Andraé Crouch (born July 1, 1942) is an American gospel singer, songwriter, arranger, recording artist, record producer, and pastor.
Born Andraé Edward Crouch in San Francisco, California, where his parents managed a dry cleaners. His father, Benjamin Crouch, also had a street ministry, and ministered in hospitals and in prison. Crouch was eleven years old when his father was invited to preach at a small church in a farming community. The church didn’t have a pastor so the bishop invited Crouch’s father to become the pastor. That first Sunday, Crouch’s father asked him to come up front. He said, “Andraé, if God gave you the gift of music to play and sing for him would you do it for his glory all your life?” Crouch said, “Yeah daddy.” A couple of weeks later, his father asked him to come up as the congregation was singing. He said, “If you’re gonna play, play.” Crouch found the key, and started to play the piano. As he got a little older, he started to write songs, and lead a choir. Until he was fourteen, he had a stuttering problem—so he let his sister talk for him in public.  
Crouch’s first group was the Church of God in Christ Singers (COGICS) in 1960, which included Billy Preston. The COGICS were the first group to record the song “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power.”
While attending Valley Junior College in California for a career in teaching, he was called to the ministry and formed The Disciples in 1965, along with Perry Morgan, and Bili Thedford. The group became a frequent attraction at “Monday Night Sing” concerts in southern California put on by promoter Audrey Mieir. Mieir would introduce Crouch to Tim Spencer of Manna Music Publishing who would be the first to publish one of his songs (“The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power” which was written by Crouch at age 15 but tossed in the trash because he thought it poor. Sister Sandra thought differently and salvaged it.) In turn, Spencer helped launch their recording career by introducing the group to Light Records founder Ralph Carmichael. Sherman Andrus and Reuben Fernandez were added to the group in time to record their first album, Take The Message Everywhere, in 1968. They were subsequently replaced by Crouch’s twin sister Sandra in 1970. Sherman Andrus went on to join the Imperials. In 1972, singer Danniebelle Hall, trumpeter Fletch Wiley, Harlan Rogers, Hadley Hockensmith and drummer Bill Maxwell joined the Disciples. Many support singers, Kathy Hazzard, Bea Carr, and James Felix were part of the Disciples entourage. Bili Thedford and Danniebelle left for a solo careers.
At the urging of Carmichael, Crouch began to record his compositions in 1968 with the group’s debut album Take the Message Everywhere releasing in 1969. In 1972, the Disciples appeared on network television’s The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.By 1985, they had also performed at the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall and toured 68 countries. Crouch’s most popular songs from this period include “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power”, “Through It All”, “Bless His Holy Name”, “Soon and Very Soon”, “Jesus is the Answer”, and “My Tribute”. Their contemporary gospel sound reached beyond the traditional African American base and touched a racially and musically diverse audience.
The Disciples disbanded in 1979 and Crouch continued on with his solo career with an ensemble Howard Smith, Linda McCrary, Tata Vega and Kristle Murden as well as with the Andraé Crouch Singers. Joe Sample, Wilton Felder, Dean Parks, David Paich, Phillip Bailey, Stevie Wonder other secular artists were featured on all of Crouch’s major recording sessions. Crouch had a gift of bringing out unique voices in solos on his projects including El Debarge on “The Lord is my Light” or Tata Vega on “Oh it is Jesus”. He has co-produced with Bill Maxwell projects for The Winans, Danniebelle Hall and Kristle Murden. Many musical acts and solo performers covered his more popular works, including Elvis Presley (“I’ve Got Confidence”), further expanding Crouch’s musical influence. In 1995, he was featured in the Warren Chaney docudrama, America: A Call to Greatness.
In 2006, Crouch released Mighty Wind, a 40th anniversary album featuring guest performances by Marvin Winans, Crystal Lewis,Karen Clark Sheard, and Lauren Evans.
Crouch was a key figure in the Jesus Music movement of the 1960s and 1970s. As a result, helped bring about contemporary Christian music, and began to bridge the gap between black and white Christian music. Though sometimes criticized for diluting the Gospel message by using contemporary styles, his songs have become staples in churches all around the world and recorded by mainstream artists such as Elvis Presley and Paul Simon.
Crouch is also credited with revolutionizing the sound of urban Gospel music. Crouch was instrumental in bringing Walter andTramaine Hawkins, Jessy Dixon and The Winans to Light Records, all enjoying successful gospel music careers. His influence has extended to countless artists like BeBe and CeCe Winans, The Clark Sisters, Wintley Phipps, Anointed and Israel Houghton.
In 1996, Crouch’s songs were the impetus for the Grammy Award- winning CD, Tribute: The Songs of Andraé Crouch (released on Warner Bros. Records), which featured a range of artists performing some of his classic songs including, the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Take 6 and Michael W. Smith.
Crouch and his sister, Sandra considered Michael Jackson as a dear friend for many years, whom they loved and greatly respected. In 1987, the Andraé Crouch Choir sang background vocals along with Siedah Garrett, Glen Ballard, and The Winans on Jackson’s hit single, “Man in the Mirror” from the Bad album. The Andraé Crouch Singers were also featured on the songs, “Keep the Faith” and “Will You Be There” from Jackson’s 1991 Dangerous album. Andraé and Sandra also did the choir arrangement for those songs. On Jackson’s HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I project in 1995, the Andraé Crouch Choir chants climactically in a dramatic interaction with Jackson on “Earth Song.” Crouch’s composition, “Soon and Very Soon” was performed at the public memorial service for Jackson at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
On Friday, November 12, 1982, Crouch was arrested in Los Angeles on a charge of possessing cocaine and dangerous drugs. Sheriff’s deputies stopped him for erratic driving and discovered the alleged drugs after a search of the vehicle. Crouch was arrested and released several hours later on $2,500 bail. Crouch maintained that the substance was instant chicken soup powder. Police declined to press charges.
Between 1993 and 1994 his father, mother, and older brother died in short order. Following the death of his father, Crouch took over as Senior Pastor at Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ in Pacoima, California, the church founded by his parents. He serves alongside his twin sister, Sandra. He is cousin to music critic Stanley Crouch.
Andraé Crouch & The Disciples
- 1969: Take the Message Everywhere (Light)
- 1971: Keep on Singin’ (Light)
- 1972: Soulfully (Light)
- 1973: Live at Carnegie Hall (Light)
- 1975: Take Me Back (Light)
- 1976: This Is Another Day (Light)
- 1978: Live in London (Light)
- 1973: Just Andrae (Light)
- 1979: I’ll Be Thinking of You (Light)
- 1981: Don’t Give Up (Warner Bros.)
- 1982: Finally (Light)
- 1984: No Time to Lose (Light)
- 1986: Autograph (Light)
- 1994: Mercy (Qwest)
- 1997: Pray (Qwest)
- 1998: Gift of Christmas (Qwest)
- 2006: Mighty Wind (Verity)
- 2011: The Journey (Riverphlo Entertainment)
Crouch later worked as a producer or arranger with Michael Jackson, Madonna, Quincy Jones, Mika (We Are Golden), Diana Ross,Elton John, Rick Astley (Cry For Help) and Prefab Sprout. Crouch co-wrote the title song to CeCe Winans’ award-winning Throne Room album in 2003.
Crouch has won numerous awards and honors over the years including seven Grammy Awards, four GMA Dove Awards, and ASCAP, Billboard and NAACP Awards. In 2004, he became the only living Gospel artist — and just the third in history — to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
On November 11, 2011, Sandra and Andrae Crouch were granted an honorary “Artist-in-Residence” Award by the International Center of Worship for Global Day of Worship Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA.
- 1975: Best Soul Gospel Performance Take Me Back
- 1978: Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album Live in London
- 1979: Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album I’ll Be Thinking Of You
- 1980: Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary or Inspirational “The Lord’s Prayer” (collaborative)
- 1981: Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album Don’t Give Up
- 1984: Best Soul Gospel Performance, Male “Always Remember”
- 1994: Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album Mercy
GMA Dove Awards
- Soul/Black gospel album
- 1977 – This is another day(Light)
- 1978 – Live in London (Light)
- Contemporary gospel album of the year
- 1985 – No Time To Lose (Light)
- 1998 – Pray (Qwest/Warner Bros.)
- Traditional gospel album of the year
- 1993 – With all of my heart; Sandra Crouch and Friends (Sparrow)
- Contemporary gospel recorded song of the year
- 1997 – “Take me back”; Tribute—The Songs of Andrae Crouch (songwriter) (Warner Alliance)
- Nominated for an Oscar for The Color Purple (1985)
- NARAS’ Inaugural Salute to Gospel Music Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, 2005
- Christian Music Hall of Fame and Museum inductee, 2007
- How Sweet the Sound Living Legend Award, 2012
- 1985: The Color Purple songwriter: “Maybe God’s Trying to Tell You Something”
- 1993: Once Upon A Forest songwriter: “He’s Gone/He’s Back”
- 1994: The Lion King arranger and choral conductor
- 1982: The Jeffersons “Men of the Cloth” episode
- 1982: SCTV Network 90 Christmas special
- 1986: Amen theme writer, arranger
- 1994: In Search of Dr. Seuss as Yertle the Turtle
- 1998: Nickelodeon‘s Cousin Skeeter
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- ^ a b c d e Manheim, James M. and Belfiore, Michael (2005). “Andraé Crouch”. In Pilchak, Angela M., ed.. Contemporary Musicians. Volume 51. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale Group. pp. 27–29. ISBN 0-7876-8064-8. ISSN 1044-2197.
- ^ Booth, John D., The Music of Andrae Crouch and the Disciples. Masters of Church Music, New Orelans Baptist Theological Seminary, 1974, p. 3
- ^ a b c d Carpenter, Bil. Uncloudy Days: The Gospel Music Encyclopedia, ISBN 978-0-87930-841-4, Backbeat Books, San Francisco, 2005, page 107
- ^ “(Musicians)”. America Movie. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
- ^ UPI (November 15, 1982). “Police Arrest Gospel Singer On Drug Possession Charge”. NYTimes.com. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
- ^ “Andrae Crouch Profile ::: BREATHEcast.com ::: Christian Artist Database, Bios, News, Albums, Concert Dates”. Breathecast.christianpost.com. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
- ^ “Grammy Awards won by Andraé Crouch”. Grammy.com. Retrieved October 12, 2012.