Oh Happy Day

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For other uses, see Oh Happy Day (disambiguation).
"Oh Happy Day"
Single by Edwin Hawkins Singers
from the album Let Us Go Into the House of the Lord
B-side "Jesus, Lover of My Soul"
Released 1968 (April 1969, U.S.)
Format LP
Recorded 1967, Ephesian Church of God in Christ, Berkeley, California
Genre Gospel
Length 4:59
Label Pavilion/Buddah
Writer(s) Edwin Hawkins, based on 18th-century hymn
Producer(s) Edwin Hawkins
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Edwin Hawkins Singers singles chronology
"Oh Happy Day"
(1969)
"All God's Children Got Soul"
(1969)

"Oh Happy Day" is a 1967 gospel music arrangement of an 18th-century hymn. Recorded by the Edwin Hawkins Singers, it became an international hit in 1969, reaching No. 4 on the US Singles Chart, No. 1 in France, Germany and the Netherlands and No. 2 on both the UK singles chart and Irish Singles Chart. It has since become a gospel music standard.

The recording is notable for the muted piano, drum and bass backing and the dominant use of the left-hand stereo channel which features the performance of lead singer, Dorothy Combs Morrison. The recording was made at Hawkin's church, the Ephesian Church of God in Christ in Berkeley, California.[1]

Origins[edit]

Edwin Hawkins’ gospel style arrangement of the hymn "Oh, Happy Day" has a long pedigree: It began as a hymn written in the mid-18th century ("O happy day, that fixed my choice") by English clergyman Philip Doddridge (based on Acts 8:35) set to an earlier melody (1704) by J. A. Freylinghausen. By the mid-19th century it had been given a new melody by Edward F. Rimbault, who also added a chorus,[2] and was commonly used for baptismal or confirmation ceremonies in the UK and USA. The 20th century saw its adaptation from 3/4 to 4/4 time and this new arrangement by Hawkins, which contains only the repeated Rimbault refrain, with all of the original verses being omitted.

The B-side of the single was Hawkins' own modern arrangement of "Jesus, Lover of My Soul" originally written by Charles Wesley in 1740.[3][4]

Legacy and influence[edit]

Hawkins' arrangement quickly became a “standard” and has been recorded by hundreds of artists. It was included on the RIAA Songs of the Century list and won Hawkins a Grammy Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance in 1970 (performed by the Edwin Hawkins Singers).[5] He is still active and is now an elder statesman for the Contemporary Gospel style which "Oh Happy Day" helped found.

In live performances and acoustic versions of the Nick Cave song "Deanna" (1988), portions of "Oh Happy Day" are included, revealing the inspiration for Cave's song.[6] George Harrison has stated the song was a primary inspiration in the writing of his 1970 international hit single "My Sweet Lord."[7]

The song has appeared in many movies, beginning with the German film Seventeen and Anxious in 1970, but most notably Whoopi Goldberg's Sister Act 2,[8] with then-17-year-old Ryan Toby singing lead. The song also appears in Big Momma's House,[9] Nutty Professor II: The Klumps,[10] David LaChapelle's 2005 movie Rize,[11] Robin William's 2007 movie License to Wed.,[12] and in 2010 biographical film produced by Walt Disney Pictures: Secretariat.

A version was performed and recorded by Spiritualized on their 1998 live album Royal Albert Hall October 10 1997.

Chart performance[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Independently released on the albumLet us go into the house of the Lord (1968). Commercially released as a 7" single on Pavilion Records April 1969, then on the Buddah Records album Oh Happy Day in 1969

Awards[edit]

Other versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ P. Doddridge and E. F. Rimbault, "Happy Day", in Joseph Flintoft Berry and Charles H. Gabriel (1914), edd., Hymns of the Heart, New York: Methodist Book Concern, Hymn 134.
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ [3]
  5. ^ Hawkins Grammy Award 1970, Washington Post.
  6. ^ Acoustic Version Video on YouTube
  7. ^ DeMain, Bill. "George Harrison’s 'My Sweet Lord' Copyright Case". Performing Songwriter. Retrieved 2013-01-30.
  8. ^ Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit, IMDB Soundtrack Track Listing.
  9. ^ Big Momma's House, IMDB Soundtrack Track Listing.
  10. ^ Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, IMDB Soundtrack Track Listing.
  11. ^ IMDB Rize Soundtrack Track Listing.
  12. ^ IMDB License to Wed Soundtrack Track Listing.
  13. ^ http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/films-videos-sound-recordings/rpm/Pages/image.aspx?Image=nlc008388.6150&URLjpg=http%3a%2f%2fwww.collectionscanada.gc.ca%2fobj%2f028020%2ff4%2fnlc008388.6150.gif&Ecopy=nlc008388.6150
  14. ^ http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/films-videos-sound-recordings/rpm/Pages/image.aspx?Image=nlc008388.6159&URLjpg=http%3a%2f%2fwww.collectionscanada.gc.ca%2fobj%2f028020%2ff4%2fnlc008388.6159.gif&Ecopy=nlc008388.6159
  15. ^ http://www.flavourofnz.co.nz/index.php?qpageID=search%20listener&qartistid=1236#n_view_location
  16. ^ [Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–2002]
  17. ^ http://rateyourmusic.com/list/goldwax317/1969__the_top_100_soul_randb_singles/
  18. ^ http://50.6.195.142/archives/60s_files/19690607.html
  19. ^ http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm/028020-119.01-e.php?brws_s=1&file_num=nlc008388.6104&type=1&interval=24&PHPSESSID=mhe12pta2k83e08udtq66ot062
  20. ^ http://www.uk-charts.top-source.info/top-100-1969.shtml
  21. ^ http://www.musicoutfitters.com/topsongs/1969.htm
  22. ^ http://rateyourmusic.com/list/goldwax317/1969__the_top_100_soul_randb_singles/
  23. ^ http://50.6.195.142/archives/60s_files/19690607.html
  24. ^ Enzo Giannelli. "Domodossola". Gino Castaldo (ed.). Dizionario della canzone italiana. Curcio Editore, 1990.
  25. ^ Eddy Anselmi. "I Domodossola". Festival di Sanremo: almanacco illustrato della canzone italiana. Panini Comics, 2009. ISBN 8863462291. 

External links[edit]