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Wednesday, February 22, 2023

It's All In The Game - Tommy Edwards


Please Mr. Sun

It's All In The Game
Tommy Edwards
With Le Roy Holmes and His Orchestra
Cover Photo by Lester Krauss
MGM Records E3732

From the back cover: Press-agentry in the field of entertainment has come up with some unusual tales of lucky "breaks" which popped certain stars from obscurity into the limelight overnight. Fiction, however, took a backseat in the case of MGM Records' versatile singing star: Tommy Edwards. The authentic story of Tommy's winning of an exclusive MGM recording contract is the kind that a press-agent "pipe-dreams" could seldom produce.

Singing at first was not a full time occupation for Tommy. At different times in his career he appeared at night clubs and cocktail lounges in the East and Midwest – and he once even had a regular fifteen minute show of his own as a singer on a Virginia radio station. Most of his time, though, was devoted to writing and selling songs. He found a publisher for his first tune in 1946 – an item called That Chick's Too Young To Fry; it was waxed by Louis Jordan and wound up a sizable hit. In the years immediately following Tommy devoted more and more time to song-writing. In order to sell his musical brain-children, Tommy trekked to New York, established himself a place to live, and started making the rounds of the offices of music publishers recognized Tommy's talents as a tunesmith – none knew of his prowess as a singer.

New songs are usually heard by recording companies through privately-made recordings called "dubs" in professional circles. After years of cutting "dubs" with the artists, Tommy, experiencing a period of mild famine in selling, decided to cut expenses by singing for his demonstration platter himself. His first trial for the plan was a pert little item tagged All Over Again.

As it happened, Tommy's first stop in his rounds of record companies with his first "dub" was MGM. After auditioning his song and "dub", he found himself caught up in a round of excitement among the company's officials – it took him a few long minutes to realize that the excitement was more for the warm, appealing voice that was heard on the platter than for the song itself. The very next week Tommy stood before a microphone in MGM's New York studios, waxing his first four sides under an exclusive recording pact. Included in the quartet of tunes was All Over Again, the song which had given the vocalist that first lucky "break".

Tommy's first release, Once There Was A Fool, sold surprisingly well. It caught on first in Buffalo – and  soon the rest of the country was paying due tribute to the young artist. Two records more and Tommy had established himself as one of MGM's top selling artist.

Tommy's career went along very nicely indeed. Then, along came rock-n-roll. Like many another excellent singer, Tommy round himself being swept aside but "the big beat" rage. His recordings went into a definite slump and little good happened for the next couple of years. as with all fads, through "rock" eventually softened and began waning. Tommy was rediscovered all over again. During the interim, his voice had taken on a new, even more fascinating "sound" than before. It's unusual for an artist to re-record an old hit, but Tommy's first foot forward in his "new" career was a remake of his great seller of the past: It's All In The Game. The number emerged more wonderful than ever in the new version – and it quickly turned into a million seller.

From that point on, it was easy for Tommy to "re-establish" himself. He's a very nice guy – everyone was pulling for him – and almost everyone had realized all along that he was one of the truly great song-stylists around these days.

It's All In The Game
The Morningside Of The Mountain 
I'll Always Be With You
You Win Again
Mr. Music Man
Please Mr. Sun
Please Love Me Forever
That's All 
My Sugar My Sweet
Love Is A Sacred Thing
A Fool Such As I
Love Is All We Need

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