Tommy Edwards (February 17, 1922 – October 22, 1969) was a singer and songwriter. His biggest-selling record was with the multi-million-selling song “It’s All in the Game.”
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.