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America’s Greatest Music: It’s All In The Game October 7, 2013

Posted by intellectualgridiron in Pop Culture.
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Dawes-Edwards

What do these two have in common? On the left is Charles Dawes, who wrote a melody that would, four decades later, become a hit song on two occasions by the same artist, Tommy Edwards, on the right.

In the year 1912, a fellow named Charles G. Dawes penned the melody to a song that would become a decent pop hit 39 years later, and a smash hit 46 years later.  Dawes, then 47, would be more famous (okay, not that much more famous) for becoming the 30th Vice President of the United States, second-in-command under the taciturn yet highly effective Calvin Coolidge.  But the melody that he wrote eventually was put to lyrics, and the song became “It’s All In The Game.”  Unless either Dick Chaney or Joe Biden writes a No. 1 hit for Justin Timberlake, Dawes will hold the record for being the only V-POTUS that also wrote a No. 1 song in any era (the Rock Era, in this case).

Tommy Edwards first recorded a version of the song in 1951, and to the trained ear, it is very reminiscent of a Nat King Cole ballad.  Below is that original version:

Seven years later, he breathed new life into the song at a time when his recording career seemed on the wane.  But stereo recording was just coming into vogue in 1958.  This development provided the right opportunity for the folks at MGM Records to dust off some of Edwards’ old reportoire, and take this older song, and update it to a rock ‘n’ roll ballad.  If there any doubts about the new, youthful music aspect, the piano triplets should assuage them!  But regardless, the result was pure magic; not only was it a No. 1 hit (55 years ago this week, to be exact), it remains a timelessly endearing love song, and indeed, one of the best records ever produced of any era.  Hear for yourself, preferably with a significant other, if they are handy!

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