The talented and under-appreciated Kenny Edwards, a great American singer/songwriter, passed away this week. Edwards wasn’t a recognizable name for a lot of folks, but you’d recognize his music and his style if you heard it — in fact, you probably already have.
Two years ago, I heard a snatch of music played over a commercial. A lot of unknown acts and working musicians who can’t sell their music to the radio conglomerates can make a good buck selling it for use in commercials, and sites like AdTunes have sprung up to help people track down who recorded what. I figured out that Edwards had recorded this snatch guitar and mandolin, but I couldn’t find it anywhere to purchase. I eventually dug up Edwards personal site, and sent an email to the contact listing.
Who should write back but Edwards himself, surprised at the way I’d found his music (the ad had run late at night on Cartoon Network). We corresponded over email over a couple of days — he said the song, “Take Me Home,” wasn’t publicly available, but that he’d be happy to send it my way. I thanked him by ordering his album from his site. Two discs showed up the next week, his album and a burned copy of a couple of instrumentals, all of them excellent. He’d signed the album with a nice note.
It was only later that I discovered who Edwards really was, that as a teenager, along with Bobby Kimmel and Linda Ronstadt, he’d formed the Stone Poneys back in the Sixties. Ronstadt eulogized Edwards in the L.A. Times in a way that tells you how much she valued him: “He didn’t really have an arc in his career, he just kept getting better and better.”