Ronald Cornett Hawkins (10 January 1935 – 29 May 2022) was an American-Canadian singer-songwriter whose career stretched over half a century. Born and bred in Arkansas, he began his career there. He spent most of his life in Ontario, Canada, where he found success.
He is regarded as a major contributor to the founding and development of rock music in Canada. Also known as “Rompin’ Ronnie,” “Mr. Dynamo,” and “The Hawk,” he was a significant figure in the Toronto rock scene of the 1960s. He played throughout North America and has released over 25 albums.
His successful songs include renditions of “Thirty Days” (retitled “Forty Days”) by Chuck Berry and “Mary Lou” by Young Jessie, a ballad about a gold digger. Other notable records include a rendition of Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?” (sans question mark), “Hey! Bo Diddley,” and “Susie Q,” which was penned by his cousin, rockabilly musician Dale Hawkins.
Hawkins was a scout for potential and tutor to the musicians he recruited for his band, The Hawks. Early Hawks guitarist Roy Buchanan played on “Who Do You Love” The students who departed to establish The Band were among his most successful.
Robbie Lane and the Disciples became his backing band after making their name opening for Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks in Toronto’s Yonge Street pubs. Others he recruited would go on to establish Janis Joplin’s Full Tilt Boogie Band, Crowbar, Bearfoot, and Skylark. In his sixties, Hawkins was still performing 150 engagements each year.
Ronnie Hawkins Age
87-year-old Hawkins died of a long-term illness. According to his wife Wanda Hawkins, he passed away calmly and appeared as gorgeous as ever.