Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b Wilfred Edwards '38 or '40, Kingston, Jamaica; d 15 Aug. '92, Jamaica) Singer and songwriter. Like many Jamaicans, Edwards was inspired by radio broadcasts from Florida and beyond which, merged with the Jamaican sound system, produced a potent cocktail. In the years before the flowering of Jamaican music and its emergence as an international force through the work of Bob Marley, Jackie Edwards was one of the few Jamaican musicians who achieved international popularity, even if paradoxically many people were not even aware that he was black, let alone Jamaican. White audiences became aware of him through a song called 'Keep On Running', an international hit by the Spencer Davis Group. Edwards himself was far from being a one-hit wonder and his popularity antedated that '65 hit by over a decade in his homeland. Lush romantic ballads such as 'Whenever There's Moonlight' and 'Tell Me Darling' were the soundtrack for innumerable Jamaican courtships in the '50s. Went to Britain, worked with singer Millie Small; 'Keep On Running' was but one of the songs that came out of the Birmingham scene: he also wrote the Spencer Davis Group's 'Somebody Help Me' and with Jimmy Miller co-authored 'Back Into My Life Again' and with Steve Winwood 'When I Come Home' (all featured on The Best of The Spencer Davis Group on Island '67 and on Rhino '84). His own Premature Golden Sands on Island '67 paired him with arranger Syd Dale for a mixed batch incl. 'Just Out Of Reach' and 'San Francisco'. Edwards returned to Jamaica '70s. He didn't capitalize much on the emergence of Jamaican music as the first truly international 'world music', but he wrote the incidental music for many people's lives. His own albums such as The Most Of Jackie Edwards, Come To Me Softly, Let's Fall In Love and The Original Mr Cool Ruler sold modestly but steadily. EDWARDS, Jonathan (b 28 July '46, Aitkin MN) Singer- songwriter who straddles folk, bluegrass and country. Grew up in Washington DC area, put together his first band (electric folk music) mid-'60s. He performed all over New England in such outfits as Finite Minds, Headstone Circus and St James Doorknob. One of his outfits, Sugar Creek, recorded a bluegrass-styled album for MetroMedia '69. Toured as solo act and landed on Capricorn Records with album Jonathan Edwards '71, incl. his biggest hit 'Sunshine' (pop top 5 '72). Moved to Atco for album Honky Tonk Stardust Cowboy and toured with new band Orphan. He move to Nova Scotia and was called to L.A. to sing on Emmylou Harris's Elite Hotel. He cut a live album for his own Chronic label; toured with Nicolette Larson in a production of Pump Boys & Dinettes; recorded bluegrass album Blue Ridge with Seldom Scene. A move to Nashville found him on Curb Records with the captivating Natural Thing '89 and country hits with 'We Need To Be Locked Away' and 'Look What We Made (When We Made Love)'. Has also made his mark as a producer (Cheryl Wheeler, etc), songwriter, session musician, jingle singer. Albums incl. Lucky Day '74 on Atco, Sail Boat '77 on WB.