A Pilooski edit of “Why Can’t There Be Love” in 2006 sparked new interest in her music from a wide audience, especially when it became the official track to adidas’ 2010 campaign, Celebrating Originality on the Streets. Artists such as RZA, Tyler, the Creator, Gramatik, and acclaimed German emcee/producer Morlockk Dilemma continued to show their love for the late singer by way of sampling.
Her career took off after moving to Detroit in the 1960s from her birthplace of Montgomery, Alabama, Dee Edwards released her first song together with her three brothers as R&B vocal group The Paragons. “My Time Is Important To Me” was mainly a local hit, but it led to Edwards (born Doris Jean Harrell) being signed as a solo act to new Detroit soul label D-Town. Which was actually named after her by founder Mike Hanks. “You Say You Love Me (And Need Me)” was her official debut single.
Soon after her deep soul debut, she shifted to a more cheerful, Motown-inspired approach with tracks such as “Oh What A Party” and “His Majesty, My Love.” Another track in that same line is the upbeat “All The Way Home”, loved as a cult classic amongst Northern soul fans. But around these singles from 1964 to 1966, there was still no full album by miss Edwards in sight...
As mentioned in a short biography by Jason Ankeny, D-Town founder Mike Hanks “lacked the marketing muscle necessary to push her records to a national audience,” despite her local following. After D-Town folded she went on a two-year hiatus until releasing “I’ll Shed No Tears” on a new label; Premium Stuff.
Following a few more singles (here we are: including “Why Can’t There Be Love” in 1971) and another break from music for five years to focus on her family, it took all the way until 1979 before releasing her very first album–one of her only two LPs. It scored a few minor hits. But shortly after, Dee Edwards retired from music once and for all to fully focus on her children.
Her own words in "Why Can't There Be Love" sound ambiguous now: “It's time for you to wake up and hear my strong appeal.” Let's hope producers will continue to do so...
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