Roger Hawkins (drummer)

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Roger Hawkins
Birth nameRoger G. Hawkins
Born (1945-10-16) October 16, 1945 (age 74)
Mishawaka, Indiana
United States
GenresSoul, Rock
Occupation(s)Session musician
InstrumentsDrums, percussion
Associated actsMuscle Shoals Rhythm Section

Roger Hawkins (born October 16, 1945) is 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)[1] of Alabama.


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, [2]

Top 40 US Hits[edit]

Artist Song title US charts highest charting date Miscellaneous
Percy Sledge When a Man Loves a Woman #1 April 30, 1966
Wilson Pickett Land of a 1000 Dances #6 August 13, 1966
James & Bobby Purify I'm Your Puppet #6 October 22, 1966
Wilson Pickett Mustang Sally #22 December 10, 1966
Etta James Tell Mama #23 December 30, 1967
Aretha Franklin I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) #9 March 18, 1967
Aretha Franklin Respect #1 May 6, 1967
Aretha Franklin Chain of Fools #2 December 16, 1967
Aretha Franklin Since You've Been Gone #5 March 2, 1968
Percy Sledge Take Time to Know Her #11 April 6, 1968
Aretha Franklin[3] Think #7 May 25, 1968
Clarence Carter Slip Away #6 August 17, 1968
Wilson Pickett Hey Jude #23 January 4, 1969 Duane Allman, guitar
R.B. Greaves Take a Letter Maria #2 October 25, 1969
The Staple Singers Heavy Makes You Happy #27 March 20, 1971
The Staple Singers Respect Yourself #12 November 13, 1971
The Staple Singers I'll Take You There #1 April 15, 1972
Mel & Tim Starting All Over Again #19 September 16, 1972
Paul Simon Kodachrome #2 June 2, 1973
Paul Simon Loves Me Like a Rock #2 August 18, 1973 vocals by the Dixie Hummingbirds
Bob Seger Mainstreet #24 May 4, 1977 Silver Bullet Band
Bob Seger We've Got Tonight #13 November 25, 1978 Silver Bullet Band
Bob Seger Old Time Rock & Roll #28 May 5, 1979 Silver Bullet Band


With Wilson Pickett

With Peabo Bryson

  • Peabo (Bullet Records, 1976)

With Levon Helm

With Patti Austin

  • Body Language (CTI Records, 1980)
  • In My Life (CTI Records, 1983)

With Kim Carnes

With Loleatta Holloway

With Linda Ronstadt

With Laura Nyro

With Dee Dee Bridgewater

With Etta James

With Solomon Burke

  • Proud Mary (Ola, 1969)

With Tony Joe White

With Helen Reddy

With Aretha Franklin

With Leon Russell

With Cher

With Ronnie Hawkins

  • Ronnie Hawkins (Cotillion Records, 1970)

With Glenn Frey

With Rod Stewart

With Bob Seger

With Candi Staton

  • Candi (Warner Bros. Records, 1974)

With Jimmy Buffett

With Albert King

With Paul Simon

With Joan Baez

With Paul Anka

  • Feelings (United Artists Records, 1975)

With Beth Nielsen Chapman

  • Hearing It First (Capitol Records, 1980)

With Cat Stevens

With Steve Cropper

  • Night After Night (MCA Records, 1982)

With William Bell

  • Wow... (Stax Records, 1971)
  • Phases of Reality (Stax Records, 1972)

With Boz Scaggs

With Ry Cooder

With Dan Penn

  • Nobody's Fool (Bell Records, 1973)
  • Do Right Man (Sire Records, 1994)
  • Blue Nite Lounge (Dandy Records, 2000)
  • Something About the Night (Dandy Records, 2016)

With Julian Lennon

With Art Garfunkel

With Wendy Waldman

  • Gypsy Symphony (Warner Bros. Records, 1974)

With Shirley Brown

  • Joy & Pain (Malaco Records, 1993)

With Johnny Rivers

  • The Road (Atlantic Records, 1974)
  • Borrowed Time (RSO Records, 1980)

With Eric Clapton

With J. J. Cale

With Joe Cocker

With Lulu

With José Feliciano

  • Sweet Soul Music (Private Stock Records, 1976)


  • Weinberg, Max (2004). The Big Beat: Conversations with Rock's Greatest Drummers. Hudson Music. pp. 44–59. ISBN 978-0634082757.
  • Whitburn, Joel (1992). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. Billboard Books. ISBN 978-0823082803.
  • Muscle Shoals Sound (liner notes). Various Artists. Rhino Records. 1993. R2-71517.CS1 maint: others (link)
  • The Exciting Wilson Pickett (liner notes). Wilson Pickett. Atlantic Records. 2002.CS1 maint: others (link)
  • Greatest Hits (liner notes). Bob Seger. Capitol Records. 1994.CS1 maint: others (link)


  1. ^ "Roger Hawkins: The Pulse of Muscle Shoals | Modern Drummer Magazine". Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  2. ^ Weinberg, Max (2004). The Big Beat: Conversations with Rock's Greatest Drummers. Hudson Music. p. 58. ISBN 978-0634082757.
  3. ^ Queen of Soul: The Atlantic Recordings (box set liner notes). Aretha Franklin. Atlantic Records. 1992.CS1 maint: others (link)

External links[edit]