Friday, August 26, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Gwen McCrae

Artist:Gwen McCrae
Song:Rockin' Chair
Album:The Best Of Gwen McCrae

Rockin' Chair was the only top ten pop hit for soul singer Gwen McCrae in 1975. She had several other R & B and dance hits and was part of the TK Records sound in Miami. She was married to singer George McCrae (Rock Your Baby). She was born Gwen Mosely Dec. 21, 1943 in Pensacola, FL and grew up singing in church. Gwen was a huge Sam Cooke fan. She sang in local clubs as a teen and then married George McCrae in 1963. The performed in Florida clubs as George & Gwen. They were discovered in 1967 by legendary soul singer Betty Wright and she got them a deal with Henry Stone's Alston label which would later become TK Records. At first they recorded as a duo. But when Gwen's 1970 single Lead Me On was picked up by Columbia and hit the top 40, George retired from singing to become her manager. She returned to TK in 1973 and had her biggest success with the 1975 single Rockin' Chair. It topped the R & B Singles chart and reached #9 on the billboard Hot 100. Rockin' Chair was written by Willie Clarke and Clarence Reid who wrote many TK songs including Betty Wright's Clean Up Woman. Clarke was leader of TK's house band and they recorded as Miami. Reid started out as a soul singer but became famous as the raunchy rapper Blowfly. Gwen had a few more dance hits. In the late 70s, TK had money problems and the McCraes had marriage problems. They split up and Gwen moved to New Jersey and signed with Atlantic. She had a dance hit in 1981 with Funky Sensation. TK was out of business by then. You can get all her TK hits on this comp. Gwen McCrae recorded for Ichiban Records in the 80s and continues to tour and record occasionally. She's a big favourite on the British Northern Soul scene. Here's Gwen McCrae performing Rockin' Chair 2008.

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