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Crouch by Fredheim Arena, Norway
|Birth name||Andraé Edward Crouch|
|Born||July 1, 1942|
|Origin||San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|Genres||Gospel, contemporary Christian|
|Occupations||Musician, songwriter, arranger, record producer, pastor|
|Labels||Light, Warner Bros., Qwest, Verity|
|Associated acts||Sandra Crouch, Táta Vega, Edwin Hawkins, Danniebelle Hall|
|Website||Andraé Crouch on Facebook|
Andraé Edward Crouch was born 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. When Crouch was 11, his father was invited to preach at a small church in a farming community. The church didn't have a regular pastor so the bishop asked Benjamin to fill the post. The first Sunday, Benjamin asked his son to come up front and asked, "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." Weeks later, Benjamin summoned his son again as the congregation sang, with: "If you're gonna play, play." Crouch found the key and started to play the piano. He soon began to write songs and lead a choir. As he had a stuttering problem until he was 14, he let his sister be his public spokesperson.  
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 to become a teacher, he was called to the ministry and formed The Disciples in 1965 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, the first to publish one of his songs ("The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power", which Crouch wrote at 15 but tossed into the trash thinking it was inferior; his twin sister Sandra, thinking differently, salvaged it). Spencer helped launchtheir recording career by introducing them 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 Sandra Crouch 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. Kathy Hazzard, Bea Carr, James Felix, and many support singers were part of the Disciples entourage. Bili Thedford and Danniebelle Hall left for a solo careers.
At Carmichael's urging, Crouch began to record his compositions in 1968 with the group's debut album, Take the Message Everywhere, which was released in 1969. In 1972 the Disciples appeared on 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 including Howard Smith, Linda McCrary, Táta Vega, and Kristle Murden and The Andraé Crouch Singers. Joe Sample, Wilton Felder, Dean Parks, David Paich, Phillip Bailey, Stevie Wonder, and 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 Táta Vega on "Oh it is Jesus". With Bill Maxwell he has co-produced 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.
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 and Tramaine 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 loved and greatly respected Michael Jackson as a dear friend for many years. 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 a powdered substance in the vehicle which he said was instant chicken soup powder. Crouch consented to a search and was found to be carrying a vial of the alleged drugs in his pocket. He was arrested and released several hours later on $2,500 bail. Crouch maintained that the alleged drugs belonged to a friend who had been staying in his apartment. Police declined to press charges.
Between 1993 and 1994 his father, mother, and older brother all died. Following his father's death, he 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)
- 2013: Live in Los Angeles
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
- 1980: Barbara Mandrell & The Mandrell Sisters special guest
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- "The CCM Interview: Andrae Crouch". CCM Magazine. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- "Grammy Awards won by Andraé Crouch". Grammy.com. Retrieved October 12, 2012.