Flashback of the Day: Gwen McRae

Soul Singer Gwen McCrae was born on December 21, 1943, Gwen Mosley in Pensacola, Florida.

Gwen grew up with music, especially via singing in the Pentecostal Church. Later in life, she discovered and grasped onto secular Soul Music through singers like Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin.

After performing in local clubs as a teenager with local groups like the Lafayettes and the Independents, set met another young singer in George McCrae, who she married in 1963.

From 1963 until her divorce from George McCrae in the late 1970s (with issues from each of solo successes in the music industry's affect on their marriage as well as accusations of physical abuse), she recorded as a duo with her husband. Gwen and George McCrae were discovered in 1967 by soul music legend Betty Wright and were signed as on Henry Stone's Alson record label.

Gwen and George McCrae scored regional hits in the late 1960s to early 1970s with "Three Hearts in a Tangle", "Like Yesterday Our Love Is Gone" and "No One Left to Come Home" while putting in very reputable work as session vocalists. During this time, they worked with the writing team of Clarence Reid (who later became the comedian/artist/rapper Blowfly) and Willie Clark.

Gwen McCrae was first one of the couple to receive a solo recording contract with Henry Stone's TK Records (which artist roster included KC and the Sunshine Band, Anita Ward, Jimmy "Bo" Horne and others during the rise of disco) and found success on the R&B charts with "Lead Me On" in 1970, followed by "For Your Love".

Her major solo hits in the 1970s inlcuded "Rockin' Chair" in 1975 (which went #1 on the Billboard R&B Charts) and "Love Insurance" though TK Records and it's numerous imprints (Cat, Alston, etc.). George McCrae also had a major R&B hit at that time with "Rock Your Baby".

After her divorce and the collaspe of TK Records in 1980, Gwen ended up moving to New Jersey and signing a new contract with Atlantic Records.

On that label she had her next major hit with "Funky Sensation" in 1981, which has since been sampled by numerous folks in the Hip-Hop and Hosue Music industry throughout the years (especially the early Hip-Hop music classics "Jazzy Sensation" with Afrika Bambaataa & The Jazzy 5 and producer Pete Rock's remix of "Round the Way Girl" by LL Cool J).

Ms. McCrae has continued to record music and things for labels throughout the years (she now currently back on another Henry Stone Label, Henry Stone Music with Blues Legend Latimore and others) including Soul Music, Gospel and Blues and tours frequently all over the world.

Gwen McCrae - Funky Sensation mp3 Download
Gwen McCrae - Love Without Sex mp3 Download
Gwen McCrae - Party Down (on current album, Gwen McCrae Sings TK on Henry Stone Music) mp3 Download

Music Video #1: Gwen McCrae - Let's Straighten It Out (Live in Paris - "Scène Bastille" -March 31, 2006) (If you can't see the video, click here)

Music Video #2: Gwen McCrae - Funky Sensation (Live in London 2007 at Lowdown) (If you can't see the video, click here.)

Gwen McCrae Official MySpace Page
Gwen McCrae Record Label Page on Henry Stone Music
Gwen McCrae Interview from Miss Funkyflyy's Web Pages