Susie Q (song)
|Single by Dale Hawkins|
|B-side||"Don't Treat Me This Way"|
|Studio||KWKH Radio, Shreveport, Louisiana|
|Dale Hawkins singles chronology|
|Single by Creedence Clearwater Revival|
|from the album Creedence Clearwater Revival|
|A-side||"Suzie Q" (Part one)|
|B-side||"Suzie Q" (Part two)|
|Released||June 15, 1968|
|Recorded||January 19, 1968|
|Creedence Clearwater Revival singles chronology|
"Susie Q" is a song by musician Dale Hawkins recorded late in the rockabilly era in 1957. He wrote it with bandmate Robert Chaisson, but when released, Stan Lewis, the owner of Jewel/Paula Records and whose daughter Susan was the inspiration for the song, and Eleanor Broadwater, the wife of Nashville DJ Gene Nobles, were credited as co-writers to give them shares of the royalties.
Hawkins cut "Susie Q" at the KWKH Radio station in Shreveport, Louisiana. "Susie Q" was a late rockabilly song which captured the spirit of Louisiana and featured guitar work by James Burton, who also worked with Ricky Nelson and later with Elvis Presley, among others.
Sometime after the recording, the master tape of "Susie Q" was sold to Checker Records in Chicago, which released it as a 45 RPM single in May 1957. The single peaked at numbers 7 and 27 on Billboard magazine's Hot R&B Sides and Hot 100 charts, respectively.
Hawkins' original version is also included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll" and in Robert Christgau's "Basic Record Library" of 1950s and 1960s recordings, published in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981).
Ronnie Hawkins, Dale's cousin, released a version of the song in the early 60's with the Hawks, later known as The Band, backing him. King Curtis also played tenor saxophone on the record.
The Rolling Stones
The Trashmen played a live cover of "Susie Q" in 1965 released on the album "Teen Trot: Live At Ellsworth, WI - August 22, 1965". Their vocalist mistakenly attributed the song to The Rolling Stones during stage banter after playing the song.
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Creedence Clearwater Revival released a version on their debut album in 1968. The band's only Top 40 hit not written by John Fogerty, it peaked at number 11 for one week in November 1968. This song was their first big hit. The album version clocks in at 8:37. The single is split into parts one and two on its A and B sides, respectively. The jam session during the coda is omitted in part one. Instead, it fades out with the guitar solo right before the coda, which fades in with part two on the B-side. Fogerty plays the main riff from "Smokestack Lightning" after the second verse.
Fogerty told Rolling Stone magazine in 1993 that he recorded "Suzie Q" to get the song played on KMPX, a funky progressive-rock radio station in San Francisco, which is why it was extended to eight minutes.
The CCR version of the song was first certified Gold by the RIAA on December 13, 1990 for half a million copies shipped, and Platinum on May 10, 2019 for a million copies in sales and streams.
In 1970, Puerto Rican musician José Feliciano released his version of "Susie Q" as a single which reached number 84 on the Billboard Hot 100. His version was rearranged and features several different lyrics.
The Everly Brothers
In 1988, American singer Bobby McFerrin published an all vocal-version of "Susie Q" on his breakthrough album Simple Pleasures. He re-composed all instrumental parts into backing vocals, all sung by himself, and also sang the main part.
American singer-songwriter Suzi Quatro released two different versions of the song on the albums Oh Suzi and Unreleased Emotion.
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- Whitburn, Joel (2006). The Billboard Book of Top 40 R&B and Hip-Hop Hits. United States: Record Research/Billboard. p. 236. ISBN 0-8230-8283-0.
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- Millar, Bill (1990). "Rockabilly: Was This the Purest Style in Rock?". In Ashley Brown (ed.). The Marshall Cavendish Illustrated History of Popular Music. Volume. 1 (Reference ed.). Freeport, New York: Marshall Cavendish. p. 102. ISBN 1-85435-016-1.
- Cad, Saint (31 July 2012). "Top 10 Famous Songs With Unknown Originals". listverse.com. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
- "Dale Hawkins - Billboard Singles". United States: AllMusic. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
- "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll by Song (Q-S)". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on September 11, 2007.
- Christgau, Robert (1981). "A Basic Record Library: The Fifties and Sixties". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 0899190251. Retrieved March 16, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
- "Vinyl Album - Bobby Vee - With Strings And Things - Liberty - USA". 45worlds.com.
- Fong-Torres, Ben (April 5, 1969). "Creedence C'water At the Hop". Rolling Stone (30): 9. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
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- Goldberg, Michael (1993). Jann S. Wenner (ed.). "Fortunate Son: John Fogerty - The 1993 Rolling Stone Interview". Rolling Stone. United States: Jann S. Wenner. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
- "American single certifications – Creedence Clearwater Revival – Susie Q". Recording Industry Association of America.
- "José Feliciano - Billboard Singles". AllMusic. Retrieved January 21, 2011.