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Esmond Edwards Dies at 79

Esmond Herbert Edwards started as a clerk at Prestige Records in 1957. In only five years, he became the head of the Chess Records jazz label in Chicago before moving on to New York to work for MGM’s Verve Records. He was one of the first African-American executives in the music industry, an album producer and an accomplished photographer.

Edwards died Jan. 20, ending a long battle with cancer at age 79 in Santa Barbara, Calif., where he made his home for the past decade.

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