Delmar "Dale" Hawkins

  • Died: February 13, 2010
  • Location: North Little Rock, Arkansas

Tribute & Message From The Family


Delmar Allen “Dale” Hawkins of North Little Rock, singer, songwriter, and producer, was born in Goldmine, Louisiana on August 22, 1936 and passed away in Little Rock, Arkansas on Saturday, February 13, 2010. Dale was born into a family of musicians. His father, some uncles and cousins were part of a group known as “The Hawkins Family” that toured Arkansas and Oklahoma in the 1930’s and 1940’s. His father, “Skipper” Hawkins was one of the original “Sons of the Pioneers” singing group. His first Cousin, Ronnie Hawkins, was a recording artist in the 1950’s and 1960’s and still performs. Dale’s brother Jerry Hawkins was in the music industry for a period of time before going into private business.
In addition to his classic “Suzie Q”, Dale recorded over 40 songs on the “Chess” label for the now legendary Leonard Chess. He was the third entertainer to appear on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and was the first white artist to perform at the “Apollo Theatre” in Harlem and the “Regal” in Chicago. After appearing on the CBS television show “Big Beat” in the late 1950’s, he was asked to “guest host” the show. The guest slot became a permanent job and “Big Beat” became the “Dale Hawkins Show”, whose guests included the top entertainers of that time.
In the mid-sixties Dale turned to behind-the-scenes work as a producer and A&R man and produced hits like “Not Too Long Ago” for Joe Stampley and the Uniques, “Western Union” by the Five Americans, “Do It Again A Little Bit Slower” by Jon & Robin, and then later worked as the A&R Director of RCA’s West Coast Division.
In the eighties and nineties, Dale returned to writing, recording, and entertaining. During this period, Dale recorded many CD’s including the classic “Wildcat Tamer” and the critically acclaimed “LA, Memphis, and Tyler, Texas”.
Several years ago Dale was diagnosed with cancer. He faced the news the only way he knew how. He kept on singing and entertaining across the U.S.A. and Europe until he became too weary to go on.
Dale is a member of the “Rockabilly Hall of Fame” and the “Louisiana Music Hall of Fame”. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict.
His mother, Estelle Taylor Phillips, and father, Delmar “Skipper” Hawkins predeceased him. Dale is survived by his loving sons, Jeffrey and Jay Paul; his brother, Jerry and wife Pat of Bossier City, Louisiana; his sister, Linda Snider and husband Grady of Alexandria, Louisiana; and his loyal companion/special friend, Flo Murdock. He cherished his three grandchildren, Marshall, William, and April. Dale leaves his music to comfort a great host of family members and friends.
Visitation will be from 5:30 to 7:30 PM Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at North Little Rock Funeral Home in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Services will be held in the funeral home chapel 10:00 AM Thursday, February 18, 2010, with burial services at 2:00 PM in Riverside Cemetery, St. Paul, Arkansas. Friends and fans are invited to join our family in a “Tribute and Celebration of Life” at the Robinson Film Center, 617 Texas Street, Shreveport, Louisiana beginning at 3:30 p.m., Sunday, February 21st. Light refreshments and hors d’oeuvre will be served.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to the charity of your choice, or just help a struggling musician.
Arrangements by North Little Rock Funeral Home, 1921 Main Street, 758-1170.
Online obituary and guest register at www.nlrfh.com.