Tramaine Hawkins’ album entitled, The Search Is Over, released in 1986 is full of fantastic music. I just love the song, How I Got Over, which she covered by The Clara Ward Singers. Clara Ward composed and published the song back in 1951. See the link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_I_Got_Over.
Incidentally, Mahalia Jackson also covered How I Got Over. But Tramaine’s version of How I Got Over was very contemporary for that time, and still is to this very day; and the entire album is still contemporary.
There were movies from the 1970s that featured choirs singing How I Got Over. In fact, there are two movies that come to mind: Which Way Is Up starring Richard Pryor (see the video link: https://youtu.be/HsH1yKkc7j4) and Uptown Saturday Night starring Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby (see the video link: https://youtu.be/GslifVcIzp0.
Additionally, Aretha Franklin covered How I Got Over on her album entitled, Amazing Grace, which is still THE biggest selling live gospel album ever recorded (and is still the highest selling album of her entire career. See the link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazing_Grace_(Aretha_Franklin_album). You can actually see Aretha Franklin singing How I Got Over in the film, Amazing Grace, which was released in movie theaters in 2019. Clara Ward makes an appearance in the film as well.
All three versions of How I Got Over by The Clara Ward Singers, Mahalia Jackson, and Aretha Franklin are included on the Tramaine Hawkins The Search Is Over playlist link at the end of this blog.
I once met a man in the music industry who said his name was Robert Byron Wright. Now, I had never even heard of Robert Byron Wright. I thought to myself, “Who in the world is Robert Byron Wright?” Anyway, he told me that he actually produced, wrote, and arranged music for Tramaine Hawkins. And then I was in amazement. He produced, wrote, and arranged songs In The Morning Time (see link: https://www.discogs.com/Tramaine-In-The-Morning-Time/release/486572), Child Of The King (see link:
https://www.discogs.com/Tramaine-Child-Of-The-King/release/542057), and Fall Down (Spirit Of Love) on The Search Is Over project, which were all released as singles. Fall Down (Spirit Of Love) was a 12” Maxi-Single released in 1985 on vinyl containing 5 different versions of Fall Down (Spirit Of Love). (See link: https://www.discogs.com/Tramaine-Fall-Down-Spirit-Of-Love/master/173417).
My mom purchased this maxi single on vinyl. There was a beautiful, elegant fan on the cover. I remember my mom being so excited when she brought that album home. I was very excited to hear it too. I remember her snatching it out of the plastic bag and running to play it on the turntable in the living room. She sang and danced to that album countless times. Fall Down (Spirit Of Love) was and still is one of my favorite singles of all time.
Unfortunately, Robert Byron Wright died of cancer in 1988. Contrarily, this person in the music industry stated that HE was Robert Byron Wright in the year of 2004. Notwithstanding, Robert Byron Wright had already passed away 16 years prior. So, did Robert Byron Wright rise up from the dead? I don’t think so! Man! If only I had known this information before I let him sign my mother’s Fall Down (Spirit Of Love) single on vinyl.
It sounds funny, and I can chuckle about it now. But back then, I was so enthralled and captivated by this person’s alleged career in the music industry that I just believed whatever he said without any research. I should have checked the internet and did my research back then. It is a good thing that I have since learned to be more careful of whom to believe.
I later found out that Robert Byron Wright was a very successful music producer, songwriter, and arranger for Earth Wind & Fire and for many other artists. Here is the link to view all of Robert Byron Right’s music accomplishments:
Moreover, there are pictures of Robert Byron Wright on the website link below. And I DO KNOW that the pictures on this website WERE NOT of the man I met in 2004. Scroll all the way down on the page of this link until you see Robert Byron Wright’s brief music history:
I really love The Search Is Over album cover. I love the way Tramaine Hawkins is dressed. She looks like an elegant queen with a feathered fan covering one side of her face, and she is wearing a hat with a large, gold broach. The music on this project still sounds very modern and as fresh as it did when it first came out. I remember the music from The Search is Over being played on the radio when I was a young girl living in San Jose, California. The radio station that played The Search Is Over was called KSOL. It was an FM radio station that played gospel music on Sunday mornings. The radio host was Sheila Robinson, and she would play almost all of the songs from this album intermittently on different Sundays.
I remember my mom telling me that people were dancing to the songs from the Fall Down (Spirit Of Love) single in night clubs, which was looked upon by some Christians as sinful. But my mom didn’t think it was sinful, and neither did I! I thought it was so cool! How great was that?! People everywhere need to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. And if people enjoyed the song enough to play it in the night clubs and dance to it, then that was a bonus. Gospel music is to be enjoyed by everyone; especially when the song is about wanting The Holy Spirit to fall down on you.
I can recall people talking about the song, Oh Happy Day. It was released in 1969 and covered by The Edwin Hawkins Singers. Oh Happy Day was played and danced to in the night clubs even way back then, and there were Christians who did not approve. So, what else is new?
With reference to Edwin Hawkins of The Edwin Hawkins Singers, he was Tramaine Hawkins’ brother-in-law. She was married to Edwin’s brother, Walter Hawkins. The entire Hawkins family wrote and sang some of the best gospel music ever!!! Their music will be featured in some of my upcoming blogs.
To further prove my point, The Clara Ward Singers, who were mentioned at the beginning of this blog were internationally known. They also sang in countless night clubs all over the world. They even performed in Las Vegas casinos for many years. Their night club shows were sold out, and everyone always enjoyed the gospel music they presented. According to the book entitled, How I Got Over: Clara Ward and the World-Famous Ward Singers by Willa Ward-Royster, it was stated that the night club patrons placed their glasses (that were designated for alcohol) underneath their tables while The Clara Ward Singers performed. This was because they respected their gospel message so much. And again, there were Christians who negatively responded to their success.
In conclusion, The Search Is Over by Tramaine Hawkins was and still is a phenomenal album. It still has a contemporary, fresh, and futuristic sound. This album is powerful and anointed by The Holy Spirit. So, now without further ado, here is The Search Is Over by Tramaine Hawkins on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2tj8PLFhLqnsyFDYqFPrmk?si=BNwJ0PwdT7q5blCv4sS4gQ
8/1/2020 08:24:43 pm
Thank you for this article. Lady Tramaine is the best, and her album, The Search Is Over is just as impressive today as it was in ‘86! A wonderful, blatant Gospel record that took the Gospel yo every corner of Society! God Bless the Lady Tramaine!
7/13/2021 07:48:57 am
11/22/2021 08:16:21 am
is there somewhere we can find the liner notes? I was listening to in the morning time and I was thinking that was Herb Alpert on the trumpet but I don't really know. Anyway, great entry!! Have a blessed day.
11/22/2021 06:57:06 pm
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