Hello, Ed Townsend was an R&B singer/songwriter who not only had one of the top love songs of the rock era, but a songwriter who wrote hits for other artists. He was born on April 16, 1929 in Fayetteville, Tennessee. In 1951 he joined the United States Marine Corps and served in Korea. When his tour of duty ended he recorded some single records for various labels, none of which reached the national charts. In 1958 he took a song he had written to Capitol Records, hoping to interest Nat King Cole into recording it, but, Capitol Records was so impressed with Ed’s voice that they signed him to record it himself.
On April 21, 1958 Ed Townsend charted his all-time classic recording of, FOR YOUR LOVE on Capitol Records. Dick Clark had just started American Bandstand on TV and invited Ed to sing on his show. Ed Townsend and his song were overnight successes. FOR YOUR LOVE climbed up the Billboard Top 100 to #13. The single remained on the chart for 16 weeks and was a huge success. The record was so popular that it crossed over to the Billboard R&B chart on April 28, 1958 and became a #7 hit on the R&B chart and remained there for 15 weeks.
In September of 1958 Capitol released a follow-up single, WHEN I GROW TOO OLD TO DREAM. It charted on September 29, 1958, but did not have the success of FOR YOUR LOVE. The single charted at #59 on the Billboard Hot 100 and did not chart on the R&B chart. WHEN I GROW TOO OLD TO DREAM would be Ed Townsend’s last Hot 100 record. He would have three other song that would chart on the Bubbling Under The Hot 100 chart, they are: HOLD ON-#106, 1958…STAY WITH ME-#101, 1960 and AND THEN CAME LOVE-#114,1961.
In 1962 he wrote and produced Theola Kilgore’s, THE LOVE OF MY MAN a #21 Billboard Hot 100 hit. In the early 1970’s Ed teamed up with Motown legend Marvin Gaye to produce one of the biggest hits of all time, LET’S GET IT ON a #1 Hot 100 and R&B million-seller in 1973. The song was also the title of Marvin Gaye’s classic album “LET’S GET IT ON”.
In his lifetime Ed Townsend produced over 50 major artists. One of his most memorable performances was on the PBS television special “Rock, Rhythm and Doo-Wop”. The performance was filmed at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in May of 2000. On August 13, 2003 Ed Townsend died at the age of 74. He has left a legacy, through his music and through those whom he wrote for and produced, that continues today. His classic recording of FOR YOUR LOVE is still a favorite on oldies radio and is one of the most romantic ballads “Golden Era Of Rock And Roll”
CLICK ON THE TITLE BELOW AND HEAR ED TOWNSEND SING HIS CLASSIC RECORDING OF “FOR YOUR LOVE”
Till the next time—Joe