make all of it appealing. The backing chorus that appears on most of the songs is a bit off-putting, but overall, this is a fairly appealing record of its kind, with Hawkins in fine musical form and generally on target in his interpretive decisions. (British import)


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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The Folk Ballads of Ronnie Hawkins, Ronnie Hawkins
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