By Kathy Chouteau
The North & Greater Richmond Blues Foundation is readying to sing to the rafters at its 2022 Richmond Music Legends Awards Gala Sat., Nov. 12 from 7-10 p.m. at the Richmond Recreation Center, 3230 Macdonald Ave. in Richmond. The gala concert is free to attend and doors open at 6:30 p.m.
The awards gala is an annual event honoring “music legends from Richmond, CA,” according to foundation Executive Director DeJeana Burkes on Instagram. This year’s event will honor Richmond’s own Dorothy Combs-Morrison, the gospel singer who sang lead vocals on the 1967 Grammy Award-winning hit, “Oh Happy Day” by the Edwin Hawkins Singers.
Burkes said that Combs-Morrison will not only sing “Oh Happy Day” at the Richmond gala, but also will sing “Respect Yourself,” which she performed with Huey Lewis and the News on their cover version of the song. Other artists performing during the gala’s concert will include Rhonda Benin, Willie G and the Caravan All Stars.
During a previous conversation with the Standard, Burkes—who is also a blues singer—shared the foundation’s aim. “Our mission is to uplift the blues community and to give it a place to shine the focus on the history of North and Greater Richmond,” she said. “I felt like it was time that the world knew about the fabulous history of music that we have—the music out north in Richmond and spread across the Bay Area,” she said as to her reason for establishing the foundation.