Ronnie Hawkins has been one of the staples of Canadian rock and roll throughout the past 4 decades. After his first group “The Hawks”, which was formed in Arkansas in the mid-1950s. After the group split Hawkins relocated to Canada where he reformed a group with Levon Helm (later replaced by Mickey Jones) Robbie Robertson (guitar), Rick Danko (bass/vocals), Richard Manuel (piano/vocals), and Garth Hudson (organist).
This new band, also called The Hawks, was hired in 1965 by none other than Bob Dylan to be his backing band. The group hit it off and in 1966 the combination became known as “The Band”. The Band met in a pink house in Woodstock, New York and proceeded to jam and produce a number of experimental tracks before releasing their debut album, Music From Big Pink, in 1968.
The Band released a number of moderately popular albums before finally splitting up in 1977. Their 1976 farewell concert read like a rock’n’roll Hall of Fame gathering. Onstage friends included Joni Mitchell, Neil Diamond, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton and Muddy Waters.
Recently, some of the group’s members teamed up in 1993 to record and release and album Jericho, which met decent reviews. The Band followed with High on the Hog in 1996, and continue to remain popular.