Monday, February 15, 2010

Music News

Rock Pioneer Dale Hawkins Dies

Seminal rocker Dale Hawkins passed away Saturday in Little Rock, Arkansas from colon cancer at the age of 73.

Hawkins was discovered while playing a Shreveport, Louisiana club in 1957 with his group that also included guitarist James Burton and drummer A.J. Tuminello. While his style had elements of the burgeoning rock and roll, he mixed it with a heavy blues sound that created a unique sound eventually called Swamp Rock.

Dale originally shopped around a record that he had made called See You Soon, Baboon which was picked up for national release by Chess Records on its subsidiary Checker. The group's second record, Suzie Q, broke Hawkins nationally, going to number 7 on the R&B and 27 on the Singles charts.

Hawkins went on to record a mix of his bluesy rock and more pop oriented material for the label over the next few years. He also was becoming well versed in producing and finding talented guitarists. Not only would his sideman James Burton go on to play with Ricky Nelson and Elvis Presley, but he would also help launch the careers of Roy Buchannen, who played with Dale's cousin Ronnie Hawkins, and Kenny Paulsen.

In 1960, he was released from Chess and, although he would record for a number of labels in the subsequent years, he never exceeded the success of Suzie Q. The early-60's also found him hosting his own television show on WCAU in Philadelphia.

When Hawkin's wife became pregnant in 1964, he returned home where he became a talent finder and producer for Paula records, bringing them country artist Joe Stampley and rocker John Fred. His productions included Fred's Judy in Disguise and the Five American's Western Union. He became head of A&R for RCA's west coast division in 1970 where he worked with Harry Nilsson, Michael Nesmith and many more.

After a 1981 stint in rehab, Hawkins started a crisis intervention center for wayward teens in Louisiana that he ran for five years. By that time, the music bug had bit him again and he spent the rest of his life recording and performing.


Balance And Composure & Tigers Jaw announce split
Fellow Pennsylvanians Balance And Composure (Doylestown) and Tigers Jaw (Scranton) have each contributed a handful of brand new songs for an upcoming split release on No Sleep and Run For Cover Records, the former handling the CD version while the latter takes on vinyl duties.

Featuring four new tracks from each band, plus a bonus digital-only offering from Balance And Composure, the split was recorded by Vince Ratti (The Wonder Years, Circa Survive, Valencia) and will be released by the labels in CD and 12" formats on May 11, 2010. A track list an be found below and both bands are currently streaming songs from the album on their respective myspace pages.

Knack Lead Singer Doug Fieger Passes Away

Doug Fieger, the lead singer for the 70's group the Knack, has passed away after battling lung and brain cancer. He was 57.

Feiger's earliest ambition was to work in the theater and was acting professionally by the time he was 12. One year later, he and John Courey would form the group Sky who opened for acts such as Traffic and it was their relationship with Steve Winwood that would put them in contact with British producer Jimmy Miller. Miller signed the group to a contract and, once Fieger graduated from High School, the group moved to England to record their first album.

Courey and Feiger became fixtures in the London music scene, recording their second album at Mick Jagger's house, but by the end of 1971, the group had broken up and Fieger moved to Los Angeles.

In L.A., Fieger met Bruce Gary and Berton Averre who formed a group to play area clubs. Word of mouth spread, especially after a number of high profile jam sessions and the group was signed to a management contract. The three added Prescott Niles and named their group The Knack who were the subject of a major label bidding war that was eventually won by Capitol.

In 1979, the group released the album Get the Knack which contained their signature song "My Sharona." Both hit #1 on the charts, but the group never managed to hit such heights again. The followup single, Good Girls Don't made it to #11 and their second album, But the Little Girls Understand got to #15 but it was mostly downhill from there. They split up right after the release of their third album, Round Trip.

In 1991, the original group minus Gary reformed and recorded Serious Fun which included the Mainstream Rock hit Rocket O' Love. They followed in 1998 with Zoom and 2001 with Normal As the Next Guy, neither of which found much success.

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Record Sales

Week Ending 02/13/2010

1. 45 - The Beatles "I Want To Hold Your Hand" / "I Saw Her Standing There" w/pic sleeve radio promo - $4,109.99

2. 45 - Necros "Sex Drive" Touch and Go Original - $3,550.00

3. LP - Judge "Chung King Can Suck It Up" Revelation white vinyl - $3,383.33

4. LP - Damon "Song Of A Gypsy" Private Press - $3,218.00

5. 45 - Connor Cagle & The Bachelors Four "Always Let Your Good Side Show" / "Nobody Wants To See You When You're Down" Sunshine - $3,000.00

Thanks to Norm over at for this great data!  More on this week's top 5 on Vinyl Record Talk, Tuesday 4:00PM Eastern on Radio Dentata.