Monday Morning Blues : Ted Hawkins

October 29, 2007 by · 4 Comments
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Today for the Monday Morning Blues a taste of the worn and weary soulful voice of Ted Hawkins. A voice that really conveys the emotions of life’s highs and lows like few others.

from Wiki
Ted Hawkins was an American singer/songwriter, born in Biloxi, Mississippi in 1936 and died in 1995.
Hawkins was an enigmatic figure through most of his career; he split his time between his adopted hometown of Venice Beach, California where he was a mostly-anonymous street performer, and Europe, where he and his songs were better-known and well-received in clubs and small concert halls.
Born into a poor family in Mississippi, Hawkins lived a difficult early life, ending up at a reform school by age 12, and drifting, hitching, and stealing his way across the country for the next dozen years, earning several stays in prison including a 3-year stint for stealing a leather jacket as a teenager. Along the way, he picked up a love of music and a talent for the guitar. “I was sent to a school for bad boys called Oakley Training School in 1949,” from a brief piece of autobiography he wrote. “There I developed my voice by singing with a group that the superintendent’s wife had got together.” After reform school, he ended up in the state penitentiary and was released at 19. “Then I heard a singer whose name was Sam Cooke. His voice did something to me.” For the next ten years or so he drifted in and out of trouble around the country, living in Chicago, Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Newark. In the middle of the mid-1960s folk music boom Hawkins set out for California to try for a professional singing career. He recorded several tunes without commercial success, worked at odd jobs, and took up busking along the piers and storefronts of Venice Beach as a way to supplement his income. Hawkins made ends meet by developing a small following of locals and tourists who would come to hear this southern black man, sitting on an overturned milk-crate, play blues and folk standards as well as a few original tunes in his signature open guitar tuning and raspy vocal style (Hawkins claimed the rasp in his voice came from the damage done by years of singing in the sand and spray of the boardwalk).

MP3: Ted Hawkins – Strange Conversation
Buy The Next Hundred Years
MP3: Ted Hawkins – Happy Hour
Buy Happy Hour
MP3: Ted Hawkins – Cold & Bitter Tears
Buy Happy Hour
MP3: Ted Hawkins – Watch Your Step
Buy Watch Your Step
MP3: Ted Hawkins – I Gave Up All I Had
Buy Watch Your Step
MP3: Ted Hawkins – As Long As I Can See The Light
Buy The Next Hundred Years

[Photo Marc Marnie]