Susie Q (song)

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"Susie Q"
Single by Dale Hawkins
B-side"Don't Treat Me This Way"
ReleasedMay 1957 (1957-05)[1]
Format7-inch 45 RPM
StudioKWKH Radio, Shreveport, Louisiana[2]
Dale Hawkins singles chronology
"Susie Q"
"Baby Baby"
"Suzie Q"
Single by Creedence Clearwater Revival
from the album Creedence Clearwater Revival
A-side"Suzie Q" (Part one)
B-side"Suzie Q" (Part two)
ReleasedJune 15, 1968 (1968-06-15)
Format7-inch 45 RPM
RecordedJanuary 19, 1968
  • 8:37 (album version)
  • 4:33 (part one)
  • 3:48 (part two)
Producer(s)Saul Zaentz
Creedence Clearwater Revival singles chronology
"Suzie Q"
"I Put a Spell on You"

"Susie Q" is a song by musician Dale Hawkins[3] 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.[4]

Original version[edit]

Hawkins cut "Susie Q" at the KWKH Radio station in Shreveport, Louisiana.[2] "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.[5]

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.[1][6] The single peaked at numbers 7 and 27 on Billboard magazine's Hot R&B Sides[2] and Hot 100 charts, respectively.[7]

Hawkins' original version is also included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll"[8] 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).[9]

Cover versions[edit]

The Rolling Stones[edit]

There is a short cover of "Susie Q" by The Rolling Stones on their US album 12 x 5, which was released in 1964. It also appears on the UK album The Rolling Stones No. 2 released in January 1965.

Johnny Rivers[edit]

Johnny Rivers featured a four-minute version of "Suzie Q" on his live 1965 album Meanwhile Back at the Whisky à Go Go.

Bobby Vee[edit]

Bobby Vee included a version of "Susie Q" on his 1961 Liberty album With Strings and Things.[10]

Creedence Clearwater Revival[edit]

Creedence Clearwater Revival released a version on their debut album released in 1968. The band's only Top 40 hit not written by John Fogerty, it peaked at number 11, but made the top ten on others.[11] This song was one of their first big hits.[12] 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 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.[13]

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.[14]

José Feliciano[edit]

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.[15] His version was rearranged and features several different lyrics.[citation needed]

Bobby McFerrin[edit]

In 1988, African 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.


  1. ^ a b "Reviews of New R&B Records". Billboard: 69. May 6, 1957. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c 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.
  3. ^ Nelson, Valerie J. (February 16, 2010). "Dale Hawkins dies at 73; early rock musician wrote 'Susie-Q'". Los Angeles Times. p. AA5.
  4. ^ "Denver Westword - Music - Say That You'll Be True By Marty Jones". 2000-10-12. Retrieved 2009-06-22.
  5. ^ Cad, Saint. "Top 10 Famous Songs With Unknown Originals". Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Dale Hawkins - Billboard Singles". AllMusic. United States. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ 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
  9. ^ "Vinyl Album - Bobby Vee - With Strings And Things - Liberty - USA".
  10. ^ Fong-Torres, Ben (April 5, 1969). "Creedence C'water At the Hop". Rolling Stone (30). p. 9.
  11. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 54 - Hail, Hail, Rock 'n' Roll: Getting back to rock's funky, essential essence. [Part 3]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "American single certifications – Creedence Clearwater Revival – Susie Q". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  14. ^ "José Feliciano - Billboard Singles". AllMusic. Retrieved January 21, 2011.

External links[edit]