Thursday, September 14, 2006

 

Ted Hawkins

A very busy week for me, too much to do at work and not enough time, not enough hands and bosses that understand less and less as they ask for more while paying less! On the positive side I have at last started to catalog my music collection, I've got as far as the digital side and with a bit of luck the CD part will be well underway this week-end. Who knows I may even discover things I had completely forgotten that I owned.
Something on Ted Hawkins was planned for last Monday but............... and so here it is today. Rather a sad story concerning our hero he was born poor in Mississippi, ill treated by adults around him and never got round to learning to read as a child. It was while he was in reform school that inspiration knocked at his door when Professor Longhair visited the school and his sights were set on making music. This project was interrupted when he spent a three year spell in prison from the age of 15. Upon leaving prison he found himself like many others not knowing what to do and so found himself drifting from Chicago to Philadelphia to Buffalo before heading back down south to LA and sunshine in 1966. By the end of the decade he had cut his first single but when he realised that no royalties were coming his way he decided to take to the streets and busk. The 70's and until the mid 80 were very much wilderness years for Hawkins, he had layed down some tracks at the beginning of the 70's that were not to be given a commercial release until 1982, and another album followed in 1986. He was discovered by a young Radio One DJ called Nick Kershaw who persuaded him to move to the UK. It was while based there until 1990 that his mix of soul, folk, gospel, blues and country found a wider audience. He recorded numerous sessions for Kershaw, and it is from these that the following songs are take 'Bring It On Home Daddy' with its warming baritone introduction, 'Happy Hour' and 'Daytime Friend' these last two songs having been influenced by his street life. What I really like about him is the fragility in his voice and his organic approach to strumming his guitar. I guess that by the early 90's he was homesick and decided to try his luck again in the States, but nothing had changed and he soon found himself back on the streets of Venice Beach playing for small change. The real sad part to the story is that finally in 1994 Geffen records released 'The Next 100 Years' which was widely acclaimed in critical circles and the stardom that he deserved was just a touch away when just before the new year rolled in a stroke robbed us of his talents.

Comments:
I've just posted some more Ted Hawkins today - lovely man, really sad story. And one quibble - it's Andy Kershaw. Nick Kershaw was a teenybopper twat in a snood. Andy was, and still is, a pioneering national radio dj.
 
Thanx for the correction it must be my age catching up with me making such silly mistakes. Andy Kershaw was of course the one that worked as a roadie for Billy Bragg but that's another story.
 
Don't suppose you got an mp3 of dear Ted singing "Ladder of Success"?
would be appreciated, muchly.
DjA

email response to
bozpower@yahoo.com.au

Just thought I'd ask.

Thx for the other...
 
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