MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (AP) — Roger Hawkins, the original drummer for the studio band immortalized as “The Swampers” in the rock hit “Sweet Home Alabama,” died Thursday.
Hawkins, who was 75, died after an extended illness, said Ana Hyde, studio and operations manager at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.
Hawkins was the drummer for the legendary Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, also known as “The Swampers.” He was a founder of Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, along with his partners, Jimmy Johnson, David Hood and Barry Beckett.
A Facebook post from the studio paid tribute to Hawkins whom Jerry Wexler called “the greatest drummer of all time”
“We love you Roger. Rest in Peace and watch over us as we are all better for having known you. We will think of you as we listen to your many hits including, “Respect Yourself,” “Mustang Sally,” “When A Man Loves A Woman,” “Chain of Fools,” “I’ll Take You There” and so many more,” the post read.
Roger played on hundreds of hit recordings. His session credits include recordings with Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, Bob Seger, Clarence Carter, The Staples Singers, Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Steve Winwood, Otis Redding, James Brown, Etta James, Levon Helm, Alicia Keys and many more.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggested donations be made to the Muscle Shoals Music Foundation or the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.