Ronnie Hawkins, musician and mentor of The Band, dead at 87

Musician Ronnie Hawkins has died according to a post on The Band's verified Facebook page.

Hawkins, 87, died Sunday according to a post by Robbie Robertson, a member of The Band.

"The story of The Band began with Ronnie Hawkins. He was our mentor. He taught us the rules of the road," the post read.

According to The Band's website, Hawkins was born in Arkansas, but called Canada his home.

He was a member of the group Ronnie Hawkins & The Hawks which rose to fame in the early 1960's.

"Hawkins himself was practically Toronto's answer to Elvis Presley," The Band said on their website.

Roberston said on Facebook, "Ronnie was the godfather. The one who made this all happen.

He had us rehearsing constantly into the wee hours.

We balked about it, but we got better and better. Our goal whether we knew it or not."