Grammy-nominated Barrington Hills entertainer Ron Hawking wrapped up the 10th anniversary of his iconic show, “The Men and Their Music,” on October 1 at the Apollo Theater in Chicago. Originally debuting in 2007 at Mercury Theater, Hawking’s revue
included a refreshed repertoire of famous numbers from legendary male vocalists and songwriters—including Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Queen, and Van Morrison.
Hawking created “His Way—A Tribune to the Man and His Music” in 1998, which paid tribute to Frank Sinatra and his songbook. “The Men and Their Music” expanded on that repertoire to include modern impersonations from legendary stars such as Willie Nelson, Tom Jones, and Joe Cocker. Here are a few of this hometown vocalist’s lasts.
Performance you will not soon forget? My performance at Carnegie Hall with Patti Page. She was celebrating her 50th year in show business. I was invited to sing to her and act as an emcee to read telegrams from: Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Governor of Tennessee, President Bill Clinton, and the president of Mercury Records. Patti Page was the biggest selling female artist of the 50s.
Amazing vacation you took? St. Maarten with family. We had a blast.
Most decadent meal? Chateau Chevre D’or in Eze, France. It was our honeymoon and it was amazing. The lobster salad was $75. It was so good that I had two.
Piece of advice someone gave you that changed your life? Stay in college. I was going to quit school and enlist in the service. My draft number was 99 and I had just graduated from military school. My college counselor talked me into staying in school.
Impulse decision that you’ll never regret? Producing the “His Way” show. I knew if I didn’t do it, I’d regret it for the rest of my life. The show was a hit and to see my idea come to fruition was extremely gratifying.