zaterdag 20 april 2013

Happy Day (1913) / Oh Happy Day (1967)

"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 in the US and No. 2 in the UK pop charts.
In Germany and The Netherlands " Oh Happy Day"  topped the charts for 2 weeks.
It has since become a gospel music standard.

Edwin Hawkins’ funk style arrangement of the hymn "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, and was commonly used for baptismal or confirmation ceremonies in the UK and USA.

The Doddridge/Rimbault song was first recorded by the Trinity Choir
Trinity Choir consisted of the following singers:
Olive Kline (vocalist: soprano vocal)
Marguerite Dunlap (vocalist: contralto)
Harry MacDonough (vocalist: tenor vocal)
Reinald Werrenrath (vocalist: baritone vocal)

Happy Day - Trinity Choir
Label: Victor 17499
Matrix B-13601.
Recorded July17, 1913 (Camden, New Jersey)

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Listen here:

A song which suggests that we can be happy when we do what Jesus tells us to do that we might have salvation from sin is "O Happy Day" (#428 in "Hymns for Worship Revised", and #592 in "Sacred Selections for the Church").

The text was written by Philip Doddridge (1702-1751). His hymns were produced in the 1730′s and 1740′s, with perhaps a few around 1750, but very few were published during his lifetime, having been circulated only in manuscript. However, in 1755, four years after his death, a collection of them was made and printed by his friend Job Orton, and "O Happy Day," under the heading "Rejoicing in our Covenant engagements to God (2 Chron. 15:15)," was first included in it.

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The refrain ("Oh Happy Day, Oh Happy Day, when Jesus washed my sins away! He taught me how to watch and pray, and live rejoicing every day".)  which was not part of Doddridge's hymn above here, but was added later in 1854, seems to have been adapted from a secular song, "Happy Land, Whate'er My Fate In Life May Be," that was either written or arranged by Rimbault.

Edward Francis Rimbault was born in London, England, on June 13, 1816. After studying first with his organist and composer father Stephen Francis Rimbault, he was a student of Samuel S. Wesley and William Crotch, becoming a noted organist in London. A highly respected music scholar, he was editor of the Motet Society and founded the Musical Antiquarian Society in 1840. Universities at Harvard, Stockholm, and Gottingen all awarded Rimbault honorary doctorate degrees, and he became a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1842.

This music first appeared in The Wesleyan Sacred Harp published at Boston, MA, in 1854 by William McDonald. There it was set to "Jesus, My All To Heaven Has Gone" by John Cennick, with Doddridge’s text given as an alternate. (Second Hymn)

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The 20th century saw its adaptation from 3/4 to 4/4 time and this new arrangement by Edwin Hawkins, which contains only the repeated Rimbault refrain ("Oh Happy Day, Oh Happy Day, when Jesus washed my sins away! He taught me how to watch and pray, and live rejoicing every day").
All of the original verses being omitted.

The Edwin Hawkins Singers began as The Northern California State Youth Choir of the Church of God in Christ, Inc. and was founded in 1967 by Hawkins and Betty Watson. Members were aged 17–25. As was common in gospel circles they produced and distributed their own LP: " Let Us Go Into the House of the Lord" , recorded live in church.
"Oh, Happy Day", featuring Dorothy Morrison as lead vocalist, was picked up by a local DJ, KSAN's Bob Mcclay, and subsequently released commercially. Aretha Franklin had already brought strong gospel stylings to the pop charts with songs such as "Think" (1968), but a hymn had never “crossed over” before. "Oh Happy Day" soared into the US Top 5, winning a Grammy and massive sales worldwide.

Dorothy Combs Morrison - Lead Vocal
Edwin Hawkins - Choir Director, Arranger, Piano
Betty Watson - Co-Director, Soprano
Choir Members - Walter Hawkins, Tramaine Hawkins, Elaine Kelly, Margarette Branch, Rueben Franklin, Donald Cashmere, Ruth Lyons and 40 others.
Drums, bass and percussion - unconfirmed
Produced by La Mont Bench.
Recorded live 1967, Ephesian Church of God in Christ, Berkeley, California.
Independently released on the LP "Let us go into the house of the Lord" (1968) (Century Records 31016)

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Listen here to The Northern California State Youth Choir :

"Oh Happy Day" was commercially released as a 7" single on Pavilion Records April 1969.
On the label it says here: The Edwin Hawkins Singers (formerly Northern California State Youth Choir).

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Other versions
In addition to the Hawkins Singers, the song has been recorded by a number of other artists:

-Jack Jones recorded the song on his 1969 album A Jack Jones Christmas.

-Dee Felice Trio included the song on their 1969 album In Heat.

-Dorothy Morrison also sang it in September 1969 at the Big Sur Festival with Joan Baez.
"Oh Happy Day" – Dorothy Morrison and the Combs Sisters with Baez
  (opens with Baez rehearsing same number with Morrison and in the background Stephen Stills and John Sebastian)

-Glen Campbell recorded the song for a primarily country/MOR audience, reaching the top 40 on three different Billboard charts in 1970.

-Brook Benton 1970 on album "The Gospel Truth"  (Cotillion Label)

-Joan Baez included the song on her 1971 album Carry It On, and later her 1976 live album From Every Stage.

-Brooklyn Christian pop band Sonseed included a version on their 1981 album First Fruit.

-Aretha Franklin included a live recording on her 1987 gospel album One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism in which she sings the song in a duet with Mavis Staples.

-Club Nouveau included the song on their 1992 album A New Beginning. The single charted at No. 45 on the US R&B Chart.

-Ryan Toby at the age of 15, performed the song in the 1993 motion picture Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.

-In 1995, The Sisters of Glory, a gospel group that featured Thelma Houston, CeCe Peniston, Phoebe Snow, Lois Walden, and Albertina Walker, included the composition on their album Good News in Hard Times released on Warner Bros.

-BeBe Winans recorded the song on his 1997 self-titled solo debut album BeBe Winans.

-It is the closing track on the live album Royal Albert Hall October 10, 1997, by Spiritualized.

-Ray Charles live in 2003. This was recorded for a PBS Special entitled: Ray Charles - Gospel Christmas with the Voices of Jubilation.

-Aaron Neville recorded the song for his 2005 album Gospel Roots.

-Queen Latifah & Jubilation Choir perform the song on the 2009 album "Oh Happy Day: An All Star Music Celebration".

-Greg Buchanan recorded an instrumental harp rendition of the song on his album The Lighter Side.

-Elvis Presley recorded the song as well. It appears on Disc 2 of the collection Peace In The Valley: The Complete Gospel Recordings.
And here's Elvis from "That's The Way It Is" (1970) Las Vegas International Hotel

-Skeeter Davis recorded the song ca 1975 during a (re)recording session for K-Tel in Nashville.

-An 8 minute live version by Nina Simone was included in the posthumous release The Definitive Rarities Collection – 50 Classic Cuts.

More cover-versions HERE:

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