Edwin Birdsong

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Edwin Birdsong
Born(1941-08-22)August 22, 1941
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OriginLos Angeles, California
DiedJanuary 21, 2019(2019-01-21) (aged 77)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
GenresFunk, soul, jazz
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, record producer, keyboard player
Years active1975-2019
LabelsPolydor, Bamboo, Philadelphia International
Associated actsRoy Ayers, Stevie Wonder, Funkghost

Edwin L. Birdsong (August 22, 1941 – January 21, 2019)[1][2] was an American keyboard/organ player, known in the 1970s and 1980s for his experimental funk/disco music. Birdsong did not achieve much 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 was the son of a minister and grew up in a strict fundamentalist environment.[3] 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)


  • Rapper Dapper Snapper (1981, Salsoul) #65 U.S. Billboard, Hot Soul Singles
  • She's Wrapped Too Tight (She's A Button Buster) (1982, Salsoul) #55 U.S. Billboard, Hot Soul Singles[4]


  1. ^ U.S. Public Records Index, Vols 1 & 2 (Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.), 2010.
  2. ^ Savage, Mark (23 January 2019). "Funk musician sampled by Daft Punk dies". BBC News. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Answers - The Most Trusted Place for Answering Life's Questions". Answers.com.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 59.