Friends and Fans of Ronnie Hawkins

By Roy Cost - - January 11, 2005
           Happy birthday to Ronnie Hawkins; thank God he has overcomed his fight with cancer!  He along with Bob Luman, Teddy Riedel, and Joe Stampley were some of  the greatest influences in my musical life.
           I discovered Ronnie Hawkins in '58 at Arkansas State Teachers in Conway, Arkansas. Ronnie use to come to the college and perform periodically. He had the most dynamic style that I had ever heard. It was kindly like a rolling thunder with Levon Helm also an Arkansan at the drums. Back then "Forty Days" was a song which was a must for bands to play at dances. Also "Sick & Tired" was on the band's playsheet here in central Arkansas. My favorite Hawkins songs will always be "Mary Lou". "Bluebirds Over The Mountains" and "Southern Love". Finally his fuzz rocker of "Who Do You Love" gave us a chance to take a champ amp and pre-amp the old concert Fender to do try and do the song justice.
           Ronnie & a band named "The John Tollison" band were favorites of the college until Joe Stampley and the Uniques caught fire and then by 61 my own band "The Shadows" became the band of the college.
           Ronnie did some country but will always be famous in central Arkansas for his rolling thunder style and rowdy antics. Glad he has whipped cancer for now.
           The Hawkins boys, Teddy Riedel, Conway Twitty, John Tollison, Joe Stampley, Charlie Rich, The Pacers, and The Shadows will always be remembered here locally. Sonny Burgess & The Pacers still perform now and then locally. Dale Hawkins runs the "Hawks Nest" recording studio in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Joe Stampley of Nasville works with his son, Tony these days & operates Critter Records. Teddy Riedel, semi-retired tunes pianos but will appear with Jerry Lee Lewis & others in April in Wisconsin. Warren Crow of The Shadows has his own band, "The Classics" & performs in the Little Rock area.
           I still write, record and do my radio show at Roy Cost Radio (
Roy Cost
Conway, Arkansas

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