Roger passed away on May 20, 2021, at the age of 75. Best known as the drummer for the Muscle Shoals rhythm section, he played on many classic soul hits from the late ’60s to early 70s. What hits, you might ask?
Well, let’s start with one of my favorite grooves of all time – “I’ll Take You There,” sung by the great Mavis Staples. When the drums come in, it takes about 2 beats before the whole track locks into the deepest pocket this side of the Mariana Trench, and it just stays there for over four minutes. It’s almost impossible to keep your body from moving to this beat. Magic.
Or how about Wilson Pickett’s “Land of a Thousand Dances.” At the time he was a 21-year-old white boy from Muscle Shoals Alabama.
Let’s not forget “Respect,” Aretha Franklin’s seminal classic.
Yeah, Roger Hawkins – thank you for all you gave us.
Gone but never forgotten.
Rest in Peace.