Edwin Hawkins, gospel singer, dies at 74

Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day)
Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day)
When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed)
Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed)
When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed)
He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day)
Oh, it’s a happy day (Oh, happy day)


Edwin R. Hawkins passed away this week at the age of 74.  A church organist at the young age of 16, he would spend nearly six decades using the great musical gifts that God had given him.
  • The first video below is a TBN interview of him done in Summer 2010.
  • The last video below is a great rendition of “Oh Happy Day“, a song which The Edwin Hawkins Signers are likely best known for.
  • This tune was popular and had great crossover appeal; in the interview done just a month or so after the passing of his brother, Walter Hawkins, he stated that Oh Happy Day was played first on rock stations (yes rock) which didn’t normally play gospel . . . and it’s appeal spread around the world in 1968-1969 like a wildfire. Gospel, R&B, rock, & country radio stations were playing the song!
  • By the way, the song was a gospel adaptation of a hymn written in 1854 (that is not a typo).

Rest in peace Edwin Reuben Hawkins.


The aforementioned interview (August 2010) with Donnie McClurkin:

A rendition of the song in a popular movie, Sister Act:

A great video of On Happy Day featuring his brother, Walter:


He taught me how (He taught me how)
To watch and fight and pray
Watch and pray.

 

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