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


Condolence & Memory Journal


Missing you more each day....

Posted by Flo    March 15, 2010

He was one of ROCK-N-ROLLS greatest.

Posted by Charles Stewart - Conway, AR - FAN   February 18, 2010

I was so sorry to hear of Dale's passing. We had many good years together, and a lot of memories. Jerry, I'm sorry for your loss.

Posted by Yvonne Uzzell - Sherwood, AR - long ago friend   February 18, 2010

I'll miss his sense of humor and his wonderfully sweet nature.

Posted by Kaye "Snake" Eginton - North Little Rock, AR - Friend   February 17, 2010

Dale helped a lot of musicians trying to get started in the music world. I have been drumming since I was 13yrs old and cant remember when he wasnt there. May God Bless

Posted by Stephen W Huselton Sr - Pine Bluff, AR - fellow musiciam   February 17, 2010

I feel honored that I was able to get to meet and get to know Dale. I had grown up hearing his music and got to meet him through a buddy of mine Jeff Pike. My greatest memory of Dale is him singing along while I was playing the mandolin and he was playing my old Epiphone guitart up at Mountain Springs Recording Studio in Cabot. Hearing him talk about how much fun he had back in the 50's and 60's was just great also. I will truly miss him, but he will live on in the music!!!!

Posted by Stewart Cheak - Bryant, AR - Friend   February 17, 2010

Dale was delightful and wonderful person to know, my husband Ken Clark and my self never saw Dale with out a big smile on his face and he always gave us a big hug he was such a joy to around. I'm so sorry for your loss of such a great man. He will always be remembered and loved. God bless.

Posted by Marilyn Clark - Sheridan, AR - friend   February 17, 2010

Dale was a special friend. His music will live on forever. I pray the family will cherish his memories and tell others of his talents. I have found that as long as we do that, we have our loved ones with us always. God Bless You.

Posted by Ann M. Stuckey-Davis - Shreveport, LA - Friend   February 17, 2010

Thinking of you all.. our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Posted by Richard & Donna Pumphrey - El Dorado, AR - Cousin   February 17, 2010

Jerry and Pat
I am sorry for your loss. Your brother was a real music legend. I remember like it was yesterday when you brought him by our office and introduced him. I loved his music. Every one that can think back to the 1950's remember and loved his music. I was surprised when you told me about your musicial background, I know he will missed by all his family and friends. He and all of the Hawkins family are loved by a bunch of people for many reasons. My Prayers are with you and Pat, may God give you comfort and peace Thank you Jerry for all you and Pat have done for our family. James Bass

Posted by James Bass - Shreveport, LA - Friend business associate   February 17, 2010

Tu will be missed Mr. Hawkins

Posted by William and Marilyn Mercer - Carthage, TX - Friend   February 16, 2010

We are sorry for your loss. Some of our very best friends in Homer are Barbara and Perry Booth, an Aunt and Uncle of Dale Hawkins'. We have known the Booths for many years beginning in El Dorado, Arkansas. And "Suzy-Q" is definitely a favorite of ours from years gone by.

Posted by Gurvis and Shirley Vines - Homer, LA - Friends of Family Members   February 16, 2010

Our industry has lost a legend. My prayers go out to the family.

Posted by Rusty Bethley - Covington, LA - Musician   February 16, 2010

Dale Hawkins should have been elected to the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in the first or second year. His style influenced generations of musicians from Buddy Holly to Elvis Presley to B.B. King. He never received the recognition he rightfully deserved. I had had the good fortune of appearing in concert with him many times in recent years. He was a showman and a professional in every way. La Do Da Da is a classic. He will truly be missed. Maybe now his star will shine with the radiance and spendor of the Rock and Roll Legends. I love you Dale. I will miss you. I will treasure your friendship for the rest of my life. Now you can play the Lord some real Rock-A-Billy music!

Posted by Dennis Chandler - Solon, OH - Musicial Director and friend   February 15, 2010

Mike and I are so sorry for your loss. We have been freinds of Jeff's for along time. I visited Mr. Hawkins on Thanksgiving and am so grateful for that visit. We've always thought so highly of him. He was always so good to us no matter what was going on. We will keep all of you in ours prayers and Mr Hawkins will always be in our hearts.

Posted by Patti Steinmetz - NLR, AR - friend of Jeff's   February 15, 2010

Dear family & friends,

It is with great sorrow I send this to you at this time. Dale and I are old friends. We met a long time ago when we both worked at ABNAK records. He was a hero of mine long before the ABNAK years. Susie Q and that classic guitar intro and solo really inspired me to be a lead guitar player. I had the honor and pleasure to play with Dale at The NOKIA theater about a year ago, here in Dallas. He was great, a class act, and what a joy for me to play with the Hawk and play that classic guitar signature lick on Susie Q. I will miss my old friend. God bless him and may the Lord be with you at this time of sorrow.....

With great sadness,
Bobby Rambo
The Five Americans,
Jon & Robin and the In Crowd

Posted by Bobby Rambo - Dallas, TX - Old friend & musician   February 15, 2010


We so enjoyed the times we got to spend with you. You were trully a joy to be with, you warmed our hearts with your smile and laughter. We Love You!! For those left behind, our condolences. Cindy and Mike Hawkins

Posted by Cindy and Mike Hawkins - Uncle   February 15, 2010

So sorry for your loss... We are thinking of you... Love and Prayers, Luke Stroud, Lacy Mitchell and Larry and Wanda Stroud

Posted by The Stroud Family - Cave City, AR   February 15, 2010

Jerry & Pat, Jeff, Jay and families. Sorry to hear about the loss. I am glad he is not hurting anymore. I know he will enjoy being back in the hills of Hawkins Hollow. We will miss him.

Posted by Richard & Susan Hawkins - Sheridan, AR - 2nd cousin   February 15, 2010

Jeff, Jay, Jerry & family. I was saddened to learn of your father / brother's death tonight. Your father had a great love for you. May God bless you and comfort you in your time of greif and the days ahead.
Billie J. Abbott

Posted by Billie J Abbott - Cabot, AR - Friend, PR person   February 15, 2010


So strong! I don't know how you were able to do all that you have done since being diagnosed. Enjoyed the Christmas you & Flo were in Ohio & came out to our house. Suppose someone else will still make you all of those good homemade candies??? Loved the animal emails you sent to me. My favorite song--Summertime Down South. No more pain now, which is a blessing, but you will be missed!

Posted by Becky (Buck)Stockum - Coshocton, OH - Flo's sister   February 15, 2010

I got to introduce Dale on stage at one of the rockabilly festivals in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I will never forget the few moments we chatted backstage before his performance. He was a proud Korean War Veteran. And I'm so lucky I got to meet him.

Posted by ken mottet - chicago - fan   February 15, 2010


We'll miss you Dale.

Posted by Carole and Sheree Homer    February 14, 2010

Dale (our Wildcat Tamer), We can't believe you are gone. You were a true master of music and your friendships with your fans. I'm glad I got to talk to you when you did your interview with Sheree for Keep Rockin' Magazine in Chicago in November. We loved you and your music so much. Hope to see you again someday. We cherish the memories of our special moments spent with you at the festivals. We will truly miss you and will never forget you. Our thoughts are with the family. The rockabilly world lost one of its biggest and brightest stars today. We mourn your loss.

Posted by Carole and Sheree Homer - Kenosha, WI - friends and fans   February 14, 2010


You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Posted by Chavonne and Jim Blair    February 14, 2010