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


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.)