Who was/is The Nighthawks ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more

The Nighthawks (Robert Nighthawk)

Until his disciple Earl Hooker came to prominence, it's unlikely any blues slide guitarist developed a cleaner, lighter, more melodic touch than Robert Nighthawk. He started out recording in the pre-war era as Robert Lee McCoy, but that wasn't his real name either. He was born Robert Lee McCollum (or McCullum) in Helena, Arkansas on November 30, 1909.

Robert got started playing guitar late, at approximately 21. His first instrument was harmonica before his cousin, Houston Stackhouse, tutored him on guitar. But he was a fast learner. Bluebird signed him in 1937; he made his recording debut in Aurora, Illinois, on the same May day as Sonny Boy Williamson. By then, he'd changed his handle to McCoy after fleeing the south following a murky shooting incident that compelled him to take up residence in St. Louis.

One of McCoy's songs that day was called Prowling Night-Hawk, the inspiration for his most enduring alias. There were a couple more Bluebird dates and a 1940 Decca session as Peetie's Boy before the war upended recording activities. Nomadic Robert ended up back in Helena for a time, broadcasting his pungent blues over KFFA for Bright Star Flour in direct competition with the second Sonny Boy Williamson's 'King Biscuit Time' program.

Muddy Waters recommended his old friend Robert, who had by this time gone electric, to Leonard Chess. Nighthawk cut for him in late 1948 and again on July 12, 1949, when the day's itinerary included the chilling Black Angel Blues, pianist Ernest Lane and bassist Willie Dixon providing splendidly sparse accompaniment. The song harked back to 1930 and rough-edged classic blues singer Lucille Bogan (though Nighthawk was probably more familiar with fellow slide master Tampa Red’s 1934 version), and in 1956 B.B. King would score a solid R&B hit with it as Sweet Little Angel. Aristocrat—the label Leonard Chess was associated with prior to his own self-named firm—issued it as by The Nighthawks. The other side, Annie Lee Blues, made a chart dent—Robert's only fleeting moment in the national spotlight.

Bill Dahl
Chicago, Illinois


Electric Blues 1939-2005. - The Definitive Collection!

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The Nighthawks: Live In Europe
Art-Nr.: LPCCR1014

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-Live In Europe (1986 Live in Bremen) CrossCut

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The Nighthawks: Your Name Here
Art-Nr.: CDELL1408

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(2014/Eller Soul) 15 tracks. Nighthawks minus Mark! 15 tracks to back you on Blues harp or anything else! Paul Bell - gtr, Johnny Castle - bass, Mark Stutso - drums. Produced by Mark Wenner.

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The Nighthawks: All You Gotta Do (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDER1707029

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(2017Eller Soul) 12 tracks - The latest recording from The Nighthawks, All You Gotta Do, is about as close to perfection as you would want from a blues and American roots band. Of course those terms and descriptions, blues rock, soul blues, roots rock, roots...

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The Nighthawks: Trouble
Art-Nr.: CDRUF1064

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(1991 'Powerhouse') (42:25/12) Selbst mit einem Abstand von zehn Jahren fallen mir zu diesem Album keine lobenden Worte ein. Die Band hatte den Abschied von Jimmy Thackery noch nicht verkraftet. Ersatz Danny Morris müht sich redlich, doch unspektakulär. Das...

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The Nighthawks: Damn Good Time
Art-Nr.: CD056

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This legendary band is still rocking the world with their blend of classic electric blues, rock'n'roll, and barroom blues. - Digipak. MARK WENNER - voc/hca, PAUL BELL - gtr/voc, JOHNNY CASTLE - bass/voc, MARK STUTSO - drums.

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The Nighthawks: 444
Art-Nr.: CDELL1405

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(2014/Ellersoul) 13 tracks.

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The Nighthawks: Times Four
Art-Nr.: CD4130

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(1976-78 'Adelphi') (50:40/12) Special guest: LUTHER 'GUITAR JR.' JOHNSON - gtr/voc.

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The Nighthawks: Still Wild
Art-Nr.: CDRUF1037

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With approx. 6.000 shows played, the Nighthawks are the most experienced barroom band in the US. This record presents their unique mixture of truly original versions of Chicago style blues, classics, vintage rockabilly, plus a shot of soul. Well done, gentlemen!...

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The Nighthawks: American Landscape
Art-Nr.: CDPOW126

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Founded by Mark Wenner 33 years ago, The Nighthawks are still going strong, today. The band still sounds fresh with its unique blend of American blues and roots music. Two new members are adding an extra shot of energy. No original, but 12 hand-icked covers from...

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