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Susie Q by Dale Hawkins

Album: Oh Suzy-Q: The Best of Dale HawkinsReleased: 1956
  • This piece of blues-drenched rock 'n' roll with its cowbell-infused rhythm was one of the most influential and original records of its era. It took rockabilly pioneer Dale Hawkins and his bandmates three months to perfect the song on the stages of North Louisiana's notorious Bossier City strip before they paid a local radio station $25 to let them record it in the station's studio during early morning downtime. Hawkins told Mojo journalist Michael Hurtt in 2007: "We just had to have something different." He added: "Radio Station KWKH was the only place in town that had a good mono tape machine, so we cut it there with Bob Sullivan, an engineer who was from our part of the country and understood. We only had an hour because we had to do it in between the time that they would switch radio towers."
  • The swampy six-string guitar lick was courtesy of 15-year-old James Burton, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 as a sideman. Other guitarists who worked at one time or another with Hawkins included Carl Adams, Roy Buchanan and Scotty Moore.
  • Though the song didn't chart, it has sold well over the years and was a favorite of the Rolling Stones, who recorded it on their 1964 12 x 5 album. Creedence Clearwater Revival also launched their career with their version of this southern rock 'n' roll classic.
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