Edna M. Riddick from Alcoa, Tennessee, grew up singing hymns around the piano at her grandparents’ home. A member of the school band for several years helped to frame her interest in many types of music. Married at a young age, Edna was busy developing her career, raising children, and supporting her husband Jim as a basketball coach. Not until their children were older did Edna discover her passion for writing songs. She joined the Knoxville Songwriters Association (KSA) and Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI). After a few trips to Nashville, Mr. Woody Bomar encouraged Edna to stretch her musical talents and learn to play guitar. Lucky for Edna, Steve Kaufman was teaching guitar at a local music store. Lessons didn’t follow Steve’s normal routine. Edna would sing her new song to Steve, and he would write the chords for her. She started to combine her lyrics and melodies as she learned to play her new Martin D-28 guitar. Edna enjoys writing contemporary gospel and a variety of musical genres. Her inspiration comes from real-life experiences and her passion for singing and playing guitar.
Two of Edna’s most passionate songs were written based on experiences working at the I. G. Brown Air National Guard Professional Military Education Center. Edna’s “Pray for Peace” stirs strong emotions about the military and the devastating impact of war. Another song was written as the result of Jim and Edna being in Washington DC, only one block from the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Experiencing the trauma of that day inspired the song “The Day America Cried.”
Edna currently serves as Historian of the Knoxville Songwriters Association and is KSA Past President.