Rock and roll pioneer Dale Hawkins, who helped give a beat to the sounds of the Louisiana swamp, has died, the New York Times is reporting. Hawkins, the cousin of fellow rockabilly artist Ronnie Hawkins, had a long career as a performer, songwriter, and producer, but he’ll forever be known for one song: “Susie Q.” Cut with guitar great James Burton in 1957 and released by the Chess imprint Checker Records, it hit #27 on the U.S. pop charts but enjoyed a long afterlife. Among those who covered it: Gene Vincent, The Rolling Stones, Quicksilver Messenger Service and, most famously, Credence Clearwater Revival, who made it a centerpiece of their 1968 debut. It was a telling choice since so much of the Credence mythology can be found in the chords and atmosphere of Hawkins’ original. Hawkins died in Little Rock, AR after a four-year struggle with colon cancer.
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