Sherman Edwards (April 4, 1919 â€“ March 30, 1981) was an American songwriter.
Edwards was born in New York City and raised in Weequahic New Jersey, where he attended Weequahic High School outside of Newark, NJ, then Columbia University in New York where he majored in History. Throughout college, Edwards moonlighted, playing jazz piano for late night radio and music shows. After serving in World War II, Edwards taught high school history for a brief period before continuing his career as a pianist, playing with some of history's most famous Swing bands and artists. He also acted on Broadway.
After a few years as band leader and arranger for artist Mindy Carson, Edwards started writing pop songs at the famous Brill Building with writers including Hal David, Burt Bacharach, Sid Wayne, Earl Shuman and others. He turned out numerous hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s. As Rock n' Roll caught on, he found himself still at the Brill Building writing songs for Elvis Presley, including the well known Presley number Flaming Star and others. However, working with Presley's manager "The Colonel" proved to be Edwards' impetus to leave pop and rock songwriting; Presley's songwriters were forced to make huge monetary concessions in order to have their songs recorded by the great artist. According to collaborator Earl Shuman, one day while collaborating with Edwards in the Brill building, where publishers provided music rooms for the songwriters, Edwards left mid-song saying something to the effect that he "wasn't into the rock songs any more" and that he had an idea for a show and he was going home to write it. This began the evolution of 1776. Edwards talks to Peabody Award winning radio personality Mike Whorf about 1776 in an audio interview at Official 1776 web site.