“He didn’t like his nickname,” Koester said. “It gave the impression that he played only upbeat music.”
Dawkins performed a style of music known as the West Side Chicago blues — a mellower sound that reflected his Mississippi roots, instead of the harder-edged sounds of the city’s South Side.
“His voice was feathery, soft,” Koester said. “He wasn’t a shouter, which is unusual in blues.” He noted blues singers had to shout to be heard in the early days because they didn’t have amplifiers, and the affectation continues.
In addition to performing, Dawkins was a frequent contributor to Living Blues magazine.