Marshall Crenshaw

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Marshall Crenshaw
Background information
Birth name Marshall Howard Crenshaw
Born (1953-11-11) November 11, 1953 (age 60)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Genres Rock
Occupations Musician, singer, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1968–present
Labels Warner Bros., Wounded Bird
Associated acts Astigafa

Marshall Howard Crenshaw (born November 11, 1953) is an American musician, singer and songwriter best known for his song "Someday, Someway", a Top 40 hit in 1982.

His music has roots in classic soul music, British Invasion songcraft, Burt Bacharach and Buddy Holly -- the latter to whom Crenshaw was often compared in the early days of his career, and whom he portrayed in the 1987 film La Bamba. Crenshaw is also a noted guitarist who uses offbeat chord progressions (almost verging towards jazz) and concise solos.


Born in Detroit, Michigan, he grew up in the northern suburb of Berkley, Michigan. Crenshaw graduated from Berkley High School in June 1971. Crenshaw began playing guitar at age ten. From 1968 to 1973 he led the band Astigafa (an acronym for "a splendid time is guaranteed for all", a lyric from The Beatles' "Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite"). He got his first break playing John Lennon in the off-Broadway touring company of the musical Beatlemania.[1]

While in New York, he recorded a single, "Something's Gonna Happen", for Alan Betrock's Shake Records, after which he was signed to Warner Bros. Records. Retro rocker Robert Gordon took Crenshaw's "Someday, Someway" to #76 in 1981, and Crenshaw's own version made #36 the next year; it would be his only solo Billboard Top 40 'Pop' hit. On the Cash Box magazine chart the song fared slightly better, reaching #31. Its biggest reception was at AOR (Album Oriented Rock) radio, reaching #25 on Billboard's Rock Tracks chart. The song, "Til I Hear It from You", sung by the Gin Blossoms and co-written by Crenshaw, reached #11 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1996.

Throughout the rest of the decade Marshall enjoyed considerable airplay on AOR (Album-Oriented Rock) stations nationwide with many tracks and became very well known in his native Michigan.

Crenshaw's eponymous first album included the U.S. hit, Someday, Someway. His second album, Field Day, released in June of 1983, sported a somewhat heavier sound, as evidenced on "Whenever You're On My Mind," that reportedly displeased a few listeners, but which is regarded by many critics as Crenshaw's best,[2] and one of the classic power pop statements, although Crenshaw's work, somewhat like the late Alex Chilton's, transcends the genre. "Some of the stuff I've done you could call power pop," he told an interviewer, "but the term does have sort of a dodgy connotation."

In 1989, he compiled a collection of Capitol Records country performers of the 1950s and '60s called Hillbilly Music...Thank God, Vol. 1, which was extremely well received.

In 1993, he made an appearance in the cult TV show The Adventures of Pete and Pete, in the role of a guitar-playing meter reader, and in 1994, he published a book, Hollywood Rock: A Guide to Rock 'n' Roll in the Movies.

He continued to record in the 1990s and 2000s, and, in 1999, released the critically acclaimed #447.[1][2][3]

In the 2000s, Crenshaw played guitar as a special guest with the reunited members of the MC5.

Crenshaw penned the title track from the 2007 film Walk Hard[1] starring John C. Reilly; the song, as sung by Reilly, was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.[4]

Jaggedland, was released in June 2009 on his new record label 429 Records.

In 2011 Crenshaw began hosting a radio show called The Bottomless Pit on WFUV in New York, featuring his vast collection of recorded music.


Many notable artists have recorded cover versions of Crenshaw's songs, including:[5]


Studio albums[edit]

  • Marshall Crenshaw (1982)
  • Field Day (1983)
  • Downtown (1985)
  • Mary Jean & 9 Others (1987)
  • Good Evening (1989)
  • Life's Too Short (1991)
  • Miracle of Science (1996)
  • #447 (1999)
  • What's In The Bag? (2003)
  • Jaggedland (2009)


  • I Don't See You Laughing Now (2012)
  • Stranger And Stranger (2013)
  • Drivin' and Dreamin' (2013)
  • Red Wine (2014)

Live albums[edit]

  • WRIF LIVE At Hart Plaza - Rare Detroit radio station Promo (vinyl only) - Performed "Soldier Of Love", an Arthur Alexander song
  • Live...My Truck Is My Home (1994)
  • I've Suffered For My Art...Now It's Your Turn (2001)
  • Live From the Stone Pony (2003) - Six song Bonus Audio Disc from the King Biscuit DVD of the same name


  • A Collection [Promo Only Release] (1991)
  • The 9 Volt Years: Battery Powered Home Demos & Curios (1998)
  • The Best Of Marshall Crenshaw: This Is Easy (2000)
  • Bug Music Presents: 14 High Class Tunes (2001)
  • Marshall Crenshaw: Greatest Hits Acoustic (2002 BMG Special Products)
  • The Definitive Pop Collection (2006)


External links[edit]