Edward R. White

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Songwriter Edward R. White, who tends to be identified in credits with or without the initial and/or as Ed and Eddie, was one of the busy beavers buzzing ballads, dribbling doo wop, and notating novelties…
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Artist Biography by

Songwriter Edward R. White, who tends to be identified in credits with or without the initial and/or as Ed and Eddie, was one of the busy beavers buzzing ballads, dribbling doo wop, and notating novelties from his office in the famed Broadway Brill Building in New York City. Represented by well-connected publishers such as Famous Music, White co-wrote with several regular partners, including Mack Wolfson and Aaron Schroeder.

Clever turns of phrase being a routine weapon in the Tin Pan Alley arsenal, White was obviously armed up to standards. His catalog of songs is full of catchy concepts, the listener strolling down "Happiness Street," snapping fingers to a "Calypso Boogie" or "Dragon Rock," or perhaps even passing out completely under a "Chandelier of Stars." White's heyday was the '50s and early '60s, when top vocal music stars of the day such as Frank Sinatra and Sarah Vaughan nibbled on his material, as did a variety of doo wop and early rock recording artists. Sentimental material from this period did very well for White and his collaborators: the lovesick, cynical "C'Est la Vie" was covered by many artists, while "Flowers Mean Forgiveness" became something of a romantic motto, at least for lovers who don't suffer from allergies.

White and Wolfson were still at work in the early '70s, on the edge of the disco era, coming up with "Smarty Pants" for the selective R&B ensemble First Choice. This title took on the subject of unwanted pregnancy, something that would never have been allowed in the Tin Pan Alley days. At the same time, the partners' decision to do the song was simply a matter of going along with the trends, or business as usual in the Brill Building. In this case it was Diana Ross & the Supremes who had made the controversial subject trendy with the hit "Love Child."