(CelebrityAccess) — Roger Hawkins, a drummer who performed with the legendary group of Muscle Shoals studio musicians known as “The Swampers” has died. He was 75.
The Muscle Shoals Sound Studio confirmed his passing in a statement provided to Advance Local, with exective director Debbie Wilson writing: “We are going to miss his funny memes and texts and calls to us at the studio. He had such a great sense of humor and loved to talk about drumming always.”
Hawkins died after an “an extended illness” but addition details about the cause of his death were not disclosed. Hawkins was a longtime sufferer of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
A longtime resident of Muscle Shoals, Hawkins played on many of the seminal R&B classics that came from the studio’s golden era, including Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and “Chain of Fools”; “I’ll Take You There” by The Staple Singers; Wilson Pickett’s “Mustang Sally”; and Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman,” among numerous others.
“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,” Hawkins told Max Weinberg in a 2003 interview.