Roger G. Hawkins (October 16, 1945 – May 20, 2021) was an American drummer best known for playing as part of the studio backing band known as the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as the Swampers)of Alabama. He was also a member of the band “Traffic.”
Hawkins’s drumming can be heard on dozens of hit singles, including tracks by Percy Sledge (“When a Man Loves a Woman”), Aretha Franklin (“Respect”, “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” etc.), Wilson Pickett (“Mustang Sally”, “Land of 1000 Dances”), The Staple Singers, Johnnie Taylor, Cat Stevens, Duane Allman, Joe Cocker, Paul Simon, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Boz Scaggs, Albert King, Traffic, and Willie Nelson. He also recorded with Eric Clapton in the early 80’s.
“Playing with the same guys for so long, well, it’s really hard to impress Barry, David or Jimmy because they’ve heard me do it before. And it’s the same with them. I mean, if Barry plays a hot lick, I don’t congratulate him; he’s supposed to do that. I don’t know what it is, but when the four of us sit down to play, it’s almost like a burden has been lifted from our shoulders. It’s like, “Hey, we’re home.” ~ Roger Hawkins
Hawkins died at age 75 at his home in Sheffield, Alabama. He had suffered from numerous health problems including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Also read a little more detailed bio on Roger at:
Photo description: Barry Beckett – Roger Hawkins – David Hood – Jimmy Johnson
The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section also known as The Swampers were the session band that made Muscle Shoals Sound Studio world famous!