HAWKINS PASSES — (Via Forgotten Hits) We lost another music legend when Ronnie Hawkins passed away this past weekend.
The story of The Band began with Ronnie Hawkins. He was our mentor. He taught us the rules of the road.
Ronnie Hawkins brought me down from Canada to the Mississippi delta when I was 16. He recorded two songs I’d written and thought I might be talented. He tried me out on guitar and bass the only problem was; I’m too young to play in the clubs they toured, I was too inexperienced, not a good enough musician yet, and there are NO Canadians in southern rock and roll bands. But I practiced until my fingers were bleeding and he ended up hiring me against all odds.
Ron prided himself in always having top notch players in his group. Levon Helm his drummer in the Hawks and I talked Ron into hiring Rick Danko on bass and vocals, Richard Manuel on piano and vocals and Garth Hudson on organ and sax. Along with Levon and me this became the magic combination.
Ronnie was the godfather. The one who made this all happen.
He had us rehearsing constantly into the wee hours. We balked about it, but we got better and better. Our goal whether we knew it or not.
After the Hawks left Ron and went out on our own, we joined up with Bob Dylan. Next the Hawks became The Band and the rest is history, as they say.
All starting out with Ronnie Hawkins.
He was not only a great artist, a tremendous performer and bandleader, but had a style of humor unequaled. Fall down funny and completely unique. Yep, God only made one of those. And he will live in our hearts forever.
My deepest condolences to his family.
Bless his soul.
CALL RAY –— (from Variety) Ray Parker Jr., the R&B star and singer-songwriter best known for the theme from “Ghostbusters,” gets the documentary treatment in “Who You Gonna Call?,” from Sony Pictures Entertainment, which premieres on digital platforms on June 7.
Parker says, “At a very young age, I knew I wanted to be a musician. It was my dream. My life. I did everything and anything I could to make that happen. I’d like to say that luck was very much on my side, but I think dedication and determination to make my dreams come true played a larger part. I always tell young musicians that if you want something then work hard at it and go after it. When you find something you’re good at, the fun part just comes along for the ride! Also don’t think about Option 2. Make Option 1 a reality. You are the only one to make it happen. Know that creating music is a collaborative process, so always deliver, have fun and enjoy the process. This usually guarantees call backs.”
Strine says, “When I interviewed Ray for my previous documentary ‘Hired Gun,’ I knew there was a bigger story to tell. From the moment I sat down with him, I was instantly hooked on telling his life’s story. When most people think of Ray Parker Jr they think of ‘Ghostbusters.’ Yes, he’s had great success with that song, but Ray is so much more than that. The list of legendary artists Ray has performed with and written for is staggering and people don’t know this side of him. After learning more about him I knew right away I needed to tell his story. I’m positive people will draw inspiration from his life story, as I still do, by watching this film.”
Debbie Gibson started her 15-date tour this week. Calling it The Body Remember tour after her album of the same name from 2021 …
Saw an interview with Lee Dickson, Clapton’s former guitar tech and he said that for him, Clapton’s most exciting gig was when he played with Lenny Karvitz at a 1999 White House-event with Bill and Hillary Clinton. They performed an unrehearsed “All Along The Watchtower” – and, yes, that is Cindy Blackman Santana on drums. Watch it here:
Netflix’s Stranger Things Season 4 premiere Friday (Part 1) broke all of the cablenet’s records for viewership. I watched them all and thought they were sensational.
Kate Bush’s 1995 “Running Up That Hill” was on the premiere and shot up to #1 on Apple iTunes the very next day … And, Congrats Michael Moritz and Gia Ramsey on their wedding and Happy Bday Bob Dylan!