The Happy Four: A Covington, GA Legend

happy edwardsGospel music has a special place in Southern musical legacy. What started as acapella singing in local churches has blossomed into music that inspired the creation of bluegrass and rock and roll. One of the pioneers for gospel music, the Harmoneers Quartet, forged the way for four-part quartets in the 1940’s. They were even inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame on September 28, 2002. For over 4 decades, the Harmoneers thrilled audiences and their peers with their four- part harmony and humorous stage presence. The most well-known Harmoneer, Happy Ed, was the key to the Quartet’s success and has ties to Covington, Georgia!

Born in May 26, 1926, Wallace “Happy” Edwards spent his entire professional career singing tenor with the famous Harmoneers Quartet. This jovial character was always the center of attention while growing up and soon discovered that he also had a great knack for singing old time spirituals.  Once Edwards had honed his skills, he set off for showbiz. His career began with the Happy Four (1939) from our very own Covington, Georgia. The Happy Four allowed Wallace to grow into a professional performer and sing the gospel songs he loved so much. He soon joined the professional ranks with the Harmoneers from Knoxville, TN in 1948 and made history.

The Harmoneers were the first white male quartet to record under the RCA Victor label. They also became one of the top gospel quartets in the nation. “Happy” remained with the Harmoneers until their retirement in the mid 1960s. Upon his retirement, “Happy” received the Gospel Singer of the Year award in 1955, the Grand Ole Gospel Reunion Living Legend Award in 1995, and was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, along with the other members of the Harmoneers Quartet in 2002.

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