February 17, 1922|
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
|Died||October 22, 1969
Henrico County, Virginia
|Genres||R&B, jazz, pop|
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 14 September 1958. The song was composed by 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 was 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 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.
"That Chick's Too Young to Fry", written by Edwards, was a sizable hit for Louis Jordan. Edwards began recording for the Top label in 1949. When MGM heard his demo of it they gave him a recording contract.
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, "Please Love Me Forever" by Cathy Jean and the Roommates (1961) and by Bobby Vinton (1967), 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 15 October 2008 "Tommy Edwards Day."
In September 2012, Cherry Red Records label Shout issued a 2-CD collection of Edwards's work, entitled It's All In The Game (The MGM Recordings 1958-1960), which comprised his first four MGM albums and singles from the two years following that single's huge success.
|1951||"The Morning Side of the Mountain"||24|
|"It's All in the Game"||18|
|"All Over Again"||10|
|1952||"Please, Mr. Sun"||22|
|"You Win Again"||13|
|1953||"A Fool Such As I"||24|
|"Baby, Baby, Baby"||26|
|1958||"It's All in the Game" (new version)||1||1||1|
|"Please Love Me Forever"||61|
|"Love Is All We Need"||15|
|1959||"Please, Mr. Sun" (new version)||11||18|
|"The Morning Side of the Mountain" (new version)||27|
|"My Melancholy Baby"||26||27||29|
|"It's Only the Good Times"||86|
|"I've Been There"||53|
|"I Looked At Heaven"||100|
|"(New In) The Ways of Love"||47|
|"Honestly and Truly"||65|
|1960||"Don't Fence Me In"||45|
|"I Really Don't Want To Know"||18|
|"It's Not the End of Everything"||78|
- 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)
- Tommy Edwards Sings (Regent MG 6069)
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.
"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 cannot be confirmed.
- 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)
- "Biography by Ron Wynn". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 7 January 2008.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 101. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 60. CN 5585.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 179. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- More Biographical Information[dead link]
- Oldies.com biography of Tommy Edwards
- Fansite with discography and song lyrics