Edwards' professional life also follows the pattern of country blues artists who headed north from Mississippi circa the second World War. His traveling partner at the time was fellow bluesman Tommy McClennan
. Edwards recorded for Okeh producer Frank Melrose in 1941, eight sides in which the backup was provided by Robert Brown
, also known as Washboard Sam
. The release of these sides was unfortunately impacted by the outbreak of the war and the resulting recording ban, although several of the songs did come out. Following this venture, Edwards headed back south, choosing Atlanta and apparently staying put there.
Edwards covered guitar, harmonica, and vocals, and really did not need any other backing. His repertoire included quite original interpretations of blues and jazz standards such as "Good Morning Little School Girl" and "When the Saints Go Marching In," as well as original songs on a variety of subjects: prison ("Alcatraz Blues"), clothing styles ("Mini Dress Wearer"), and, well, chicken raids ("Chicken Raid"). Despite the appeal of such material, he was not able to consistently support himself as a musician, finding work as a carpenter, painter, and plumber. But except for two years following a house fire that burned up his guitar, he always played the blues. A scant two hours prior to his death, Edwards completed a recording session in North Carolina. He suffered a heart attack on the ride home and died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi