Susie Q (song)

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"Susie Q"
Single by Dale Hawkins
B-side "Don't Treat Me This Way"
Released May 1957 (1957-05)[1]
Format 7-inch 45 RPM
Recorded 1957
Studio KWKH Radio, Shreveport, Louisiana[2]
Genre Rockabilly
Length 2:13
Label Checker
Dale Hawkins singles chronology
"Susie Q"
"Baby Baby"

"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]

Cover versions[edit]

Creedence Clearwater Revival[edit]

"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)
Released June 15, 1968 (1968-06-15)
Format 7-inch 45 RPM
Recorded January 19, 1968
  • 8:37 (album version)
  • 4:33 (part one)
  • 3:48 (part two)
Label Fantasy
Producer(s) Saul Zaentz
Creedence Clearwater Revival singles chronology
"Suzie Q"
"I Put a Spell on You"

Creedence Clearwater Revival released a cover 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.[9] This song was one of their first big hits.[10] 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.

John Fogerty stated in a 1993 interview with Rolling Stone magazine that his purpose in recording "Susie Q" was to get the song played on KMPX, a funky progressive-rock radio station in San Francisco, which is why the song was extended to eight minutes in length.[11]

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

The Rolling Stones[edit]

There is also a short cover of "Susie Q" by The Rolling Stones on their album 12 x 5, which was released in 1964.


  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: Rovi Corporation. 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. ^ Fong-Torres, Ben (April 5, 1969). "Creedence C'water At the Hop". Rolling Stone (30). p. 9. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ Michael Goldberg (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. 
  11. ^ "José Feliciano - Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved January 21, 2011. 

External links[edit]