|Mickey Hawks, Bip Bop Boom
David Michael Hawks
Mickey was born in Thomasville, North Carolina. A small town about 9 miles south of Winston-Salem. At the age of two the Hawks family moved to High Point where he spent his next 25 years before he finally settled down in Readsville close to the Virginia stateline. His mother played the piano and at 13 years old Mickey picked up the same instrument. He listened to pop and country music on the radio, everything from Louis Armstrong to Ernest Tubb just as long as it had a good beat, trying to progress his own style and become better.
But so in 1956 he heard the ultimate screamer of rock & roll Little Richard and from that point nothing was to be the same anymore. Mickey formed his first own band that same year called the Rhythm Rockers and they played mostly high-schools. The drummer in the band knew Moon Mullins who had a radio show at High Point in 1957 so they got a little spot on his show, and that's how Moon got to hear the group. Moon had a four-piece rockabilly group himself, the only one in the area. Mickey who was much into the music of Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino and Chuck Berry wanted to become a member of Moon's band as he knew they were up and comin' and finally he was accepted.
In 1958 Moon came up with the idea to put out a record and sell it locally to buy uniforms for the band, and Mickey was asked to write a song. "I Iiked 'Be-Bop-A-Lula' and I played it and added Bip Boom and kept Bop". Moon liked it because it was a rockin' and kickin' song. The recording took place in Greensborough in a garage that was converted into a studio owned by a Mr. Robbins. It was released on his label, the Robbins Red label and 500 copies were pressed.
One night when they were playing a dance in Sanford. North Carolina a man by the name of lan Thomas came up to them and said he knew a guy who had a record company in Chicago. They gave him a copy and two weeks later they got a call from Mike Oury who owned the Profile label in Chicago. He was interested to re-release the record on his own label. The group signed a three-year contract with Profile and Mike Oury flew down to buy the master from Mr. Robbins in order to re-mix it and the final result was put out on Profile 4002. The record was well received and became No. 1 on about two Chicago stations and sold about 50.000 copies.
A follow-up was natural and in 1959 the Rhythm Rockers did record 6 more songs at the Universal Record Studios in Chicago. The songs were "Screamin' Mimi Jeanie" written by Mickey Hawks, "Cottonpickin", "Hidi, Hidi, Hidi", "I'm Lost", "Late Date Tonight" and "Down The Road A Piece". Two records were released, Profile 4007 "Hidi Hidi Hidi" with "Cottonpickin" and profile 4010 "I'm Lost" plus "Screamin' Mimi Jeanie" of which "Hidi Hidi Hidi" did okay. No more records by the group were made but they stayed together for about 7 years.
Mickey has never stopped playing his brand of music and he's been to Europe several times. As the wise man once said you ain't heard nothing until you heard the white screamer Mickey Hawks.
Source: Linernotes of Bip Bop Boom (Sunjay SJLP 583, 1989) by Claes-Hakan Olofsson and Bo Berglind (American Music Magazine)
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