Tommy Edwards

Tommy Edwards (February 17, 1922 ??? October 22, 1969) was an African American singer and songwriter. His biggest-selling record was with the multi-million-selling song, "It's All in the Game."


Career


Born Thomas Edwards in Richmond, Virginia, Edwards was an R&B singer most remembered for his 1958, Billboard No. 1, "It's All in the Game." He sang his hit song on The Ed Sullivan Show, on , 1958. The song was composed by the then-future U.S. Vice-President, Charles G. Dawes in 1912, as "Melody in A Major," with lyrics written in 1951 by Carl Sigman. Edwards originally recorded and charted the song in 1951, but it only climbed to # 18 on the chart. The better-known 1958 version was on the same record label (MGM) and backed by the same orchestra leader (Leroy Holmes), but with a different arrangement more suited to the rock and roll-influenced style of the time. As well as topping the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, the song also got to number one on the R&B chart, and in the UK Singles Chart. The single sold over 3.5 million copies globally, earning gold disc status. The gold disc was presented in November 1958. He had a more modest hit with the follow-up, "Love is All We Need," which climbed to #15 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.


Edwards began performing in Richmond when he was nine. He made his first impact in R&B circles in 1946, writing "That Chick's Too Young to Fry." It was a sizeable hit for Louis Jordan. Edwards began recording for the Top label in 1949, and had his first hit in 1951 with "All Over Again" for MGM, a song that made it to number ten on the U.S. R&B chart. When MGM heard his demo of it they gave him a recording contract. Edwards later had another hit with a reworked song he had released in 1952, as "Please Mr. Sun" reached number 18 R&B and number 11 pop chart. His last chart tune was "My Melancholy Baby" in 1959.


Although Edwards recorded a number of other songs, none came close to achieving the same level of success, though several of his songs later became hits for other artists (such as "A Fool Such As I" by Elvis Presley, "It's All in the Game" by Cliff Richard and The Four Tops, and "Morning Side of the Mountain" recorded by Donny and Marie Osmond).


He died after suffering a brain aneurysm in Henrico County, Virginia, at the age of 47. The liner notes of his 1994 Eric Records release The Complete Hits of Tommy Edwards claim his death was caused by alcoholism. While the two may be related, there is no confirmation of this.


Edwards received a Virginia Highway Marker in 2008, erected near Pemberton Elementary School, off Quioccasin Road, in Henrico County. In July 2008, Richmond mayor L. Douglas Wilder signed a proclamation declaring 2008 "Tommy Edwards Day."


Partial discography


Singles (alphabetical)
"A Teardrop on a Rose" (1959)
"All Over Again" (1951, #10 U.S. R&B)
"Baby, Baby, Baby" (1953, #26)
"Blue Heartaches" (1960)
"Don't Fence Me In" (1960, #45)
"Honestly and Truly" (1959, #65)
"I Looked at Heaven" (1959, #100)
"I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry"
"I Really Don't Want to Know" (1960, #18)
"Isle of Capri"
"I've Been There" (1959, #53)
"It All Belongs To You" (1959)
"It's All in the Game" (1951, #18; re-recorded in stereo in 1958, reaching #1)
"It's Not The End Of Everything" (1960, #78)
"It's Only The Good Times" (1959, #86)
"Love Is All We Need" (1958, #15)
"Morning Side of the Mountain" (1951, #24, re-released 1959, reached #27)
"Mr. Music Man" (1958)
"Music Maestro Please" (1959)
"My Melancholy Baby" ((1959, #26)
"(New In) The Ways Of Love" (1959, #47)
"(Now and Then There's) A Fool Such as I" (1953, #24)
"Once There Lived a Fool" (1959)
"Paradise" (1959)
"Please Love Me Forever" (1958, #61)
"Please Mr. Sun" (1952 #22, re-released 1959, #11)
"Secret Love" (1954, #28)
"She Sends Her Regards" (1959)
"Take These Chains From My Heart" (1959)
"There Was A Time"
"Unloved"
"Up In a Cloud" (1959)
"Vaya con Dios" (1961)
"Wall of Ice"
"Where I May Live With My Love"
"You Win Again" (1952, #13)
Albums
It's All In The Game Tommy Edwards MGM E 3732
The Very Best of Tommy Edwards (1963, Cat. No. E/SE 4141)
Tommy Edwards in Hawaii (1960, Cat. No. E/SE 3838)
Tommy Edwards (Lion Records of Canada, Cat. No. L 70120)
For Young Lovers (1959, Cat. No. E/SE 3670)
Tommy Edwards' Greatest Hits (1961, Cat No. E/SE 3884)
Production notes

The recording "Honestly and Truly" is only heard on compact disc in mono, because the original stereo master tape was either lost or destroyed.


The recording "Take These Chains From My Heart" is heard on compact disc in re-channeled stereo, because, as with the above song, the original stereo master was lost or destroyed.


These recordings were issued on the MGM record label, unless otherwise noted.


"It's All In The Game" (1958 version) was produced by Harry Myerson. He is assumed to be the producer for all tracks from this point forward, although this can not be confirmed.


The orchestra was conducted and the arrangements were made on all records by LeRoy Holmes.


See also


List of artists who reached number one on the Hot 100 (U.S.)
List of artists who reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart
List of artists who reached number one on the UK Singles Chart
List of artists who reached number one on the Australian singles chart
List of deaths in rock and roll
List of number-one rhythm and blues hits (United States)

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