EDWIN HAWKINS
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BIOGRAPHY
Nearly 50 years on stage
Edwin Hawkins foto 1 Edwin Hawkins is a musical multi-talent and since 30 years he has a reputation as ideal and reformer of gospel and R&B. But only very few people know, that Edwin Hawkins is now working since nearly 50 years on the big stages of the world.
He started his musical career as a five year old Pianist for the Hawkins Family. When he was seven, he took over full-time playing duties for many years for the Hawkins Family group in the end of the 40's. 1957 he recorded the first album with the Hawkins. 1968 he created with Oh happy day the greatest Gospelhit of all times and in-between the lines of Gospel, R&B and Soul he developed a new musical style, that became well-known in the Gospel-Scene as Contemporary Gospel Music and which is influencing Popmusic even today.

It was unforeseeable, that it came so far. 1967 Edwin Hawkins founded together with Betty Watson the 'Northern California State Youth Choir' and 1968 this group recorded its first album with the title Let us go into the House of the Lord.
It seemed to be a very normal production, recorded live as two-track-recording with 500 copies, like many others at that time. But something was different: this mixture of traditional Gospelmusic sounded so much like R&B - a creation, that was unknown in Gospelmusic and in R&B as well.

On this album, there was one outstanding song, entitled Oh happy day, that attracted attention from broadcasters and retailers alike. It gained further public appeal, when an underground FM station in San Francisco began playing it. The reaction in market and media was explosive! A worldwide promotion-campaign was started, which was very unusual in Gospelmusic at that time. It was like a revolution for Gospelmusic. The title climbed up the Gospel-charts, the R&B-charts and the Pop-charts in many countries world-wide.
More than seven million records were sold and rewarded Edwin Hawkins with the first GRAMMY award of his career and with an evergreen, which is up to date even today.

Edwin Hawkins foto 2 What happened now seems to be like a fairy tale - or an excellent career in the music-business. Performances on the biggest festivals, world-tours again and again, countless TV- and radio-appearances, honors like ten GRAMMY-nominations and four GRAMMY-awards, for instance for the production with the world-famous Oakland Symphony Orchestra and the legendary LP Every man wants to be free.
Something strange happened: even though he did not really play their music, Edwin Hawkins became one symbol for parts of the 68-generation.

Since the early 80s, Edwin Hawkins has shortened his work as live performing artist to have more time for his work as songwriter, producer and promoter of young talents. Only in the USA, Japan and Scandinavia there were appreciable tours within the last 15 years. And exactly since 15 years he is organizing his annual Edwin Hawkins Music & Arts Seminar, which attracts every summer thousands of young talented artists, coming to Florida, Washington, D.C., California to be taught in seminars and to be perhaps discovered by talent-scouts in the big evening-shows.

Totally clear, that the concert scene is still attracting a musician like Edwin Hawkins. For the 1997 European tour, he has invited a long row of excellent musicians and singers. Together with them he has also recorded a CD, Love is the Only Way which contains besides many new titles also a new radio-version of Oh happy day.

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