b. Edward Benjamin Townsend, 16th April 16, 1929, Fayetteville, Tennessee, U.S.A.
d. 13th August 2003, San Bernardino, California, U.S.A.
Ed Townsend is the father of David Townsend (of the group Surface), was an accomplished songwriter and was also an attorney.
His most week known recording was, his own composition, 'For Your Love', although most Soul Music fans will be aware of his contributions to the Marvin Gaye landmark album 'Let's Get It On' (co-writing the title song).
Additionally, he wrote and produced the Impressions' number one R&B hit 'Finally Got Myself Together (I'm a Changed Man)'.
Ed was born in Fayetteville, Tennessee, moving, however, at an early age, to Memphis.
His father was a Pastor at a Methodist Church in Memphis, additionally.
After graduating from high school, he was elected to the International American Methodist Episcopal Youth Council, after which he travelled, before enrolling at the Arkansas State College.
He spent a year in the educational system before joining the United States Marine Corps in 1951, and subsequently served in Korea for two years.
After leaving the military, he began recording various sides for several imprints before releasing his ballad 'For Your Love' b/w 'Over and Over Again' for Capitol Records in 1958.
In 1956, he recorded for the Aladdin imprint, followed by recordings for the Dot and Carlton labels in 1956-1957.
Ed was invited to sing on the show 'American Bandstand' by Dick Clark, which led to his recording climbing the pop charts, peaking at number 13.
He then followed the single with a cover of Glenn Gray's song, 'When I Grow Too Old to Dream' b/w 'You Are My Everything', released the same year.
Other Capitol singles followed, including 'Be My Love' b/w 'With No One to Love', 'Hold On' b/w 'This Little Love of Mine', 'Lover Come Back to Me' b/w 'Don't Ever Leave', 'Richer Than I' b/w 'Getting By Without You', and 'What Shall I Do?' b/w 'Please Never Change'.
new in town - 1959 / glad to be here - 1959
In 1959 he released two Capitol LPs with Nelson Riddle, entitled 'Glad to Be Here' and 'New in Town'.
He recorded, briefly in 1960/1961, under the title of Ed Townsend and the Townsmen for Warners, before recording solo material between 1961 and 1966 for the Challenge, Liberty, Capitol Starline, Maxx and Tru Glow Town labels.
who would deny me? - 1967 (45)
He then concentrated on his songwriting skills, penning 'How Can I Forget' for Jimmy Holiday, Dee Dee Warwick's 'Foolish Fool' (in 1969), 'The Love Of My Man' for Theola Kilgore, along with several other sides.
Ed's career enjoyed continued success into the 1970's, showcased by his collaboration with Marvin Gaye, and his classic album 'Let's Get It On'.
In 1976, Ed had began working with the Impressions, at Curtis Mayfield's Curtom imprint, where the group recorded their successful 'Loving Power' album for the label, which featured Ed's own composition, 'I Wish I'd Stayed In Bed'.
now! - 1975 / for your love - 1994
Ed had released his own album, for the label, a year previously, entitled 'Now!'.
In 1979, Ed recorded with the group Townsend Townsend Townsend and Rogers, releasing a self titled album for Casablanca Records.
He also dealt, personally, with alcohol issues, which he eventually overcame at a Los Angeles Salvation Army centre in 1990.
In later years, Ed helped many others who had suffered the addictions, which he had fought with, writing a musical entitled 'Rehabilitation: Been There Done That!', which toured throughout California.
Ed's compositions, 'For Your Love', 'The Love of My Man', and 'Let's Get It On' were all BMI award-winning songs.
Ed Townsend died on the 13th of August 2003 in San Bernardino, California at the age of 74, following a heart attack, and, after being honoured with a purple heart in the Korean War, was given a full military gun salute at his memorial at Riverside National Cemetery.
Sadly, Ed's son, David Townsend, was found dead in Northridge, California, on the 26th of October 2005.
New in Town (Capitol Records 1959)
Glad to Be Here (Capitol Records 1959)
Now! (Curtom Records 1975)
For Your Love (Collectables Records 1994)