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When Sunday ComesGospel Music in the Soul and Hip-Hop Eras$
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Claudrena N. Harold

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043574

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043574.001.0001

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A Wonderful Change

A Wonderful Change

Walter Hawkins and the Love Alive Explosion

(p.88) Chapter 4 A Wonderful Change
When Sunday Comes

Claudrena N. Harold

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explores the musical career of Walter Hawkins and the many ways he enriched the gospel sound during the 1970s and 1980s. It details how Hawkins created a body of work that remains central to the black liturgical experience. The chapter situates Hawkins’s early musical development within the cultural politics of black Oakland before detailing how the smash hit “Oh Happy Day” catapulted his family into the national spotlight. The focus then shifts to his Love Alive album series, as well as his production work for his ex-wife, Tramaine Hawkins. Through an analysis of Hawkins’s music and the outreach work of his church, the Love Center, this chapter also highlights how the minister confronted a variety of social problems, including the AIDS epidemic.

Keywords:   Walter Hawkins, Oakland, “Oh Happy Day”, Love Alive series, Love Center, AIDS, Tramaine Hawkins

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