Skip to main content

Blues Musician Ted Hawkins.

Ted Hawkins is a singer, a songwriter, and a guitarist who for almost 30 years was a street musician in L.A. His music isn't the blues though he's qualified to sing them: he grew up in poverty in Mississippi, his mother was a prostitute, he never knew his father. As a teenager, Hawkins spent time in jail. His first two marriages ended quickly: one was annulled, his second wife died two months into the marriage. Hawkins music is a blend of country, folk and soul; his songs have been described as cutting through, "the vapid conventions of pop music and offer as raw a slice of reality as you are likely to find." In 1971 he recorded a number of songs for producer Bruce Bromberg. In 1982 they were compiled on a Rounder Record "Watch Your Step." It received a five-star review in "The Rolling Stone Record Guide." That led to two more albums recorded in Nashville and interest from the BBC. He became a star in England where he lived for four years, though he was still virtually unknown in the U.S. Back in the U.S. he went back to street performing and was "discovered" again by a DGC record producer. Hawkins has a new album "The Next Hundred Years," (DGC label).


Other segments from the episode on May 2, 1994

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, May 2, 1994: Interview with Ted Hawkins; Interview with Gloria Steinem; Obituary for John Preston.


Transcript currently not available.

Transcripts are created on a rush deadline, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of Fresh Air interviews and reviews are the audio recordings of each segment.

You May Also like

Did you know you can create a shareable playlist?


Recently on Fresh Air Available to Play on NPR


Remembering Michael Apted, Creator Of The 'Up' Documentary Series

The documentarian, who died Jan. 7, spent decades following the lives of a group of British citizens, updating their stories with a new episode every seven years. Originally broadcast in 2013.


Remembering Neil Sheehan, Vietnam War Correspondent Who Revealed The Pentagon Papers

Sheehan, who died Jan. 7, broke the story of the Pentagon Papers and wrote A Bright Shining Lie, a Pulitzer Prize-winning book about the Vietnam War. Originally broadcast in 1988.

There are more than 22,000 Fresh Air segments.

Let us help you find exactly what you want to hear.


Just play me something
Your Queue

Would you like to make a playlist based on your queue?

Generate & Share View/Edit Your Queue