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Ted Hawkins (d. 1995) was an American singer and songwriter.
Hawkins was an enigmatic figure through most of his career; he split his time between his adopted hometown of Venice Beach, California where he was a mostly-anonymous street performer, and Europe, where he and his songs were better-known and well-received in clubs and small concert halls.
Born into a poor family in Mississippi, Hawkins lived a difficult early life, ending up at a reform school by age 12, and drifting, hitching, and stealing his way across the country for the next dozen years, earning several stays in prison including a 3-year stint for stealing a leather jacket as a teenager. Along the way, he picked up a love of music and a talent for the guitar; In the middle of the mid-1960s folk music boom Hawkins set out for California to try for a professional singing career. He recorded several tunes without commercial success, worked at odd jobs, and took up busking along the piers and storefronts of Venice Beach as a way to supplement his income. Hawkins made ends meet by developing a small following of locals and tourists who would come to hear this southern black man, sitting on an ...