Bobby Edwards

Bobby Edwards scored a number-11 pop hit in 1961 with the easy, floating ballad "You're the Reason." There's never been a detailed story of Edwards' career in print, mainly because he threw everyone off his trail. Edwards told everyone his real name was Robert Moncrief, and it may have been at one time. However, the Anniston, AL, native may have said so for a ruse; a woman from Anniston claims her ex-brother-in-law Virgil Burgan insisted that he had a hit record in the '60s under the stage name of Bobby Edwards. The mysterious singer's update of Tex Ritter's "Jealous Heart," in 1959 on Bluebonnett Records, was his first record of note; it was re-released by Manco in 1962 to capitalize on the success of "You're the Reason." Edwards joined the Four Young Men, a group comprising Gil Guilbeau, Darrell Cotton, Ernie Williams, and Wayne Moore. They recorded as a trio, prior to Moore joining, for Shasta Records as Darrell, Gib & Ernie, releasing "I Goof" and "Just or Unjust." The singles got local play and the band gigged at small shot-and-beer bars. Darrell Cotton released a solo single on Mammor Records entitled "If You Could Read My Mind." Shortly afterward, Wayne Moore joined and the four hooked up with Edwards. The combo's first single, "You're the Reason" on Crest Records, was credited to Bobby Edwards & the Four Young Men. Joe South and Hank Locklin hurt Edwards' sales a little by covering the record. Like a vulture, Capitol Records snatched Edwards away from Crest and released a carbon copy of his big hit "What's the Reason"; it was Edwards' last chart record, managing a number-71 showing in 1962. "Don't Pretend," released in 1963, got played on some country stations but didn't visit the pop chart at all. Subsequent releases throughout the '60s did even less. Soon, Edwards, or Moncrief, or Burgan, was back in Anniston, AL, working a nine-to-five and raising a family. The Four Young Men cut a series of records for Crest: "You Been Torturing Me," "Just for Tonight," and dropped "That Man Paul" on Dore Records in 1962. As the Young Men Four, they released "Don't Be Bashful Little Girl," on Crest, and "Davey Jones," on Star Delta. Eddie Cochran was the guitarist on several of the Four Young Men's Crest sides. They changed their name to the more contemporary Castaways and thrived on the Nevada casino circuit for years. ~ Andrew Hamilton

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