Monday, May 10, 2010

Dale Hawkins - My Babe - Checker Records, 1958

Today I've got some good 'ol Rockabilly for ya! Delmar Allen "Dale" Hawkins is best known for his song "Susie Q", which was a huge hit for Creedence Clearwater Revival in '68. Dale is also known as one of the architects of "swamp rock boogie", which is basically Rockabilly with a heaping handful of southern-fried Blues thrown in.

 Mr. Hawkins was born in Gold Mine, Louisiana in 1936. What is it in the water in LA that makes such wonderful musicians? "My Babe" came out in '58, with Roy Buchanan on lead guitar duties for his recording debut (Roy went on to have a tremendous career and was later voted one of Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists"). Interesting note: the original version of this tune was a blues number released by Little Walter and was heavily based on the gospel song "This Train (Is Bound For Glory)".

 The original burst onto the charts at the same time Ray Charles was mining similar Gospel terrain with "I Got a Woman".
Here's the link to download the original version at Amazon: My Babe
This song was also covered by cats like Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, etc, etc.
Checker Records is a subsidary of Chicago's legendary Chess Records, which was started by the Chess brothers in the late 40s. Volumes can, and have been, written about Chess Records. Let's just say they released some of the best Blues, RnB, Jazz and Early Rock out there. Maybe you even saw one of the movies! Chess Records was the subject of two films released in 2008, "Cadillac Records" and "Who Do You Love". In addition to the Chess brothers, both films feature portrayals of or based on Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Chuck Berry, and Etta James. Checker was started at a time when radio stations limited the number of releases from a particular label in thier playlists, so sublabels were a way to get around that (they also started a sublabel called Argo/Cadet). After years of releasing great matieral, things dried up in the late 60s and the label and catalog were sold (the first of many such sales for the label). I believe Universal now holds rights to the music.
You can download the Mp3 from Amazon for Dale's version here: My Babe
And now, the clip!

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