George McCrae Biography

19 October 1944, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA. A member of a vocal group, the Stepbrothers, while at elementary school, McCrae later joined the Jivin’ Jets. This unit broke up on his induction into the US Navy, but was re-formed by the singer on completing his service in 1967. McCrae’s wife, Gwen McCrae, joined the line-up, but after six months the couple began work as a duo. Together they recorded two singles, the second of which, ‘Lead Me On’, won Gwen a contract as a solo artist with Columbia Records. She received sole credit on the song’s ensuing re-release which reached the R&B Top 40. McCrae then began managing his wife’s career, but following an R&B Top 20 hit with ‘For Your Love’ (1973), the pair resumed their singing partnership. McCrae was responsible for one of soul’s most memorable releases when Gwen failed to arrive for a particular studio session. He was obliged to sing lead on ‘Rock Your Baby’, a melodic composition written and produced by Harry Wayne (KC) Casey and Rick Finch, the two protagonists of KC And The Sunshine Band. This soaring, buoyant song topped both the US and UK charts, while two further releases, ‘I Can’t Leave You Alone’ (1974) and ‘It’s Been So Long’ (1975) also reached the UK Top 10. McCrae’s work was less well received at home but he continued to record with and manage his wife, appearing on her US number 1 R&B hit ‘Rockin’ Chair’ (1975). In 1984, George McCrae enjoyed a final minor UK chart entry with ‘One Step Closer (To Love)’, but continued to record and tour in the mid-90s.

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

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