Legends: Andraé Crouch (1942 – 2015)

Just Andraé

On July 1, 1942, Andraé Edward Crouch was born, along with his twin sister, Sandra, in San Francisco, California.  Andraé Crouch started his music career at a very young age playing for services at his parents’ church.

During the early days of Andraé’s career, many church-going people referred to his music as being too worldly.  In addition to the sound of his music, Andraé and his group dressed like all of the other young people of their day.  They dressed in bell-bottom pants with platformed shoes, which was very different than the perceived image of how Christians should have presented themselves.

Andraé Crouch was the inventor of Contemporary Gospel Music as we know it today.  He had the gift from God and the courage to challenge the status quo of the boundaries of Gospel Music.  The songs that Andraé wrote and recorded where anointed enough to usher the Saints into the Presence of the Lord, while at the same time simple enough to introduce the Sinners to the Lord Jesus Christ for the first time.

The song entitled Bless His Holy Name taught a generation of listeners how to enter the Presence of the Lord.  The Holy Bible tells us in Psalm 103:1 (KJV), “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.”  In another of Andraé Crouch‘s compositions entitled Bless The Lord (Chant), generations of listeners were encouraged not to forget all of God’s benefits.  A proclamation of the solution to all of life’s problems was introduced to the listeners within a song entitled Jesus Is The Answer.

In addition to the music, Andraé Crouch introduced the world to some of the most anointed singers that world has ever heard, such as, Sandra Crouch, Tramaine Davis (who is known as Tramaine Hawkins after marrying Bishop Walter Hawkins), Bili Thedford, Danniebelle Hall, Tata Vega (who was the singing voice of the character Shug Avery from The Color Purple), and Howard Smith.  Many other artists were discovered by Andraé Crouch, who produced their debut albums.  These artists include The Winans and Kristle Murden.

Also, Andraé Crouch worked with an impressive list of well-known artists on countless projects, such as, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Chaka Khan, Kim Burrell, Take 6, Crystal Lewis, Fred Hammond, Marcus Cole, El DeBarge, Karen Clark Sheard, Marvin Winans, and Yolanda Adams.

Andraé Crouch’s influence can be heard and seen on both the big and small screens.  He worked very closely with Quincy Jones on the film The Color Purple to bring us the epic song entitled God Is Tryin’ To Tell You Something where the character Shug Avery  found redemption.  In addition, his work was featured in many television shows, such as, Beverly Hood, Cousin Skeeter, In Search Of Dr. Seuss, In Living Color, and The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson.

Andraé Crouch’s work will be experienced by countless future generations, whether in church, on the radio, on television, or in the movies.  His music will always be in rotation on DJ HiPrayze Radio.

Andraé Crouch is Black History!  He may be gone, but he will never be forgotten.

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