Doug Edwards, co-writer of hit song "Wildflower," passes on at 70

November 15, 2016

Victoria-based songwriter, guitarist, bassist and SOCAN member Doug Edwards, best known for co-writing the huge global hit song “Wildflower,” passed away of cancer, on Nov. 11, 2016, in Vancouver, at age 70.

Superstar producer David Foster, Edwards' bandmate in the band Skylark, who recorded the original version of “Wildflower,” described him as “one in a million.” Edwards wrote the music for “Wildflower” to lyrics by co-writer Dave Richardson. First a hit for Skylark in 1972, the song went gold in Canada, reached No. 9 on the U.S. Billboard chart, and has been played on radio in the U.S. more than two million times.

“Wildflower” has been covered by more than 75 artists, including Johnny Mathis, Hank Crawford, The O'Jays, The Neville Brothers, and Blake Shelton, while samples of the Hank Crawford version have been used on recordings by Tupac Shakur, Kanye West, Eminem and Drake. It's one of the most performed songs in the history of Canadian popular music, has earned a SOCAN Classic Award (in 1994) and was inducted to the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (in 2011).

Until 2016, Edwards had spent the two previous decades performing with Canadian classic rock band Chilliwack. During his lengthy career as a highly respected session musician, Edwards toured with The 5th Dimension in the 1960s, appearing three times on The Ed Sullivan Show, and for a month as opening act for Frank Sinatra and the Harry James Orchestra in Las Vegas.

He also played on countless hits, including Olivia Newton John's "Don’t Cry for Me Argentina," Glass Tiger's "Don’t Forget Me When I'm Gone," and The Poppy Family's "Which Way You Goin', Billy?" And he appeared on TV shows with Tom Jones, Paul Anka and Wolfman Jack. He performed and recorded with countless BC acts, including Paul Horn, Terry Jacks, Ann Mortifée, Valdy, Rick Scott, The Hometown Band, and Roy Forbes.

Edwards is survived by his wife Mary, his daughter Jennifer, and his sister Carol, to all of whom SOCAN extends our heartfelt sympathies and condolences.