Walkin' Talkin' Bill Hawkins:
Searching For My Father's Voice
Produced by The Kitchen Sisters, Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva
with Ellen Sebastian Chang
Mixed by Jim McKee at Earwax Productions
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See more photos from the Walkin' Talkin' Bill Hawkins story.
Read a listing of credits & acknowledgements for this very special story.
More on black radio with historians Dr. William Barlow and Dr. Rick Wright.
In 1948 Bill Hawkins, a former Pullman Porter, became Cleveland's first
black disc jockey introducing rhythm & blues, gospel, jazz and a new rhymin'
jive talkin' style to the city's airwaves. Broadcasting live from the
window of his record shop on 105th and Cedar, Walkin' Talkin' Bill Hawkins
became a local celebrity.
Walkin' Talkin' Bill Hawkins, WHK, 1949
Photo Courtesy of The Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, OH
Over the next decade, Hawkins was heard on WJS, WHK, WDOK and
WSRS --- sometimes all in the same day. He was widely imitated and influenced
a generation of DJs---including Cleveland's rock & roll "Moondog" Alan
Freed. Yet today there are no known recordings of the man who first put dip
in Cleveland's hip. His story was fading until William Allen Taylor went
looking for the father he never knew.
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Copyright © 1999 The Kitchen Sisters