The house is connected to The Band! And Herman’s Ribhouse!

Herman Tuck, Jr. is one of the first people to live in our house after its conversion to a five-flat (Apartment 2 of “the January Apartments”) per the 1951 Fayetteville City Directory. (He would have been about 22.)

Who is Herman Tuck? He is the Herman* of Herman’s Ribhouse (at least forty years old per its website, although I think it existed when my folks were in school here 45+ years ago, here’s a 1998 review) and he played drums with Ronnie “Hawk” Hawkins and the Hawks. Hawkins** in turn was associated with early versions of The Band*** and is a “household word in Canada.” The Hawks started in about 1956. (Hawkins, age 10, moved to Fayetteville in 1945, and graduated from Fayetteville High in 1952, so all the circumstantial evidence makes it unlikely for Herman to have played with Hawkins in Apartment 2. Or to have started his ribhouse while living there.)

In an oral interview (2002), Hawk had this to say about Herman Tuck:

RH: Everyone wanted Herman Tuck to play in their band. He played in country bands, but his love was swing. He really liked the old swing days, better than anything. Jerry Lee Lewis wanted to hire him. He played with Jerry a couple or three times. Irene [Tuck, his wife] didn’t want him going on the road with us. [Laughs]

 

In 1930, Herman (then a babe in arms) lived with his parents at 514 North College Avenue, and our house is just a step (or twenty) away from that house. Fayetteville is indeed a small town.

* I truly did wonder if he was connected to Herman’s Ribhouse when I saw his name in the city directory, but I didn’t look him up then.

**Ronnie Hawkins was at the University of Arkansas (about 1952) when he first started playing in his band, The Hawks. As his bio puts it:

Over the years, Hawkins gained recognition for recruiting and grooming outstanding Canadian talent. The membership of his band, The Hawks, kept changing as the talent flowed in and out, but the name stayed the same. One edition of The Hawks (with Canadians Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson, Rick Danko, and drummer Levon Helm) moved on to become Bob Dylan’s backup band and later achieved superstardom as The Band. Another incarnation became Janis Joplin’s Full Tilt Boogie Band, and another Robbie Lane and the Disciples. Other famous Hawk alumni include David Clayton Thomas of Blood Sweat and Tears, actor Beverly D’Angelo, musician Lawrence Gowan, and fellow Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees Burton Cummings and David Foster.

*** When we watched The Last Waltz, we realized that Don’s brother is a dead ringer for Van Morrison.

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2 Responses to “The house is connected to The Band! And Herman’s Ribhouse!”

  1. GrandHolly says:

    If Ronnie Hawkins started playing in his band in about 1952, when he was at the University, wouldn’t that be the same time Herman was living in your house? Or was 1952 a typo for 1956?

  2. [...] give me clues about other things that might be interesting.*  (That’s how I found out that Herman Tuck, Jr. was both a restaurateur** and a rock n roller.)  This week, I had a visitor find my blog by [...]

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