Rockabilly legend Dale Hawkins, whose hit “Susie Q” ranks among the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs That Shaped Rock & Roll, passed away on February 13th in Little Rock, Arkansas, following a long battle with colon cancer, the Arkansas Times reports. Hawkins was 73. A member of both the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, Hawkins is most recognized for penning the 1957 classic “Susie Q,” a song that was covered by the Rolling Stones’ on their 12 X 5 in 1964 and the Creedence Clearwater Revival for their self-titled debut album in 1968.
“Susie Q” is also recognized as the first single by a white artist ever distributed by the famed Chicago label Chess Records. In addition to be a rockabilly icon, Hawkins served as producer on Hot 100 hits like John Fred & His Playboy Band’s “Judy in Disguise.” Hawkins’ cousin was Ronnie Hawkins, who at one point was the frontman of the Hawks, which went on to become the Band. In 1999, over 40 years after “Susie Q,” Dale Hawkins released one of his greatest triumphs, Wildcat Tamer, a collection of new recordings that earned a four-star review from Rolling Stone.
According to the Ark Times, Hawkins’ funeral will be held Thursday, February 18th in Little Rock, where Hawkins spent the last decades of his life.