It’s hard to think that anyone could have success with country music in California, the home of the surf sound and teen idols, especially just starting out, but that’s the story of Bobby Edwards.
Bobby Edwards was born Robert Edward Moncrief in Anniston, Alabama in 1926, the son of a preacher.
His first recordings were in 1958, under the name Bobby Moncrief for both D Records and Bluebonnet Records.
In 1960, Edwards moved to the West Coast. He started working shows around southern California, then met a trio named, Darrell, Gib & Ernie. A fourth man joined and when they decided to get together with Bobby, they called themselves, Bobby Edwards & The Four Young Men.
Bobby soon met songwriter Terry Fell, who hooked him up with Crest Records. Their first record together was a song Bobby had written and arranged by Fell, “You’re the Reason” in 1961. The song reached #4 on the Country chart and #11 on the Pop chart. The record was released as by Bobby Edwards, although the Four Young Men did the backing vocals.
“You’re the Reason” was later covered by many big-named artists, including Conway Twitty, Joe South and John Fogerty and received a BMI award and was also recognized as one of the most recorded songs in country music for its time.
Bobby split from the Four Young Men and went to Capitol Records. The Four Young Men stayed with Crest and released further singles, but nothing charted. Eddie Cochran played the guitar on some of their recordings. They would later change their name to the Castaways and become a popular act on the Las Vegas casino circuit.
After moving to Capitol, Edwards had two songs reach the charts, “Don’t Pretend,” and the sound-alike, “What’s the Reason,” both with moderate success.
In the late 60s, he operated a small recording studio and, in the 70s, recorded several gospel albums. He soon decided to retire from the music business and moved back to Alabama to raise a family. In 2000, He moved to Smyrna, Tennessee. He died in 2012.
You’re The Reason – Bobby Edwards