The Edwin Hawkins Singers

edwin-hawkins-singersFrom: Oakland, CA, USA

Edwin Reuben Hawkins is an American gospel musician, pianist, choir master, composer and arranger. He is considered one of the originators of the urban contemporary gospel sound, and is probably best known for his arrangement of “Oh Happy Day,” which was included on the Songs of the Century list. The Edwin Hawkins Singers would chart for a second time exactly one lear later, this time backing folk singer Melanie on “Lay Down (Candles In The Rain).”

Hawkins was already the keyboardist to accompany the family’s gospel choir at the young age of seven. He and Betty Watson founded the Northern California State Youth Choir of the Church of God in Christ, which included almost fifty members. They recorded the album Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord at the Ephesian Church of God in Christ in Berkley, California on the Century 70 label, with hopes of selling 500 copies. “Oh Happy Day” was one of the album’s eight songs.

“Oh Happy Day” became very popular once radio stations in San Francisco started playing the track. The song featured the lead vocal of Dorothy Comb Morrison and rocketed to sales of over a million copies within two months. The song crossed over to the pop charts making it to #4 in the US, #2 in the UK and Ireland and #1 in Germany. In 1969, “Oh Happy Day” became an international success, selling more than seven million copies worldwide, winning Hawkins his first Grammy.

Artist Info: Wikipedia

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1968 album Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord
let-us-go-into-the-house-of-the-lord

  • Oh Happy Day