Andraé Crouch's 70s legacy is one of the richest in the gospel genre, yet he has never appealed to the music's purists. The conservative elements in gospel music have seen his incorporation of rock 'n' roll showmanship and riffs as inappropriate at best, and blasphemy at worst.
In an era when religious music in contemporary styles seems a significant and permanent part of the musical landscape, it is important to remember that at one time gospel music was almost exclusively rooted in long traditions. One person above all others expanded the gospel vocabulary to include elements of R&B and modern popular styles. Contemporary gospel's pioneer was Andraé Crouch, who over a thirty-year career has become one of the most influential musicians in the U.S. Both the wide swath of black gospel performers who draw on R&B and the legions of white contemporary Christian artists who blur the line between sacred and secular with middle-of-the-road romantic styles owe Andraé Crouch a musical debt.
Andraé Crouch formed his frst group while still in high school,the Church of God in Christ Singers, with Billy Preston, who went on to solo success in the secular music industry and is widely known for his studio work with The Beatles and his tours with The Rolling Stones.s. The Church of God in Christ Singers were the first to record "The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power", which has become a standard in Churches throughout the U.S.
Andraé Crouch founded Andraé Crouch and the Disciples in 1965. During the 1965-85 period, Andraé Crouch and the Disciples appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, performed at the Hollywood Bowl and toured 68 countries. Andraé Crouch's most popular songs from this period include "The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power," "Through It All," "Bless His Holy Name," and "My Tribute". Their contemporary gospel sound reached beyond the traditional African American base and touched a racially and musically diverse audience.
Andraé Crouch and the Disciples performed to sellout crowds at New York's Carnegie Hall in 1975 and 1979. Already they were pushing the boundaries of gospel by introducing features of contemporary R&B styles, and gaining new fans from far outside the usual gospel sphere. Andraé Crouch's crossover gospel encompassed several aspects of secular music, including pop-style vocal arrangements, production techniques, and, most important, Crouch's crooned vocals themselves, miles removed from the intense fervor of traditional gospel.
Andraé Crouch and the Disciples stormed another citadel of secular culture with an appearance on the NBC television Saturday Night Live comedy show in 1980; Crouch was later invited back for a solo performance. Andraé Crouch and the Disciples took home Grammy awards every year from 1978 through 1981, and Crouch's presence on the annual Dove Christian music awards roster was practically guaranteed for several years. However, Andraé Crouch did not let stardom interfere with his songwriting activities, and several of his 1970s compositions, including "Through It All" and "Take Me Back," have entered the gospel tradition's standard repertory.
Andrae Crouch has won numerous awards and honors over the years including eight Grammy Awards, three Dove Awards, and ASCAP, Billboard and NAACP Awards. In 2004, he became the only living contemporary gospel artist - and just the third in history - to have his star enshrined on the prestigious Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2005, Andrae Crouch was the recipient of NARAS' Inaugural Salute to Gospel Music Lifetime Achievement Award.
Andraé Crouch, being called "the father of the modern gospel", his songs have been sung by Elvis Presley, Paul Simon, hippies, and mainstream churches, as well as his fellow black Pentecostal Christians.
Listen to Christian Musician Andrae' Crouch
|Take The Message Everywhere||1969||Light Records|
|Keep on Singing||1971||Light Records|
|Just Andrae||1973||Light Records|
|I Don't Know Why Jesus Loved Me||1974||Light Records|
|Take Me Back||1975||Light Records|
|This Is Another Day||1977||Light Records|
|Live in London||1978||Light Records|
|Andrae' Crouch & The Disciples||1978||Light Records|
|I'll Be Thinking of YouPop Music CDs)||1979||Compendia Music Group|
|Don't Give Up||1981||Warner Bros.|
|Live at Carnegie Hall||1982||A&M Records|
|The Best of Andrae' Crouch & The Disciples||1982||Light Records|
|More of the Best of||1982||Compendia Music Group|
|No Time to Lose||1985||Warner Bros.|
|We Sing Praises, Vol. 2||1991||CGI Records|
|Contemporary Man||1991||Light Records|
|Contemporary Man, Vol. 3||1991||Compendia Music Group|
|Classics 1||1993||Light Records|
|Let's Worship Him||1993||K-Tel|
|Best of Andrae||1993||Compendia Music Group|
|The Light Years||1995||Light Records|
|Gift of Christmas||1998||Warner Bros.|
|Hall of Fame||1999||Compendia Music Group|
|Legends of Gospel||2002||Compendia Music Group|
|Mega 3 Collection, Vol 1||2002||Compendia Music Group|
|Mega 3 Collection Vol 2||2002||Compendia Music Group|
|Kings of Gospel||2003||Universal Music Products|
|History Makers: Collection||2003||Sparrow Records|
|He's Everywhere||2004||Liquid 8|
|The Very Best of Andrae' Crouch||2005||Lynor Music|
|Soulfully||2005||Compendia Music Group|
|Definitive Greatest Hits||2005||Compendia Music Group|
|Take the Message Everywhere||2005||Artemis Strategic|
|Mighty Wind||2005||Verity Records|
|Andrae Crouch||2006||St. Clair Music|
|Platinum Praise Collection||2008||Light Records|
|The Journey||2011||Verity Records|