Roger Hawkins grew up in the southern United States. A drummer, he toured at dances and clubs throughout northern Alabama and southern Tennessee. As a young man, he got a gig with the rhythm section at FAME Studio, playing on sessions for Wilson Picket, Aretha Franklin and others.
In 1969, he formed Muscle Shoals Sound Studio with Jimmy Johnson. They asked David Hood and Barry Beckett to join them and they became known as the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. For the next few years, they played on sessions for musicians as diverse as Paul Simon, Willie Nelson, Cher, Leon Russell, the Staples Singers, Sam and Dave, Eddie Rabbitt, Rod Stewart Percy Sledge, Linda Ronstadt, Joe Cocker and others. His session work brought him to the attention of Steve Winwood, who recruited him for Traffic’s tours of Europe and the US starting in 1972. Roger also produced for a number of artists, including Canned Heat.
Roger’s first introduction to Eric Clapton most likely occurred during Aretha Franklin’s Lady Soul sessions on which both played. He was brought into the studio for Eric’s sessions for Money & Cigarettes.
The Muscle Shoals Sound Studio was sold in the early 1990s. Today, Roger continues to produce and play on numerous recording sessions.