Jonathan Edwards (born July 28, 1946; Aitkin, Minnesota) is an artist, musician, folk singer, songwriter and performer, perhaps best known for his crossover folk singles "Sunshine" and "Shanty".
Edwards's music career began in high school during the 1960s. When interviewed about his early music career he recalled, "I started on a $29 guitar and immediately started putting a band together, writing songs and learning all the contemporary folk songs of the time. I just loved it, loved everything about it, loved being in front of people playing music."
Edwards studied art in college at Ohio University but dropped out before graduating, and became involved in the Boston music scene.
The band in which he played soon found work, playing across New England. With Joe Dolce on lead guitar, they played cover tunes as well as their own country blues originals under various names, including the Headstone Circus, St. James Doorknob, and the Finite Minds, and they made an album for Metromedia Records as Sugar Creek.
Soon he was booked to open for acts such as the Allman Brothers Band and B.B. King, and he signed with Capricorn Records. "We took about a year recording the first album - different times, different studios, different sounds, different techniques", he says. "Recording was so new in '69 and '70. There was a song on the album called 'Please Find Me', and for some reason the engineer rolled over it. It got erased. We spent hours looking for it. We fired the engineer and put "Sunshine" in its place."
Like most of the songs on Jonathan Edwards, "Sunshine" was written shortly after Edwards left the band. "I felt really fresh, really liberated," he recalls. "I just went out in the woods every day with my bottle of wine and guitar, sat by a lake near Boston and wrote down all those tunes, day after day.". "It was just at the time of the Vietnam War and Nixon," Edwards recalled. "It was looking bad out there. That song meant a lot to a lot of people during that time - especially me." "Sunshine" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in January 1972.
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