Tommy Edwards

Last updated

Tommy Edwards
Tommy Edwards.jpg
Background information
Birth nameThomas Jefferson Edwards [1]
Also known asTommy Edwards
Born(1922-10-15)October 15, 1922
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
DiedOctober 23, 1969(1969-10-23) (aged 47)
Henrico County, Virginia, U.S.
Genres R&B, jazz, pop
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Years active1946–1969
Labels MGM

Thomas Jefferson Edwards (October 15, 1922 – October 23, 1969) [2] was an American singer and songwriter. His most successful record was the multi-million-selling song "It's All in the Game". [3]



Born 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 1911 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 no. 18. 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. [4] The single sold over 3.5 million copies globally, earning gold disc status. [4] The gold disc was presented in November 1958. [5] His second biggest hit was his 1959 re-recording of "Please, Mr. Sun" (written by Ramon Martin Getzov and Sid Frank), which reached #11. Also, "Love Is All We Need", which reached #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. [6] Edwards began recording for the Top label in 1949. [2] When MGM heard his demo of it, they gave him a recording contract. [4]

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.

On October 23, 1969, Edwards died at the age of 47 from massive internal hemorrhaging due to esophageal varices linked to cirrhosis of the liver (alcoholism). This is per his death certificate. [7] He is interred at the Quioccasin Baptist Church Cemetery in Henrico, Virginia. [8] His headstone says he was born on October 15, 1922 but his death certificate says October 12, 1926. The 1930 census indicates that his correct birth year is 1922. The informant was his sister, Buena.

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.

Country and western crossover album

In 1961, Edwards broke new ground by releasing a studio album entitled Golden Country Hits. His album of country interpretations predated Ray Charles' Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music and featured covers of some of the same song choices, including "You Don't Know Me", a popular crossover ballad by country songwriter Cindy Walker.

Partial discography



Both sides from same album except where indicated
Chart positionsAlbum
UK [9]
1951"Once There Lived A Fool"
b/w "A Friend of Johnny's"
Non-album tracks
"Gypsy Heart"
b/w "Operetta"
"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"
"Forgive Me"
b/w "The Bridge"
"My Girl"
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)
13It'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)
"Au Revoir"
b/w "I Lived When I Met You"
Non-album tracks
"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"
1954"Secret Love"
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"
Tommy Edwards
"You Walk By"
b/w "I Have That Kind of Heart"
1955"Serenade to a Fool"
b/w "It Could Have Been Me"
Non-album tracks
"Welcome to My Heart"
b/w "Spring Never Came Around This Year" (Non-album track)
Tommy Edwards
"Teardrop on a Rose"
b/w "To Those Who Wait"
Non-album tracks
"Baby, Let Me Take You Dreaming"
b/w "My Sweetheart" (Non-album track)
Tommy Edwards
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)
Non-album track
1957"We're Not Children Anymore"
b/w "Any Place, Any Time" (Non-album track)
Tommy Edwards
1958"It's All in the Game" (new version) /111It'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) /1118
"The Morning Side of the Mountain" (new version)27
"My Melancholy Baby" /262729For Young Lovers
"It's Only The Good Times"86
"I've Been There" /53Tommy Edwards' Greatest Hits
"I Looked at Heaven"100For Lovers Only
"(New In) The Ways of Love" /47Tommy Edwards' Greatest Hits
"Honestly and Truly"65Non-album track
1960"Don't Fence Me In"
b/w "I'm Building Castles Again" (from You Started Me Dreaming)
45Tommy Edwards' Greatest Hits
"I Really Don't Want To Know"
b/w "Unloved"
"It's Not The End of Everything"
b/w "Blue Heartaches"
"Suzie Wong"
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"
Non-album tracks
"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"
Non-album tracks
1963"May I"
b/w "Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Lose"
"Country Boy"
b/w "Love Is Best of All"
1964"Leftover Dreams"
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"
Non-album tracks

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 cannot be confirmed.

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

Television appearances

See also

Related Research Articles

MGM Records

MGM Records was a record label founded by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio in 1946 for the purpose of releasing soundtrack recordings of their musical films. It transitioned into a pop music label which continued into the 1970s. The company also released soundtrack albums of the music for some of their non-musical films as well, and on rare occasions, cast albums of off-Broadway musicals such as The Fantasticks and the 1954 revival of The Threepenny Opera. In one instance, it released the highly successful soundtrack album of a film made by another studio, Columbia Pictures's Born Free (1966).

Freddy Cannon American musician

Frederick Anthony Picariello, Jr. known as Freddy Cannon, is an American rock and roll singer, whose biggest international hits included "Tallahassee Lassie", "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans", and "Palisades Park".

<i>Buffalo Springfield</i> (album) 1966 studio album by Buffalo Springfield

Buffalo Springfield is the debut album by the folk rock band Buffalo Springfield, released in December 1966 on Atco Records. It peaked at number 80 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart. It is the first album to feature the songwriting of future stars Stephen Stills and Neil Young.

"The Purple People Eater" is a novelty song written and performed by Sheb Wooley, which reached No. 1 in the Billboard pop charts in 1958 from June 9 to July 14, reached No. 12 overall in the UK singles chart and topped the Australian charts.

Son of a Preacher Man 1968 song recorded by British singer Dusty Springfield

"Son of a Preacher Man" is a song written and composed by American songwriters John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins and recorded by British singer Dusty Springfield in September 1968 for the album Dusty in Memphis.

"On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" is a popular song written by Harry Warren with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. The song was published in 1944, spanned the hit chart in mid-1945, and won the 1946 Academy Award for Best Original Song, the first win for Mercer.

"Love Makes the World Go 'Round" is a popular music song written by Ollie Jones. The most popular version was recorded by Perry Como in 1958. He made two recordings that year, one on September 5 and one on September 16. The 45rpm single based on one of these was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog numbers 47-7353 (mono) and 61-7353 (stereo). It peaked at number 33 on the Billboard chart.

<i>The Monkees Present</i> 1969 studio album by the Monkees

The Monkees Present is the Monkees' eighth album. It is the second Monkees album released after the departure of Peter Tork and the last to feature Michael Nesmith until 1996's Justus.

I Cant Stop Loving You Country song originally by Don Gibson

"I Can't Stop Loving You" is a popular song written and composed by country singer, songwriter, and musician Don Gibson, who first recorded it on December 30, 1957, for RCA Victor Records. It was released in 1958 as the B-side of "Oh, Lonesome Me", becoming a double-sided country hit single. At the time of Gibson's death in 2003, the song had been recorded by more than 700 artists.

"Heartaches by the Number" is a popular country song written by Harlan Howard, and published in 1959. Sheet music for the song was a best seller in both the US and Britain in January 1960.

Whos Sorry Now? (song)

"Who's Sorry Now?" is a popular song with music written by Ted Snyder and lyrics by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby. It was published in 1923, when Isham Jones took it to number three. Other popular versions in 1923 were by Marion Harris, Original Memphis Five, Lewis James, and Irving Kaufman.

Shes Not There Single by the Zombies

"She's Not There" is the debut single by British rock band The Zombies, written by keyboardist Rod Argent. It reached No. 12 in the UK Singles Chart in September 1964, and No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States at the beginning of December 1964. In Canada, it reached No. 2.

"It's All in the Game" is a pop song whose most successful version was recorded by Tommy Edwards in 1958. Carl Sigman composed the lyrics in 1951 to a wordless 1911 composition titled "Melody in A Major", written by Charles G. Dawes, who was later Vice President of the United States under Calvin Coolidge. It is the only No. 1 single in the U.S. to have been co-written by a U.S. Vice President or a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Glyn Geoffrey Ellis, known professionally as Wayne Fontana, was an English rock and pop singer, best known for the 1965 hit "The Game of Love" with the Mindbenders.

<i>The Animals on Tour</i> 1965 studio album by The Animals

The Animals on Tour is the second American studio album by British rock band The Animals. It was released by MGM Records in February 1965. The album included two previously released singles, "I'm Crying" and "Boom Boom" and is mostly made up of leftovers from the British The Animals album and unreleased tracks intended for the British version of Animal Tracks.

"(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" is a rock song written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. It was first recorded by Paul Revere & the Raiders and appeared on their album Midnight Ride, released in May 1966.

"(Now and Then There's) A Fool Such as I" is a popular song written by Bill Trader and was published in 1952. Recorded as a single by Hank Snow it peaked at number four on the US country charts early in 1953.

Mona Lisa (Nat King Cole song) Popular song first performed by Nat King Cole

"Mona Lisa" is a popular song written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston for the Paramount Pictures film Captain Carey, U.S.A. (1950). The title and lyrics refer to the renaissance portrait Mona Lisa painted by Leonardo da Vinci. The song won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1950.

Nino Tempo & April Stevens are a brother and sister singing act from Niagara Falls, New York. Formed in the early 1960s when Nino Tempo and April Stevens signed as a duo with Atco Records, they had a string of Billboard hits and earned a Grammy Award as "best rock & roll record of the year" for the single "Deep Purple".

<i>The Beatles (The Original Studio Recordings)</i> 2009 box set by the Beatles

The Beatles , is a box set compilation comprising all remastered recordings by English rock band the Beatles. The set was issued on 9 September 2009, along with the remastered mono recordings and companion The Beatles in Mono and The Beatles: Rock Band video game. The remastering project for both mono and stereo versions was led by EMI senior studio engineers Allan Rouse and Guy Massey. The Stereo Box also features a DVD which contains all the short films that are on the CDs in QuickTime format.


  1. "Edwards, Tommy (1922–1969)". Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  2. 1 2 "Biography by Ron Wynn". Retrieved January 7, 2008.
  3. Gunter, Donald W. "Thomas J. Edwards (1922–1969)". Encyclopedia Virginia/Library of Virginia . Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  4. 1 2 3 Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p.  101. ISBN   0-214-20512-6.
  5. Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 60. CN 5585.
  6. Jeremy Simmonds (2008). The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars: Heroin, Handguns, and Ham Sandwiches. pp. 30–31. ISBN   9781556527548 . Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  7. Commonwealth of Virginia - Certificate of Death number 69-030829 dated 23 October 1969.
  8. "Gravesite - Headstone". Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  9. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 179. ISBN   1-904994-10-5.