Adina Edwards — gospel artiste extraordinaire

UNSUNG

Cecelia Campbell-Livingston

Thursday, April 05, 2012

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In commemoration of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of Independence from Britain, the Jamaica Observer’s Entertainment section recognises 50 persons who made significant, yet unheralded, contributions to the country’s culture. This week, we feature gospel musician Adina Edwards.


THE current generation of gospel artistes and fans know little about Adina Edwards, the blind singer who stood on the corner of Kingston and Barry streets playing an accordion and belting out Christian songs.


She would do songs like Precious Lord, Just A Closer Walk With Thee, Love Walks With Me and He Touched Me.


But it was her cover of the Bee Gees' Don't Forget To Remember that many had identified Edwards with.


While working at Dynamic Sounds recording studio, producer Tommy Cowan encouraged Edwards to record the song.


It became her signature tune.


Many admired Edwards for her musicianship. Playing her accordion, she attracted enthusiastic crowds who gave her offerings in appreciation for the rich musical feast she fed them.


Blindness never impeded Edwards. In fact, it made her more determined.


Ill health eventually took a toll and little was heard about her until April 4, 2008 when she passed away at the University Hospital of the West Indies.


Adina Edwards, a trailblazer, is one of the persons responsible for the popularity gospel music currently enjoys in Jamaica.


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