Sherman Edwards was born in New York and taught American history at James Monroe High School. After earning an undergraduate degree in history at New York University, he later did graduate work in history at Cornell University. He appeared as an actor in My Sister Eileen and the Broadway revue Pins and Needles. He began working as a pianist, playing for performers Lisa Kirk, Eddie Fisher, and Mindy Carson. Later, he played in the bands of Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, and Louis Armstrong. In the late 1950s, he began writing popular music, including the hit songs “Broken-Hearted Melody” (lyrics by Hal David), “See You in September” (music and lyrics co-written by Sid Wayne) and “Wonderful, Wonderful” (lyrics by Ben Raleigh). 1776 (for which he won a 1969 Tony Award) was his only Broadway score.