A little while ago, I was invited out to attend the Edwin Hawkins Memorial Concert in Washington, DC. If you don’t know who that is I am sure you know his music. Ever heard of the song, “Oh Happy Day” from the movie “Sister Act”?
Well, that was Edwin Hawkins who first wrote and recorded that song back in the 70s I believe. Nonetheless, there were tons of other singers in the area and abroad who came to honor the legend. Of note was DC Gospel Music royalty, Richard Smallwood. You may know Richard from the song “Total Praise.”
Edwin was a mentor and friend of Richard’s. Richard mentioned that Ediwin inspired him to use chords that were not readily accepted by churches back in the 70s and 80s. They didn’t want those jazz chords or secular chords being played. Nonetheless, we have all types of genres of Gospel music.
So, I pause and thanks the giants like Edwin Hawkins (and others) who blazed a trail to allow us to worship using multiple modes of expression, sound, volume, movement, etc.
Here is another clip of a song that I grew up hearing.