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Tommy Edwards


Tommy Edwards


Tommy Edwards was part of the powerhouse lineup at WERE Radio in the 1950s. His accomplishments were many, though often overshadowed by the legendary Bill Randle on that same station. For example, it was actually Edwards who brought Elvis Presley to Cleveland in 1955 for his first performance north of the Mason-Dixon line as part of a "Hillbilly Jamboree Show" at the Circle Theater on East 105th and Euclid. Presley was third on the bill behind Kitty Wells and headliner Roy Acuff. However, his performance the next day at Brooklyn High School where Randle was filing "The Pied Piper of Cleveland" would be remembered as Presley's first outing up north as a rock and roller. But Edwards was on hand as well and captured many of the high points...including the first meeting of Presley and Bill Haley...in color Ektachrome photographs. Story has it that Edwards collected more than 1700 different images of classic stars including Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Everly Brothers, Connie Francis, and Roy Orbison and many others. Years later these same photographs would be compiled in Chris Kennedy's book 1950s Radio in Color: The Lost Photographs of Cleveland Deejay Tommy Edwards, and be the focus of a special exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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