|Birth name||Thomas J. Edwards|
February 17, 1922|
Richmond, Virginia, US
|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 hit "It's All in the Game", which appeared in the list of Billboard number-one singles of 1958. He sang his hit song on The Ed Sullivan Show, on September 14, 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 (Eddie Holman's version of it was the B-side of his hit "Hey There Lonely Girl"), "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 October 15, 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||"Once There Lived A Fool"
b/w "A Friend of Johnny's"
|"I'll Never Know Why"
b/w "A Beggar in Love"
|"The Morning Side of the Mountain"
b/w "F'r Instance"
|"Christmas Is For Children"
b/w "Kris Kringle"
|"It's All in the Game" /||18|
|"All Over Again"||10|
|1952||"Please, Mr. Sun"
b/w "I May Live With You"
b/w "The Bridge"
b/w "Piano, Bass and Drums"
|"Easy To Say"
b/w "The Greatest Sinner of Them All"
|"You Win Again"
b/w "Sinner and Saint" (Non-album track)
|13||It's All in the Game|
|1953||"Now and Then, There's A Fool Such As I"
b/w "I Can't Love Another" (Non-album track)
b/w "I Lived When I Met You"
|"Take These Chains From My Heart"
b/w "Paging Mr. Jackson"
|"Baby, Baby, Baby"
b/w "Lover's Waltz"
|"So Little Time"
b/w "Blue Bird"
|"Every Day Is Christmas"
b/w "It's Christmas Once Again"
b/w "That's All" (from It's All in the Game)
|"There Was A Time"
b/w "Wall of Ice" (from Tommy Edwards)
|"The Joker (In The Card Game of Life)"
b/w "Within My Heart"
|"Linger in My Arms"
b/w "If You Would Love Me Again"
|"You Walk By"
b/w "I Have That Kind of Heart"
|1955||"Serenade to a Fool"
b/w "It Could Have Been Me"
|"Welcome to mMy Heart"
b/w "Spring Never Came Around This Year" (Non-album track)
|"Teardrop on a Rose"
b/w "To Those Who Wait"
|"Baby, Let Me Take You Dreaming"
b/w "My Sweetheart" (Non-album track)
|1956||"Love Is A Child"
b/w "There Must Be A Way To Your Heart" (Non-album track)
|"The Day That I Lost You"
b/w "My Ship" (from Tommy Edwards)
|1957||"We're Not Children Anymore"
b/w "Any Place, Any Time" (Non-album track)
|1958||"It's All in the Game" (new version) /||1||1||1||It's All in the Game|
|"Please Love Me Forever"||61|
|"Love Is All We Need"
b/w "Mr. Music Man"
|1959||"Please, Mr. Sun" (new version) /||11||18|
|"The Morning Side of the Mountain" (new version)||27|
|"My Melancholy Baby" /||26||27||29||For Young Lovers|
|"It's Only The Good Times"||86|
|"I've Been There" /||53||Tommy Edwards' Greatest Hits|
|"I Looked at Heaven"||100||For Lovers Only|
|"(New In) The Ways of Love" /||47||Tommy Edwards' Greatest Hits|
|"Honestly and Truly"||65||Non-album track|
|1960||"Don't Fence Me In"
b/w "I'm Building Castles Again" (from You Started Me Dreaming)
|45||Tommy Edwards' Greatest Hits|
|"I Really Don't Want To Know"
|"It's Not The End of Everything"
b/w "Blue Heartaches"
b/w "As You Desire Me"
|1961||"Vaya Con Dios"
b/w "One and Twenty"
|"The Golden Chain"
b/w "That's The Way With Love"
|"I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry"
b/w "My Heart Would Know"
|Tommy Edwards Sings Golden Country Hits|
|1962||"I'll Cry You Out of My Heart"
b/w "Tables Are Turning" (Non-album track)
|"Please Don't Tell Me"
b/w "Tonight I Won't Be There"
b/w "Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Lose"
b/w "Love Is Best of All"
b/w "9 Chances Out of 10"
|1965||"Take These Chains From My Heart"
b/w "You Win Again"
|The Very Best of Tommy Edwards|
|1966||"I Must Be Doing Something Wrong"
b/w "I Cried, I Cried"
- 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)
- Step Out Singing (1960, Cat. No. SE 3822)
- 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 "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 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)
- Gunter, Donald W. "Thomas J. "Tommy" Edwards (1922–1969)". Encyclopedia Virginia/Library of Virginia. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
- "Biography by Ron Wynn". Allmusic.com. Retrieved January 7, 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.
- Biography at Encyclopedia Virginia
- Oldies.com biography of Tommy Edwards
- Fansite with discography and song lyrics