Still Alive & Kicking
Born March 26, 1931. Parents William and Minnie (Bernice) Edwards. Birthplace - Delaware, Ohio. Moved to Marion, Ohio at age of four. Started singing at four and a half. First song - 'Old Shep' - sang at school functions and family gatherings. I learned to play guitar in my teens. My first professional job was in a bar, at age fifteen, which meant one of my parents had to be with me at all times. Joined U.S. Navy in 1951- spent four years as a Naval Aviation Metalsmith, attaining the rank of Second Class Petty Officer in November, 1955, shortly before leaving the service. After returning to Marion, I formed a band, 'The Dude Ranch Boys' which consisted of my brother Chilly, who played steel guitar, and a distant cousin, Jack Kerwood, who played fiddle. A few months later we added bass to our group, played by my older brother, Foryst, who used the name 'Rosebud' on stage. We played for various amateur shows, radio gigs for the fair, and at dances.. In the spring of 1959, I took a tape of one of our performances to an audition for the Ohio Jamboree, which had recently started under the management of Clay Eager. He was a former member of the Midwestern Hayride, and then a D.J. on WMNI Radio in Columbus, Ohio. We became regulars on the show. I cut my first record soon after, a song called 'World of Make Believe' (included in my 2007 Album 'Greatest Hits'). We then moved to a similar show in Marion, Ohio called the Marion County Jamboree. Through the 1960's I made several more records for various labels. I recorded eight songs in 1964 and 1966, two of which were released, under Starday Record label. The songs were 'Over the Wall' and 'The Thirteenth Month of Next Year', the latter song I wrote hit national charts. Some of the others became hits in different local spots throughout Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan. In 1974, due to the ill health of my daughter, we moved to Phoenix. I was out of the music business for a few years but returned as a bass player and band leader. My band has had various names throughout the years., mostly back east as The Dude Ranch Boys and locally in Phoenix as 'The Country Tradition'. In 1978 I returned to recording doing, 'Twice the Woman You Are', b/w 'I Can't Stop Crying Long Enough to Laugh' for a Nashville Recording Studio, under the name of Rocky Roads. In 1986 I returned to Columbus, Ohio for a four song recording session at Rome records. These were the last recordings until the fall of 2007 when I cut a 24 song album, 12 old songs - 12 new. Nineteen songs were written by me, one by my brother Chilly, 'I Walk the Streets In Darkness'. Chilly had retired from the music profession, but came out of retirement to do the excellent steel guitar work on my new album. I am the father of four fine daughters; Eileen, Elaine, Annette, Arlene, and two sons, Roger and Rick, all of whom I am extremely proud. Unfortunately, I lost Rick due to an accident and Annette of cancer. The others are all happily married and I am a proud grandpa and great grandpa. The love of my life is Louise (Lou) Myers, also my Business Manager.