Ronald Hawkins, (January 10, 1935 – May 29, 2022) was an American/Canadian rock and roll musician whose career spanned more than half a century. His career began in Arkansas, where he was born and raised. He found success inOntario, Canada, and lived there for most of his life. He is considered highly influential in the establishment and evolution of rock music in Canada.
Also known as “Rompin’ Ronnie”, “Mr. Dynamo”, or simply “The Hawk”, he was one of the key players in the 1960s rock scene in Toronto. Throughout his career, Hawkins performed all across North America and recorded more than twenty-five albums. His hit songs included covers of Chuck Berry’s “Thirty Days” (entitled “Forty Days” by Hawkins) and Young Jessie’s “Mary Lou”, a song about a ”gold-digging woman”. Other well-known recordings are a cover of Bo Diddley’s ”Who Do You Love?” (Hawkins’ version was released without the question mark), ”Hey Bo Diddley”, and ”Susie Q”, which was written by his cousin, rockabilly artist Dale Hawkins.
Hawkins was also notable for his role as a talent scout and mentor of musicians he recruited for his band the Hawks. Roy Buchanan was an early Hawks guitarist on the song “Who Do You Love”. The most successful example of this were the musicians who left him to form The Band. Other musicians Hawkins had recruited went on to form Robbie Lane and the Disciples, Janis Joplin’s Full Tilt Boogie Band, Crowbar, Bearfoot, and Skylark.