The Canadian Squires / Levon and the Hawks

The Canadian Squires evolved from Ronnie Hawkins’ backing band the Hawks. Hawkins and his drummer Levon Helm were from Arkansas, but finding huge success in Ontario, they started recruiting local musicians as original members of the Hawks returned to the U.S.

After leaving Hawkins in 1964, the group toured on their own, usually billed as Levon and the Hawks. Personnel changed periodically, but by the time of this recording, all the members of the group that would go on to become the Band was in place, four of the five from southern Ontario.

Hawkins’ producer at Roulette, the legendary Henry Glover brought them into Bell Studios in New York to record two fine Robbie Robertson originals, “Leave Me Alone” and “Uh Uh Uh”, in the spring of 1965. Glover released these on the Ware label in the U.S., and on Apex in Canada.

In September they recorded two further Robertson originals, the soulful “He Don’t Love You” and “The Stones I Throw” that made it to the Atco label, but all this was overshadowed by their meeting Dylan in late summer of ’65. In late 1968, Atco dug up one further song, “Go Go Liza Jane”, recycling “He Don’t Love You” for the flip.

Thanks to Ivan for the scan of the Apex 45.

45 releases:

Ware 6002: Canadian Squires – Leave Me Alone / Uh Uh Uh (1965)
Apex 76964: Canadian Squires – Leave Me Alone / Uh Uh Uh (1965)
Atco 6383: Levon and the Hawks – He Don’t Love You / The Stones I Throw (1965)
Atco 6625: Levon and the Hawks – He Don’t Love You / Go Go Liza Jane (1968)

13 thoughts on “The Canadian Squires / Levon and the Hawks”

  1. Does anyone remember Dennis DeCaire, went by Deke. He was an early drummer for Hawkins. He is my cousin. Also wasn’t there a guy called “Johnny Stockfish” that died. I’m talking approx. 40 yrs. ago. Robbie Robertson was in the band at the time.

    1. yeah i knew “deke” very well ….bob eddy was the bass player mike brouf was the sax player they started with jimmy lee and the countdowns

      1. For Alex Couttie: Got back on this site and was surprised to see your reply. I have lost contact with my cousin “Deke” and have no idea where he is. I have tried many options but no luck. Cher

      2. I do remember the circle over the bass drum with the Countdowns on it. I’m sure we are talking about the same people. My cousin Deke looked a bit like Elvis Presley from what I remember.

  2. Another interesting band that preceeded all of this is The Rockin’ Revols, out of Stratford, Ontario. Future Hawks/Squires/Band member Richard Manuel was the lead singer, and the Kenny Kalmusky, later of Ian and Sylvia fame, was the bassist. I’m not clear on if/ what they recorded but could probably find out easily enough.

  3. Leave Me Alone:

    Awesome song, thanks for putting this up been looking for it forever. The Sadies from Toronto do a killer version of it too on their Vol.1 Live album.

    1. I can’t believe how I got on this page. For some reason I can’t download Garage Hangover anymore but this popped up while checking out some more Ronnie Hawkins info. johnnyb…were you from the Toronto area?

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