Gwen McCrae
Gwen McCrae is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Rhythm and blues
Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated to R&B, is a genre of popular African American music that originated in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a...

 singer, best known for her March, 1975 hit
Hit record
A hit record is a sound recording, usually in the form of a single or album, that sells a large number of copies or otherwise becomes broadly popular or well-known, through airplay, club play, inclusion in a film or stage play soundtrack, causing it to have "hit" one of the popular chart listings...

 "Rockin' Chair
Rockin' Chair (Gwen McCrae song)
Rockin' Chair is a 1975 crossover single by Gwen McCrae. The single is not to be confused with Fats Domino's 1951 R&B hit, of the same name or that of Hoagy Carmichael, Rockin' Chair . "Rockin' Chair" was McCrae's sole entry into the top 10 on both the soul and pop charts. The single hit number...



Gwen was the youngest of five children (three sisters: one called Delores and one brother Herman), She grew up singing in her Pentecostal church and later discovered secular singers like Sam Cooke
Sam Cooke
Samuel Cook, , better known under the stage name Sam Cooke, was an American gospel, R&B, soul, and pop singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. He is considered to be one of the pioneers and founders of soul music. He is commonly known as the King of Soul for his distinctive vocal abilities and...

 and Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin
Aretha Louise Franklin is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Although known for her soul recordings and referred to as The Queen of Soul, Franklin is also adept at jazz, blues, R&B, gospel music, and rock. Rolling Stone magazine ranked her atop its list of The Greatest Singers of All...

. She began performing in local clubs
A nightclub is an entertainment venue which usually operates late into the night...

 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
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 within a week.

From 1963 she recorded
Sound recording and reproduction
Sound recording and reproduction is an electrical or mechanical inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice, singing, instrumental music, or sound effects. The two main classes of sound recording technology are analog recording and digital recording...

 as a duo
Duet (music)
A duet is a musical composition for two performers. In classical music, the term is most often used for a composition for two singers or pianists; with other instruments, the word duo is also often used. A piece performed by two pianists performing together on the same piano is referred to as...

 with her husband
A husband is a male participant in a marriage. The rights and obligations of the husband regarding his spouse and others, and his status in the community and in law, vary between cultures and has varied over time...

George McCrae
George McCrae is an American soul and disco singer, most famous for his 1974 hit "Rock Your Baby".-Early life and career:...

, and was first to receive a solo
Solo (music)
In music, a solo is a piece or a section of a piece played or sung by a single performer...

 recording contract
Recording contract
A recording contract is a legal agreement between a record label and a recording artist , where the artist makes a record for the label to sell and promote...

, with Henry Stone
Henry Stone
Henry Stone is an American record company executive and producer whose career spans the era from R&B in the early 1950s through the disco boom of the 1970s to the present day. He is best known as co-owner and president of TK Records....

's TK Records
TK Records
TK Records was an American record label started by record distributor, Henry Stone in Miami, Florida, one of several labels that he founded in the 1960s and 1970s...

. George and Gwen were discovered in 1967 by singer Betty Wright
Betty Wright
Bessie Regina Norris, better known by her stage name, Betty Wright , is a Grammy winning Miami-based soul and R&B singer-songwriter, who won fame in the 1970s with hits such as "Clean Up Woman" and "Tonight Is the Night"...

, who helped get them signed to Stone's Alston record label
Record label
In the music industry, a record label is a brand and a trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. Most commonly, a record label is the company that manages such brands and trademarks, coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing and promotion,...

. Their debut single
Single (music)
In music, a single or record single is a type of release, typically a recording of fewer tracks than an LP or a CD. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, the single is a song that is released separately from an album, but it can still appear...

, "Three Hearts in a Tangle," was released in 1969; the follow-up, "Like Yesterday Our Love Is Gone," marked the first time they worked with the writing team of Clarence Reid (who would later morph into the bawdy comic Blowfly
Blowfly (artist)
Blowfly is the stage name and alternate persona of Clarence Reid , who was a songwriter for many hit R&B acts in the 1960s and 1970s. As Blowfly, he has recorded numerous albums, mostly of sex-based parodies of other songs, as well as original raps themed around sex...

) and Willie Clarke. Both were regional hits, as was third single, "No One Left to Come Home," although none of those records
Gramophone record
A gramophone record, commonly known as a phonograph record , vinyl record , or colloquially, a record, is an analog sound storage medium consisting of a flat disc with an inscribed, modulated spiral groove...

 broke nationally; meanwhile, the McCraes and Wright were collectively earning a reputation as stellar session vocalists
Session musician
Session musicians are instrumental and vocal performers, musicians, who are available to work with others at live performances or recording sessions. Usually such musicians are not permanent members of a musical ensemble and often do not achieve fame in their own right as soloists or bandleaders...


She found success on the U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, is a chart released weekly by Billboard in the United States.The chart, initiated in 1942, is used to track the success of popular music songs in urban, or primarily African American, venues. Dominated over the years at various times by jazz, rhythm and blues, doo-wop, soul,...

Record chart
A record chart is a ranking of recorded music according to popularity during a given period of time. Examples of music charts are the Hit parade, Hot 100 or Top 40....

 with her cover version
Cover version
In popular music, a cover version or cover song, or simply cover, is a new performance or recording of a contemporary or previously recorded, commercially released song or popular song...

 of Bobby Bland
Bobby Bland
Robert Calvin Bland better known as Bobby "Blue" Bland, is an American singer of blues and soul. He is an original member of the Beale Streeters, and is sometimes referred to as the "Lion of the Blues"...

's "Lead Me On" in 1970, followed by "For Your Love".

Following husband George’s unexpected solo
Solo (music)
In music, a solo is a piece or a section of a piece played or sung by a single performer...

 success with "Rock Your Baby
Rock Your Baby
"Rock Your Baby" is a popular song by George McCrae. Written and produced by Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch of KC and the Sunshine Band, "Rock Your Baby" was one of the landmark recordings of early disco music...

", 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 the U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play and sales; the tracking-week for sales begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Wednesday...

 Top 10. The follow-up "Love Insurance" also made the R&B chart. By this time, the separate successes were taking their toll on the McCrae's marriage (Gwen has since alleged that her husband beat her frequently). A 1976 duet single, "Winners Together, Losers Apart," fell short of the R&B Top 40, and a full album of duets failed to assuage matters. The couple split later that year, and Gwen scored what turned out to be her last chart hit for Cat, "Damn Right It's Good."

After TK Records collapsed, McCrae moved to New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

, and signed with Atlantic Records
Atlantic Records
Atlantic Records is an American record label best known for its many recordings of rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and jazz...

, having another hit with "Funky Sensation
Funky Sensation
"Funky Sensation" is a disco-boogie song released in 1981 by American soul singer Gwen McCrae.The song was written by Kenton Nix who also wrote "Heartbeat" for Taana Gardner...

" in 1981. She continued to record, and the success of some of her earlier recordings on the UK's
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 Northern Soul
Northern soul
Northern soul is a music and dance movement that emerged from the British mod scene, initially in northern England in the late 1960s. Northern soul mainly consists of a particular style of black American soul music based on the heavy beat and fast tempo of the mid-1960s Tamla Motown sound...

 scene maintained her popularity as a live act in Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

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 temporarily retired from the music industry.

She travelled 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, entitled Girlfriend's Boyfriend. Upon returning to the U.S., she signed with the revived Goldwax label, distributed by Ichiban Records
Ichiban Records
Ichiban Records was a hip hop record label founded in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1985. Wrap Records and Nastymix Records were some of its subsidiary labels. Urgent! Records was distributed by Ichiban. Most of its discography is now out of print. Besides hip hop groups, Ichiban also released albums by...

, and recorded another album later that year, Psychic Hot Line. In 1998, Ichiban reissued Girlfriend's Boyfriend in the U.S. and McCrae returned in 1999 with Still Rockin, which received favorable reviews in blues and classic soul circles.

In 1999, the French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

 house music
House music
House music is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in Chicago, Illinois, United States in the early 1980s. It was initially popularized in mid-1980s discothèques catering to the African-American, Latino American, and gay communities; first in Chicago circa 1984, then in other...

 duo Cassius
Cassius (band)
Cassius is a French house music duo, consisting of producers Philippe Cerboneschi and Hubert Blanc-Francart, better known as Philippe Zdar and Boom Bass.-History:...

 released the single "Feeling for You", which sampled
Sampling (music)
In music, sampling is the act of taking a portion, or sample, of one sound recording and reusing it as an instrument or a different sound recording of a song or piece. Sampling was originally developed by experimental musicians working with musique concrète and electroacoustic music, who physically...

 the vocals
Human voice
The human voice consists of sound made by a human being using the vocal folds for talking, singing, laughing, crying, screaming, etc. Its frequency ranges from about 60 to 7000 Hz. The human voice is specifically that part of human sound production in which the vocal folds are the primary...

 of McCrae's "All This Love That I'm Giving". It was a Top 20 hit in the UK Singles Chart
UK Singles Chart
The UK Singles Chart is compiled by The Official Charts Company on behalf of the British record-industry. The full chart contains the top selling 200 singles in the United Kingdom based upon combined record sales and download numbers, though some media outlets only list the Top 40 or the Top 75 ...

. The track also appeared on Cassius' album, 1999.

In 2004 McCrae released her first gospel album
An album is a collection of recordings, released as a single package on gramophone record, cassette, compact disc, or via digital distribution. The word derives from the Latin word for list .Vinyl LP records have two sides, each comprising one half of the album...

. In 2008, rap
Rapping refers to "spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics". The art form can be broken down into different components, as in the book How to Rap where it is separated into “content”, “flow” , and “delivery”...

Disc jockey
A disc jockey, also known as DJ, is a person who selects and plays recorded music for an audience. Originally, "disc" referred to phonograph records, not the later Compact Discs. Today, the term includes all forms of music playback, no matter the medium.There are several types of disc jockeys...

Record producer
A record producer is an individual working within the music industry, whose job is to oversee and manage the recording of an artist's music...

Otis Jackson Jr. in Oxnard, California, known professionally as Madlib, is a Los Angeles-based DJ, multi-instrumentalist, rapper, and music producer...

 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 the summer of 2005, McCrae teamed up with the Soulpower organization, which is also responsible for the comebacks of Marva Whitney
Marva Whitney
Marva Whitney is an African American funk singer. She is considered by many funk enthusiasts to be one of the "rawest" and "brassiest" music divas....

, Lyn Collins
Lyn Collins
Lyn Collins was an African American soul singer best known for working with James Brown in the 1970s. Contrary to some reports, she is not related to Bootsy Collins, nor Catfish Collins....

, Martha High
Martha High
Martha High is an American female vocalist.Harvin grew up in Washington, D.C., attending Roosevelt High School and singing in Trinity AME Zion Church. She began singing in The Four Jewels after the departure of Carrie Mingo...

, Bobby Byrd
Bobby Byrd
Bobby Byrd born Robert Howard Byrd was an American funk/soul/R&B/gospel musician, songwriter and record producer. He was born in Toccoa, Georgia, and is a 1998 winner of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation's prestigious Pioneer Award...

 and RAMP
RAMP was an American soul/jazz band from Cincinnati, Ohio. RAMP has mistakenly been said to stand for "Roy Ayers Music Production" and "Roy Ayers Music Project", but Ayers was not a member, though he did write and produce songs on their debut album....

. McCrae's 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
Steve Sola
Steve Sola is an American award winning record producer, sound engineer, songwriter and musician, based in Manhattan, New York. With a career spanning over two decades, he has worked with many major artists, including Mobb Deep and Nas, and he co-wrote the leading track on the Tyler Perry film,...

 and composed by David Seagal. Also in 2010, her single "Funky Sensation" was heavily sampled in the German Language
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 single "Get Up," by DJ Thomilla featuring Afrob
Afrob is an Afro-German rapper of Eritrean descent. He is easily recognizable due to his trademark afro, from which his pseudonym is derived.- Biography :...



  • 1974: Gwen McCrae (Cat 1603)
  • 1975: Rockin' Chair (Cat 2605)
  • 1975: Together (with George McCrae
    George McCrae
    George McCrae is an American soul and disco singer, most famous for his 1974 hit "Rock Your Baby".-Early life and career:...

    ) (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
    New Morning (club)
    New Morning is a Parisian music nightclub that opened in 1981, specialising in jazz and blues.Its concerts are often featured on Mezzo TV.-History:The first concert was given on 16 April 1981 by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers....

    (Hi & Fly)
  • 2006: Sings TK (Henry Stone Music 6001)

See also

External links

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