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Dorothy Combs Morrison (born Dorothy Marie Combs, May 8, 1944)[1] is an American gospel music singer. She sang lead vocal on the song "Oh Happy Day" recorded by the Edwin Hawkins Singers.


She was born in Longview, Texas, and grew up in Richmond, California.[2] The seventh child of ten, Dorothy showed early signs of her talents. She began singing at the age of 13 and released her first single "I Am Free," while singing with her siblings as 'The Combs Family'. Dorothy's continued exposure while appearing with her family at church events led to her talents being noticed by others in the San Francisco and Oakland Bay Area.

In the 1960s, she then joined the Edwin Hawkins singers and was the lead vocalist on the Grammy Award-winning Hall of Fame hymn, "Oh Happy Day".[3] She toured with Edwin Hawkins, Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs, and Delaney and Bonnie, among others. She appeared on TV shows including The Carol Burnett Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson'.[citation needed]

Dorothy's appearance at the 1969 Big Sur Folk Festival is seen in the film Celebration at Big Sur;[4] with the Combs Sisters, she sang "All God's Children Got Soul", her only solo song to make the Billboard Top 100. In Canada, her version of "Spirit in the Sky" reached #47 on the RPM Magazine top 100 singles.[5]

At home in the East Bay area, Dorothy performed for the Mayor of Oakland Jerry Brown; in the City Town Square, and in 2002 she was awarded the key to the city of Oakland.[citation needed] She is currently a member of the Blues Broads of Marin County, and has toured all over the world with the group. She sang on the Huey Lewis and the News cover of "Respect Yourself", released on their 2010 album Soulsville. On November 4, 2011, Morrison performed and recorded with Angela Strehli, Annie Sampson, and Tracy Nelson as the Blues Broads live from the Throckmorton Theatre.


  1. ^ Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997. Texas: Texas Department of State Health Services,
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (1997). The Virgin encyclopedia of sixties music. Virgin in association with Muze Inc. p. 227.
  3. ^ Myers, Mitch (2008). The Boy Who Cried Freebird:Rock & Roll Fables and Sonic Storytelling. Harper Collins. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-06-113902-4.
  4. ^ Darden, Robert; Darden, Bob (2005). People Get Ready!: A New History of Black Gospel Music. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 275. ISBN 978-0-8264-1752-7.
  5. ^ title RPM Magazine

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