Missing my grand baby who I never met – gone too soon…
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
Cuba Gooding, Sr., known to a generation as the lead singer of The Main Ingredient, and to the following generation as the father of an Oscar-winning actor, has died at age 72.
Al Jarreau passed away today, February 12, 2017
Beautiful easy listening, relax, enjoy, think on the words, hope, wish, wonder, be thankful… Good night Al…
Al Jarreau passed away today, February 12, 2017. He will be missed. A few days ago, I was asked to describe Al to someone who knew of his success, but did not know him as a person. I responded with this: His 2nd priority in life was music. There was no 3rd. His 1st priority, far ahead of the other, was healing or comforting anyone in need. Whether it was emotional pain, or physical discomfort, or any other cause of suffering, he needed to put our minds at ease and our hearts at rest. He needed to see a warm, affirming smile where there had not been one before. Song was just his tool for making that happen.
A few things I think he would want mentioned right now: To Al’s wife, son, sister, brothers, and family: You allowed Al to share himself with the world. He was grateful that you gave him that gift. He knew it was difficult, and regretted that more than he could explain. Please know that your gift was to us, too, and that we are also grateful. To everyone who attended his concerts, and listened to his albums: He needed you, and you always were there for him, for more than 50 years. He was thankful for you every day, and did his best to show that to each of you. To his band, and to the many, many talented musicians, writers, composers, and arrangers who played and collaborated with Al over the years: You enabled, supported, and thrilled him. He treasured you, and considered you brilliant. He loved sharing the stage with you, and was honored that you shared it with him. To each promoter, presenter, and producer: Thank you for your faith in him. Your commitment to Al was both essential and endless, and he never took you for granted. To his agents, managers, crew, counselors, publicists, and journalists who supported his work, and also to all of the airline, hotel, venue, and other people who hosted him like royalty: He noticed every bit of the dedication and effort that you unselfishly provided, without limits. And, he appreciated you completely. To young people everywhere, especially the musicians he was grateful to meet at school workshops, musical competitions, residencies, and at concerts: From you, Al asks a favor. Please find any artistic thing that you can do with passion, and do it. With art in your life, you will be a better family member, neighbor, friend, and citizen. Finally, to Al Jarreau: Thank you Al, from all of us. You completed your ministry in a beautiful and gracious way. Godspeed… you’ve earned it.
The Contours were one of the early African-American soul singing groups signed to Motown Records. The group is best known for its classic chart-topping 1962 hit, “Do You Love Me,” a million-selling single that became a major hit all over again in 1988.