Sunday, January 11, 2015

My Tribute to Andraé Crouch

On Thursday, January 8, gospel music great Andraé Crouch shuffled off this mortal coil and into the arms of his Savior. A catalyst for the contemporary Christian music scene, Crouch was not only an excellent musician, but he was a prolific songwriter. Many of Crouch’s compositions reached legendary proportions with first his own recordings of these songs, but also for the hundreds of cover recordings and their appearances in numerous hymnals and song books.


I had the opportunity to meet Andraé back in 1973 or 74 at the Huntington (WV) Memorial Field House. He was the first star I would have the pleasure to meet, and I still have the program with his autograph. Unfortunately, it is boxed away and finding it these days is next to impossible – but I saw it when we were packing before our last move. He was generous enough, however, to stay as long after the show as necessary to meet every one of his fans.

Groomed as recording artist by Ralph Carmichael, Crouch’s talent was as big as life itself and is illustrated by seven Grammys, six Dove Awards, and numerous other accolades he was accorded. Crouch wasn’t perfect, but he was forgiven. Unfortunately for us, he died five days after suffering a heart attack. He was 72.

Although bassist Bili Thedford sang lead on Crouch’s composition “My Tribute,” it is still a fitting song to remember Andraé’s contributions to Christian music. “To God be the glory for the things He has done.” Rest in peace, Andraé.




2 comments:

  1. Fitting tribute (no pun intended). "My Tribute" was played by a trumpet at my wedding in 1975. Andre' wrote and sang some of the greatest gospel music of his time. You also mentioned Ralph Carmichael, considered the Father of Contemporary Christian Music, who started in the music business working with the likes of Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Roger Williamss, and Ella Fitzgerald. I had several of the records he produced for Light Records in the 70s.

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    1. Glad to be able to bring back some good memories for you.

      Jim

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