Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'Wildflower' Co-Writer, Skylark Guitarist Doug Edwards Dies at 70

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'Wildflower' Co-Writer, Skylark Guitarist Doug Edwards Dies at 70

Article excerpt

'Wildflower' co-writer Doug Edwards dies at 70

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Guitarist Doug Edwards, the former Skylark band member who crafted the sound of 1973 hit "Wildflower," has died in Vancouver at 70 after a battle with cancer.

A former bandmate of David Foster, and later a bassist for Vancouver-based rockers Chilliwack, his friends say Edwards was a quiet but incredibly capable musician. He died on Friday.

Born March 15, 1946, Edwards spent his early years in Edmonton before his family moved to Victoria when he was a teenager, where he picked up the electric guitar and bass.

"He was, always has been -- and probably always will be -- the best 'pop' musician Victoria has ever produced," Foster said in an emailed statement.

"I don't know where my career would be today if I couldn't have hung my hat on that first hit."

Edwards's career jumpstarted as a session musician with the 5th Dimension in the 1960s, which led to TV appearances on the "The Ed Sullivan Show" and an opening gig for Frank Sinatra and the Harry James Orchestra in Las Vegas.

His session work continued throughout his career with appearances on tracks like Glass Tiger's "Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone" and the Poppy Family's "Which Way You Goin', Billy?"

But it was "Wildflower," which was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame five years ago, that solidified his spot in Canadian music history.

Edwards co-created the song after joining Skylark, which was led by singer B.J. Cook and Foster, who had just left Ronnie Hawkins's band.

"(There's) no instrument he couldn't play, no chord he couldn't access with ease, no musician he couldn't make immediately comfortable," Foster said.

Lyrics for "Wildflower" were written by Dave Richardson, a longtime friend of Foster and police officer in Saanich, B.C., who had been scribbling down poetry in his off time. When he heard Foster was looking for material, he sent over a stack of poems he thought might click.

One day Edwards was sifting through Richardson's work when he came across "Wildflower" and was intrigued enough to craft a melody on a Hammond organ. …

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