By any measure, the late 60s song “Oh Happy Day” was one of the great Gospel songs of all time, and is arguably the most important crossover song that brought that genre to popular audiences. We are sorry to report that the legendary choir leader who brought that song to the world, Edwin Hawkins, has died at age 74.
Edwin and and his brother, Bishop Walter Hawkins, founded the Edwin Hawkins & Walter Hawkins Music and Arts Love Fellowship Conference, an annual convention that educated attendees on both the music and the ministry of Gospel. It remained a popular annual event for three decades. As Edwin explained on his Facebook page, “In my travels, I‘ve met many talented young folks whose only outlet is in the church. There needed to be ways to help them further develop their skills and abilities to the glory of God, so I decided to help them find themselves in the arts. I felt it incumbent upon me to marshal the finest artists and musicians, who are able to teach this diverse perspective of music and arts, which has resulted in both national and international interest.”
Source: Soul Tracks