Tommy Edwards (1922-1969) was an R&B/jazz/pop American singer, songwriter and pianist, born in Richmond, Virginia. He had a considerably successful singing and songwriting career, with hit such as “The Morning Side Of The Mountain,” “Please Mr. Sun” (charted first in 1952, and then in 1958), “You Win Again,” “Love Is All We Need,” “My Melancholy Baby,” “I Really Don’t Want To Know” and his sole #1 hit “It’s All In The Game” (charted first in 1951, and then in 1958). Edwards had also performed that chart-topping song on The Ed Sullivan Show. His self-penned song “That Chick’s Too Young To Fry” became a respectable hit for Louis Jordan. Edwards died in 1969, supposedly of brain aneurysm; he was only 47 years old.
Tommy Edwards’ stint with MGM Records, and his first version of “It’s All in the Game”
Thomas “Tommy” Edwards was born in Richmond, Virgina on February 17, 1922. He was a talented young boy who had already been performing at age nine.
Edwards was determined to make a name for himself. And so he passed a demo of a song he wrote, “That Chick’s Too Young to Fry” to MGM Records in 1946. MGM was impressed and so it got Edwards a recording contract.
His first charting single on MGM was “All Over Again,” which made it to the Top 10 R&B in 1949. But his first real hit came two years later, with “It’s All in the Game” which reached the top of the R&B singles chart. It also peaked at #18 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“It’s All in the Game” was written in 1912 by Charles Dawes (who later went on to become country’s vice-president under the Coolidge adminstration) and lyricist Carl Sigman.
Tommy Edwards later went on to have more sizable hits including “Please Mr. Sun” (#22 pop, #18 R&B in 1952) and Hank Williams’ “You Win Again” (#13 pop in 1952).
Edwards’ more successful version of “It’s All in the Game” in 1958
In 1958 Edwards returned with his old Top 20 pop hit “It’s All in the Game.” This later version was released again on MGM and featured the same orchestra leader in Leroy Holmes. However, this time the arrangement was otherwise different as the song was given a more rock-and-roll treatment. As a result, the single reached #1 on the US and UK singles charts. It sold over three million copies worldwide, making it Edwards’ most successful song ever in his entire career.
His following singles were less as successful, although some did decently on the charts. Among them are “Love Is All We Need” (#15 pop, 1958), his newer version of
“Please Mr. Sun” (#11 pop, 1959), “The Morning Side of the Mountain” (#27 pop, 1959), “My Melancholy Baby” (#26 pop, #27 R&B, #29 UK, 1959) and “I Really Don’t Want to Know” (#18 pop, 1960).
Edwards’ other songs had been re-recorded by a lot of artists including Elvis Presley, Louis Jordan, Cliff Richard, The Four Tops, Cathy Jean and the Roommates, and Bobby Vinton.
Aged only 47 years old, Edwards died of brain aneurysm on October 22, 1969 in Henrico County, Virginia.