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When the Biggest Music Legend You’ve Never Heard of Decides to Downsize

Arkansas-born "Rompin' Ronnie" Hawkins and Canada adopted each other in 1958. At age 78, he's putting his memorabilia-jammed "$100 house on a million-dollar property" up for sale.

Kathy Shaidle


July 16, 2013 - 8:40 am
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If those walls could only talk.

Except, in their own way, this time they can, and do.

The walls of Rompin’ Ronnie Hawkins’ cottage-country house are decked with awards, gold records and, especially, photos of “the Hawk” himself with the many far more famous rockers he’s collaborated with and mentored for more than a half-century.

Over the years, Hawkins gained recognition for recruiting and grooming outstanding Canadian talent. The membership of his band, The Hawks, kept changing as the talent flowed in and out, but the name stayed the same.

One edition of The Hawks (with Canadians Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson, Rick Danko, and drummer Levon Helm) moved on to become Bob Dylan’s backup band and later achieved superstardom as The Band.

Another incarnation became Janis Joplin’s Full Tilt Boogie Band, and another Robbie Lane and the Disciples. Other famous Hawk alumni include David Clayton Thomas of Blood Sweat and Tears, actor Beverly D’Angelo, musician Lawrence Gowan, and fellow Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees Burton Cummings and David Foster.

He may even have invented the moonwalk.

(Oh, and that’s Levon Helm on drums.)

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Apart from his contribution to music, the Hawk is credited with two of the greatest rock and roll quotes of all time - neither which will ever make it into Bartlett's.

He persuaded Robbie Robertson to join his band by telling him "Well, son, you won't make much money, but you'll get more pussy than Frank Sinatra."

And to another potential band member more interested in the pecuniary rewards than the pussy: "Stick with me, and you'll be farting through silk."
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Who will YOU turn to when Gordon Lightfoot's creepin' 'round your backstairs? -- Homestar Runner
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