Ronnie ‘Hawk’ Hawkins was a Southern rockabilly singer who helped shape and launch the Band and other Canadian rock artists. He was battling a long-term illness. Hawkins has now passed away at 87.
The singer, known as ‘the Hawk’ by his peers and fans, cemented his status with his highest-charting track, “Mary Lou,” which peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100. Hawkins’ death was confirmed to The Canadian Press by his wife, Wanda.
He went peacefully and he looked as handsome as ever.
The Hawk was known for his commanding stage presence, which was marked by his powerful voice and witty banter. It also included his unique “camel walk” dance. In 1958, the Arkansas native began touring in Ontario. He was well-liked by Canadian artists and audiences by the time he was included in a CBC Telescope documentary.
Hawkins worked with a number of legends, from Duane Allman to Bob Dylan, whom he represented in Dylan’s film “Renaldo and Clara.” During an extended trip in Toronto in 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono were famously guests at his property.
Hawkins got lifetime achievement honors from both the Junos in 1996 and the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) in 2007. He is an honorary Canadian who won a Juno Award for country male vocalist of the year in 1982. He was made an officer of the Order of Canada honorary in 2014. We send our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. RIP.