Copyright 2000 www.cosmopolis.ch Louis Gerber All rights
Biography and CD The Best Of Randy Crawford & Friends.
Original release date: 1996; re-released, at least in
Switzerland, in 2000. Get the CD from Amazon.com.
Randy Crawford 's best hits are, at least in Switzerland, available on a
re-release (16 titles, several of them are special versions and remixes; on
the 1996 CD available at Amazon.com, there are 14 titles, probably only original versions!). Veronika Crawford was born in Macon,
Georgia, in 1952, and grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. As a child, she sang in
school and church choirs. At the age of 15, she began to sing in clubs, accompanied by her father.
She became the lead vocalist in a group that included bassist Bootsy Collins.
In 1972, she had her first big concert in New York's Club Nico's, where she
appeared in a program together with George Benson.
In a tribute concert to Cannonball Adderley in 1975, she was on stage
together with Quincy Jones and George Benson. Two of the songs recorded on
that occasion were part of her (only American) debut album Everything Must
Change. It included jazz, blues, soul and pop elements. Randy Crawford's initial notoriety came from her vocal
contribution to Street Life. The Crusaders invited her to sing their
eleven minute title song on their 1979 album Street Life, which
remained #1 on the American jazz charts for twenty weeks. The song was
included on the soundtrack for Burt Reynolds' film Sharky's Machine.
Randy Crawford had her commercial breakthrough as a solo artist with her fourth
album, Now We May Begin. Released in the summer of 1980, it was #4 in the UK. Its single hit, the ballad One Day I'll Fly Away,
was a UK #1 hit. Only after this success were her three previous albums also released in Europe. Several other hits followed. She worked together
with Al Jarreau and, in 1986, was
considered the ballad Queen of soul by the New Musical Express. On her next
album, only the ballad Almaz, composed by Randy Crawford herself, had
certain qualities and reached #4 in the UK charts. In 1988, the
London Symphony Orchestra invited her for two concerts which were sold out. In
the following years, only her version of Bob Dylan's Knockin' On Heaven's
Door was interesting, sweet but still powerful, but it had no commercial
success, although recorded together with Bob Dylan (guitar) and David Sandborn
(saxophone). In the 1990s, there are a few notable songs such as Cajun Moon
(1995), Last Night At The Danceland and of course Captain Of her
Heart (1997; but not on the American "Best of" CD of 1996). Despite her
distinctive voice, she did not have any other major hits in the USA, only
maintaining a limited success in the UK and other European countries.
Randy Crawford's singing is often a touch too sweet and the compositions are a
bit too simplistic. Get the CD from Amazon.com.