It's All In the Game (2:37)

Cover of The Best Of Tommy Edwards

From The Best Of Tommy Edwards and 275 other releases

“It’s All in the Game” was a 1958 hit for Tommy Edwards. Carl Sigman composed the lyrics in 1951 to a wordless 1911 composition entitled “Melody in A Major,” written by Charles Dawes, later Vice President of the United States under Calvin Coolidge. It is the only #1 pop single to have been co-written by a U.S. Vice President or winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

The song has become a pop standard, with cover versions by dozens of artists, some of which have been minor hit singles.

Edwards’ song ranked at #38 on Billboard’s All Time Top 100.[1]

Dawes, a Chicago bank president and amateur pianist and flautist, composed the tune in 1911[2] in a single sitting at his lakeshore home in Evanston. He played it for a friend, the violinist Francis MacMillen, who took Dawes’s sheet music to a publisher. Dawes, known for his federal appointments and a United States Senate candidacy, was surprised to find a portrait of himself in a State Street shop window with copies of the tune for sale. Dawes quipped, “I know that I will be the target of my punster friends. They will say that if all the notes in my bank are as bad as my musical ones, they are not worth the paper they were written on.”

The tune, often dubbed “Dawes’s Melody,” followed him into politics, and he grew to detest hearing it wherever he appeared.[3] It was a favorite of violinist Fritz Kreisler, who used it as his closing number, and in the 1940s it was picked up by musicians such as Tommy Dorsey.[4]

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