Tommy Edwards’ Big Hit Was A Do-Over

One of my favorite records of all time is Tommy Edwards’ 1958 chart-topper, “It’s All In The Game.” It was by far his biggest hit and is still a very familiar song to most music fans even though Edwards died in 1969. But did you know that he recorded a very different version way back in 1951 and it sort of flopped?

While growing up in Depression-era Richmond, Virgina, Tommy Edwards was an early bloomer from a musical standpoint, singing in local spots while still a pre-teen. But he didn’t really make much of a name for himself until the post-war years, when he began writing some good songs and eventually landed the opportunity to hit the recording studio.

Edwards’ first Top Ten record was 1951’s “All Over Again,” but that same year he also recorded a old melody that had recently been given lyrics. It was something called “It’s All In The Game,” and even though it did sell some records it pretty much escaped the notice of most fans at the time.

He continued to do well for the next several years, with solid records successes like “Please, Mr. Sun,” “You Win Again,” and “A Fool Such As I,” and would have more hits later in the decade, but his biggest began almost as an afterthought. He decided to redo his 1951 underachiever with a different arrangement, one that put the violins into the background and made the song a little more pop-friendly. It was a smash, spending weeks at the top of the charts and becoming his signature song.

Tommy Edwards – “It’s All In The Game (1951)” 

3 thoughts on “Tommy Edwards’ Big Hit Was A Do-Over

  1. I have enjoyed Tommy Edwards recordings since childhood. He had a unique voice and a way with a song.
    ‘Morningside of the Mountain’ was a good one too. I guess you know that It’s All In The Game was composed by (Then a banker) Charles Dawes who later became VP under Calvin Coolidge. The original instrumental was written in 1911 as a classical violin/orchestra piece.


  2. Thanks for the added info. I think I did run into that bit about the VP-to-be when I was putting this together. And you’re right about “Morningside of the Mountain’ – for those who don’t remember it, here you go:


  3. I’m with you on that. Tommy’s version of “It’s All in the Game” is one of the great records of the fifties (or any time, really).
    I didn’t know about the earlier version.


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