4 Runner Biography

The 90s US vocal country group 4 Runner take their name from a type of Toyota four-wheel-drive estate car that also inspired the title of their song ‘A Heart With 4 Wheel Drive’. The group consists of Craig Morris (lead vocal), Billy Crittenden (baritone), Lee Hilliard (tenor) and Jim Chapman (bass). Morris has toured with Marie Osmond and Dobie Gray and has written songs for Ray Charles, Reba McEntire and the Oak Ridge Boys. Crittenden sang in Tanya Tucker’s band for five years and co-wrote Diamond Rio’s ‘Love A Little Stronger’. He left the band in 1995 and was replaced by Billy Simon who in turn was replaced in 2002 by Michael Lusk. Hilliard worked with Loretta Lynn for nine years. Their experience shows in their witty debut single, ‘Cain’s Blood’, with its excellent four-part harmonies, which made the US country charts.

A few weeks prior to their follow-up album being released Polydor’s parent company A&M Nashville closed their Nashville branch and left the band without a record label. The 4 Runner members continued throughout the 90s with individual music projects. In the early 00s Chapman left the line-up to concentrate on illustrating children’s books. The remaining three vocalists, Morris, Hilliard and Lusk, issued a new album on Fresh records in 2003.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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