Arkansas born, but a true Canadian icon, Ronnie Hawkins has died at 87.
Hawkins, known as “The Hawk,” “Rompin’ Ronnie” formed his band The Hawks while studying at the University of Arkansas in the 1950s. The Hawks toured Canada in 1958 on the recommendation of musician Conway Twitty and he ended up spending so much time in the Great White North, that he became a permanent resident in 1964, eventually earning an honorary appointment as an officer of the Order of Canada in 2014.
His influence can never be understated and he had an eye for talent, choosing musicians such as Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, Levon Helm, and Garth Hudson as his backing band. He lived a life, that’s for sure.
“I spent ninety percent of my money on wine, women and song and just wasted the other ten percent,” he once said.