Tommy Edwards -
"It's All in the Game" was a 1958 hit for Tommy Edwards. Carl Sigman composed the lyrics in 1951 to a wordless 1911 composition entitled "Melody in A Major," written by Charles Dawes, later Vice President of the United States under Calvin Coolidge. It is the only #1 pop single to have been cowritten by a U.S. Vice President. The song has become a pop standard, with cover versions by dozens of artists, some of which have been minor hit singles. Edwards' song ranked at #38 on Billboard's All Time Top 100.
It was recorded that year by Dinah Shore, Sammy Kaye, Carmen Cavallaro, and Edwards. The Edwards version had most success, reaching #18 on the Billboard Best Sellers In Stores survey. The range of the melody would have been "difficult to sing", so required rearrangement.
In 1958, Edwards had only one session left on his MGM contract. Stereo recording was becoming viable and it was decided to cut a stereo version of "Game" with a rock and roll arrangement. The single was a hit, reaching number one for six weeks beginning September 29, 1958, and would br the last song to hit number on the R&B Best Seller lists. In November, the song hit #1 in Britain. The single helped Edwards revive his career for another two years.
A jazz arrangement was recorded by Louis Armstrong (vocals) and arranger Gordon Jenkins, with "some of Armstrong's most honey-tinged singing." Jenkins would in 1956 produce a version with Nat King Cole along the same lines.
In 1999, the stereo Edwards version featured in the movie October Sky, based on the book "Rocket Boys" by Homer Hickam Jr. Hickam said it was his favorite song in high school, and insisted it be used in the picture.
A Little bio:
Vocalist, pianist, and composer Tommy Edwards began performing in Richmond when he was nine. He made his first impact in R&B circles in 1946, writing "That Chick's Too Young to Fry." He began recording for Top in 1949 and had his first hit in 1951 with "All Over Again" for MGM, a song that made it to number ten on the R&B charts. Nearly seven years later, a song that Edwards originally recorded in 1951 became his biggest hit and an R&B and pop staple. "It's All in the Game" was issued on MGM in a slightly different version. The 1958 edition topped both R&B and pop charts. Edwards later had another hit with a reworked song he had released in 1952, as "Please Mr. Sun" reached number 18 R&B and number 11 pop as the follow-up single. His last chart tune was "My Melancholy Baby" in 1959.