Happy birthday to Carolyn Crawford

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    Happy birthday to the great Carolyn Crawford, born July 19, 1949.

    While not a household name in pop music circles, Carolyn Crawford is musical royalty in her hometown of Detroit, and has a following around the world for her fantastic vocal performances of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.

    First signed to Motown as a teenager, Crawford recorded a series of singles that showed off her versatile, stylish voice, the biggest of which – the Smokey Robinson penned “My Smile is Just a Frown (Turned Upside Down) – became a Top 40 hit and a sought after early Motown favorite.

    After leaving Motown, Crawford briefly served as lead vocalist for the regionally popular group Chapter 8 (she left the group in the late 70s and was replaced by a young Anita Baker) but really found a major audience working with songwriter and producer Hamilton Bohannon on his biggest hits, including the iconic “Let’s Start The Dance.”

    Happy birthday to the great Carolyn Crawford, born July 19, 1949.

    While not a household name in pop music circles, Carolyn Crawford is musical royalty in her hometown of Detroit, and has a following around the world for her fantastic vocal performances of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.

    First signed to Motown as a teenager, Crawford recorded a series of singles that showed off her versatile, stylish voice, the biggest of which – the Smokey Robinson penned “My Smile is Just a Frown (Turned Upside Down) – became a Top 40 hit and a sought after early Motown favorite.

    After leaving Motown, Crawford briefly served as lead vocalist for the regionally popular group Chapter 8 (she left the group in the late 70s and was replaced by a young Anita Baker) but really found a major audience working with songwriter and producer Hamilton Bohannon on his biggest hits, including the iconic “Let’s Start The Dance.”

    Bohannon returned the favor, producing Crawford’s excellent 1978 solo debut album My Name Is Carolyn, as well as the follow up disc, Nice and Soulful.

    Crawford continued to work supporting other artists during the 80s and also toured Europe regularly as part of the Motorcity Revue. She also began a second career as an actress, a vocation that continued well into the 21st century.

    Crawford is a fixture in the Detroit music community and is revered as one of the great, somewhat unheralded singers to come from the early Motown music factory.

    By Chris Rizik

     
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