William Hawkes known professionally as Billy Hawks (without the 'e'), was an American R&B and jazz organist.
He was born in Richmond, Virginia, and grew up singing, playing piano, and listening to the blues. In 1961 he joined Steve Gibson's Red Caps, and the following year joined the Modern Flamingos. Under the guidance of manager Clifford Doubledee, he formed his own group, the Billy Hawks Organ Trio, in Philadelphia in 1964, with guitarist Maynard Parker and drummer Henry Terrell. The group performed along the East Coast, notably at Atlantic City.
He recorded his first album, The New Genius of the Blues, for Prestige Records in November 1966, with Terrell, and with guitarist Boogaloo Joe Jones replacing Parker