|Birth name||Gwen Mosley|
December 21, 1943 |
Pensacola, Florida, U.S.
|Genres||Soul, R&B, gospel, disco|
|Labels||Ichiban Records, TK Records, Atlantic Records|
|Associated acts||George McCrae|
Gwen was the youngest of five children, She began performing in local clubs as a teenager, and singing with local groups like the Lafayettes and the Independents. In 1963, she met a young sailor named George McCrae, whom she married within a week.
From 1963, she recorded as a duo with her husband George; the couple received a solo recording contract, with Henry Stone's TK Records. The couple were discovered in 1967 by singer Betty Wright, who helped get them signed to Stone's Alston record label.
Signed to TK subsidiary, Cat as a solo artist, she found success on the U.S. R&B charts with her cover version of Bobby Bland's "Lead Me On" in 1970, followed by "For Your Love". Following husband George’s unexpected solo success with "Rock Your Baby", Gwen went on to have a major hit of her own in March 1975 with "Rockin' Chair", a #1 R&B hit which also reached number 9 in the United States' Billboard Hot 100. The follow-up "Love Insurance" also made the R&B chart (#16).
After TK Records collapsed, McCrae moved to New Jersey and signed with Atlantic Records, recording two albums and having another hit with "Funky Sensation" in 1981 (#22 R&B). She continued to record and the success of some of her earlier recordings on the UK's Northern Soul scene maintained her popularity as a live act in Europe. McCrae moved back to Florida, recorded a one-off single for the small Black Jack label in 1984 called "Do You Know What I Mean", and then temporarily retired from the music industry.
She traveled to the UK to record a couple of singles for Rhythm King in 1987. Pleased with her enduring popularity in the UK, McCrae eventually recorded an entire album for the British Homegrown Records label in 1996, titled Girlfriend's Boyfriend. Upon returning to the U.S., she signed with the revived Goldwax label, distributed by Ichiban Records, and recorded another album later that year, Psychic Hot Line.
In 1999, the French house music duo Cassius released the single "Feeling for You", which sampled the vocals of McCrae's "All This Love That I'm Giving". It was a Top 20 hit in the UK Singles Chart. The track also appeared on Cassius' album, 1999. In 1999, her single "Funky Sensation" was heavily sampled in the German Language single "Get Up," by DJ Thomilla featuring Afrob.
In 2004 McCrae released her first gospel album. In 2008, rap DJ/producer Madlib released his album, WLIB AM: King of the Wigflip which includes the song "Gamble on Ya Boy", based on a "I Found Love" sample, from McCrae's album, Melody of Life.
In 2005, McCrae teamed up with the Soulpower organization, which is also responsible for the comebacks of Marva Whitney, Lyn Collins, Martha High, Bobby Byrd and RAMP. Her two-year collaboration with Soulpower resulted in more than five dozen live performances with The Soulpower Allstars all over Europe, and the 2005 release of her album Live in Paris (Hi&Fly Records).
Gwen McCrae released her latest single "Now I Found Love" in December 2010, released through Plain Truth Entertainment. "Now I Found Love" was mixed and produced by Steve Sola and composed by David Seagal.
On 2 June 2012, after performing on stage, Gwen McRae had a stroke in her hotel room in England, which resulted in paralysis on the left side of her body and the inability to walk.
- 1974: Gwen McCrae (Cat 1603)
- 1975: Rockin' Chair (Cat 2605)
- 1975: Together (with George McCrae) (Cat 2606)
- 1976: Something So Right (Cat 2608)
- 1978: Let's Straighten It Out (Cat 2613)
- 1979: Melody of Life (Cat 2614)
- 1981: Gwen McCrae (Atlantic 19308)
- 1982: On My Way (Atlantic 80019)
- 1996: Psychic Hotline (Goldwax 4221)
- 1997: Girlfriend's Boyfriend (Ichiban 1511)
- 1999: Still Rockin' (Phat Sound 0199)
- 2004: I'm Not Worried (Lewmar 7154)
- 2006: Live in Paris at New Morning (Hi & Fly)
- 2006: Sings TK (Henry Stone Music 6001)
- List of soul musicians
- List of disco artists (F-K)
- List of acts who appeared on American Bandstand
- List of artists who reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart
- List of 1970s one-hit wonders in the United States