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EDWIN HAWKINS DIES....

Tuesday, 16 January 2018 11:13 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altGospel legend EDWIN HAWKINS died on Tuesday 15th January in California. He was 74 and had been suffering from pancreatic cancer for some time. His family announced via social media; "It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Edwin Hawkins –– a celebrated artist, innovator, and music icon. Though he will be greatly missed the world over, the message of love, life, and encouragement that he incorporated into his music gives us all the same hope that we'll join him in heaven and sing 'Oh Happy Day.'"

Edwin Reuben Hawkins was born in Oakland, California in 1943 and as a child sang with his neighbourhood church choir. With Betty Watson, Edwin went on to form the California State Youth Choir of the Church of God in Christ. Then, with the Edwin Hawkins Singers, he released the album 'Let Us Go Into The House of the Lord' which featured the song 'Oh Happy Day'. The song went on to become a worldwide hit. In 1969, 'Oh Happy Day' reached No.4 on the U.S. charts, and No.2 on the U.K. charts and Hawkins was awarded a Grammy for the song. Hawkins himself was surprised by the success: "My mother had an old hymnal and I had a knack for rearranging hymns. 'Oh Happy Day' was an old hymn and I rearranged it. It was actually one of the least likely songs to become a hit. There were some much stronger songs on there."

In the ensuing years Edwin Hawkins became one of the most influential men in Gospel, credited with bringing the music to a wider audience and helping pave the way for what came to be known as "urban gospel". He won the ASCAP Gospel Icon Award and the President's Merit Award, and he was an inductee in the Christian Music Hall of Fame.

It's known that Hawkins had been ill for some time. He's survived by his siblings Carol, Feddie, Daniel, and Lynette.

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SWEET LITTLE LIES….

Sunday, 14 January 2018 20:28 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altLatest offering form DJ Spen's Quantize label is an uplifting ditty by the name of 'Lies'. The tune's been crafted by a top team of SPEN, EARL TUTU and JOHN KHAN while the big vocals come courtesy of ASIA YARWOOD. Between them the gang tick all the boxes that make classy soulful house so irresistible.

As you can imagine the track comes in a plethora of remixes ...we counted at least 7 and not a lot to choose between them. Soul boys, we're guessing though, will opt for the "Groovy Soul" mix – a huge, optimistic anthem to get 2018 off to a flying start... and we're not lying!

Last Updated on Sunday, 14 January 2018 20:34

 

SOUL.... STILL UNCOVERED

Sunday, 14 January 2018 20:26 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altRight through 2017 we kept hearing a lot about Detroit jazz and soul singer KATHY KOSINS. Her breakthrough was the single, 'Could You Be Me' which won plenty of friends via its wonderful Opolopo remix.

The parent album was due last September but now we're firmly and finally promised a February delivery of the set - 'With My Uncovered Soul', named for the key cut 'Uncovered Soul' which we've been treated to already as a single. Right now, though, that single is being re-promoted via a classy and tight "SOULPERSONA Rare Groove" remix. Lazy and languid, it's bob on the current sophisticated modern soul vibe and features a tasty Ernie Isley – esque guitar solo on the run out groove.

Last Updated on Sunday, 14 January 2018 20:34

 

BLAMELESS!

Sunday, 14 January 2018 20:22 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altJO HARMAN is an English singer/songwriter who's currently promoting her latest album – her second set, 'People We Become'. It's a diverse collection – an amalgam of blues-based rock, gospel tinged soul and classic pop. Hear all those ingredients on Ms Harman's latest single 'No One Else To Blame'. The cut is a surging, rock-infused item that underlines why Jo was credited as the third most played artist in 2017 by the Independent Blues Broadcasters Association.

Right now Jo is looking forward to her upcoming support slot on Motown legend Lamont Dozier's June tour of selected venues throughout the UK (full details in our news archive)

Find out more about Jo Harman ad 'No One Else To Blame' @ www.joharman.com

 

DANNY WOODS DIES....

Sunday, 14 January 2018 16:16 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThough few details are available, it seems that long time member of the Chairmen Of The Board, DANNY WOODS died on Friday 12 January. He was 73.

Though he recorded as a solo a singer through the 60s, it was with the Chairmen of The Board that Woods enjoyed greatest success. The group were founded by Holland-Dozier-Holland following their messy break away from Motown and the Chairmen (Danny Woods, General Johnson, Eddie Custis, and Harrison Kennedy) were specifically created by H-D-H to be their new label's flagship artists. Indeed they hit the ground running scoring hits for Invictus with songs like 'Give Me Just A Little More Time', '(You've Got Me) Dangling On A String', 'Pay To The Piper' and 'Everything's Tuesday'.

Since its inception Invictus was mired in legal disputes and with lawsuits flying round the Chairmen's lead singer General Johnson jumped ship, signing a solo deal with Arista. By 1975 the Chairmen Of The Board were no more.

However Johnson's Arista deal turned sour and, disillusioned with the big players in the music biz, he decamped to the Carolinas to work the Beach Music scene. He formed his own label – Surfside- and reformed the Chairmen with Danny Woods and new boy Ken Knox on board. The trio (pictured below) were ever present on the scene and always in demand; so much so that a 2008 documentary movie, 'Under The Radar' tracked their success.

In October 2010 Johnson died and Woods and Knox put the group on hold. However, Woods was soon back working, fronting a new band - The Board Of Directors. Knox worked as a solo artist but also resurrected the Chairmen Of The Board brand alongside Thomas Hunter and Brandon Stevens. That trio released the well-received 'Words Left Unsaid' album last year (see our news archive).

In recent years it was noted that Danny Woods performed less and less as a series of illnesses took their toll.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 14 January 2018 16:23

 

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