Edwin Birdsong

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Edwin L. Birdsong
Born (1951-08-22) August 22, 1951 (age 67)
Origin Los Angeles, California
Genres Funk, soul, jazz
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, record producer, keyboard player
Labels Polydor, Bamboo, Philadelphia International
Associated acts Roy Ayers, Stevie Wonder, Funkghost

Edwin L. Birdsong (born August 22, 1951)[1] is an American keyboard/organ player who was known in the 1970s and 1980s for his experimental funk/disco music. He never achieved chart success, but developed a strong fan base, and has also been sampled by other artists many times, most famously by Daft Punk who sampled "Cola Bottle Baby" in "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger", and Gang Starr who sampled his single "Rapper Dapper Snapper" for their song "Skills".


Birdsong is the son of a minister and grew up in a strict fundamentalist environment. [1] He joined the Los Angeles Community Choir for a period before serving in the Vietnam War. He went on to play in clubs in Germany, and then moved to New York to pursue his music career. There he headed a jazz and blues trio but experienced little success. While in New York he attended the Manhattan School of Music as well as Juilliard as a composition major.

In 1971 he signed a record deal with Polydor. Under Polydor, he issued his first two full-length albums, What It Is and Supernatural. Birdsong then issued one album for Bamboo, Dance of Survival, in 1975, and recorded Edwin Birdsong for Philadelphia International in 1979, which included the single "Phiss-Phizz." Birdsong also worked extensively with Roy Ayers; co-producing three of his albums and writing "Running Away" and "Freaky Deaky" with him.

Birdsong slowly stopped making his own music but carried on playing session work for many well known artists including Stevie Wonder.

Birdsong served as a mentor early in the career of Hip-Hop Artist/Producer Funkghost.


  • What It Is (1972, Polydor)
  • Supernatural (1973, Polydor)
  • Dance of Survival (1975, Bamboo)
  • Edwin Birdsong (1979, Philadelphia International)
  • Funtaztik (1981, Uni Records, Salsoul)


  1. ^ U.S. Public Records Index, Vols 1 & 2 (Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.), 2010.