Latest CD, The Journey (2011)
Senior Pastor, Christ Memorial Church
18 Solo Albums, 9 Grammy Awards, 6 GMA Dove Awards
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2004)
Recipient of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences’ Inaugural Salute to Gospel Music Lifetime Achievement Award
Andrae Crouch: The Journey
The 700 Club
The Journey is Andrae’s 18th solo album, his first CD in six years. The CD is a celebration of his life of Andrae which features 15 songs from artists such as Sheila E., Marvin Winans, Rance Allen, Chaka Khan, Kim Burrell and Mark Kibble. Some of the collaborations feature: Chaka Khan and Sheila E. on the upbeat anthem All Around the World; Kim Burrell and Take 6 deliver the ballad Faith; and Let The Church Say Amen with Pastor Marvin Winans. Luther “Mano” Hanes, president and CEO of Riverphlo Entertainment produced the CD. He also produced Andrae’s album Mighty Wind.
“Everyday we hear that somebody got saved to our music from all over the world,” says Andrae. “The music reaches people. It can encourage them. I feel like I have to do it because there is somebody out there who needs to hear the gospel. That’s all I want in life is to be remembered as a guy that really loved God. I want God to use me.” The songs from The Journey reflect personal experiences in Andrae’s life. For example, the song Let Me Hear You Say Amen sung by Marvin Winans. Andrae says death is disappointing. When his mother died he was disappointed. She was his best friend. Then his father died. Next, his brother died but Andrae just knew God was going to heal him. At his funeral Andrae recalls being asked to lift his hands to praise God, but he was too weak physically and emotionally. Although it was difficult, he asked his friend to help hold his arms up. God spoke to Andrae and said, “Just agree with me. Say Amen.” God healed any animosity in Andrae’s heart and filled him with songs that were healing to his spirit.
The success of The Journey has been propelled by the popularity of his first single, The Promise, which debuted at #1 on the Christian Music Trade Associations (CMTA) Christian Singles/Tracks Chart and #4 on Billboard’s Top Single Chart. A documentary on Crouch’s incredible musical journey, as well as a television show, book and other media properties are in the works. When Andrae is not in the studio he spends most of his time as Senior Pastor at the New Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ in San Fernando, California, the church founded by his parents where his sister Sandra also serves as pastor.
In October, Andrae was honored at the Verizon’s How Sweet The Sound Choir Competition finale event in Los Angeles with the “Living Legend” award. The award was presented by singer Chaka Khan. “I thank God for where he has taken music today. God has given me at least 1,700 songs. If you want God to come into your life, give him your heart,” shares Andrae.
Andrae admits the most difficult thing for him to do in preparing for a record is picking the songs. “I like all the songs,” he shares. So he asks the Lord, “Which one do you want me to put out now?”
There is no systematic way Andrae writes songs. He says, God takes him on a journey. “Many of the songs I just get the first part or the story of the song…I know what I’m suppose to say in a particular song, but the order I don’t always know,” shares Andrae. When he feels a song touches him then he feels it will touch someone else, but if the words are not complete or the idea is not complete he will hold the song back. Then God may bring it up a year or two later and he will start working on it again. “I’ve always wanted something that the message is meaningful to me. I think about all these diversified personalities, people, and countries that I play. I’m simple and I want to be able to sing my songs to anybody.” When it comes to Andrae’s music he always wants his lyrics to come through. “Voices fade, but words live,” shares Andrae.
Every morning Andrae starts his day in prayer and usually ends up at the piano worshiping the Lord. Worship is not about how high you can jump but rather it is an act of deep adoration in which you focus on God, adore Him, and caress Him with your praise.
A LIVING LEGEND
Andrae and his twin sister Sandra were born on July 1, 1942 in Los Angeles, California. Their father was a pastor at Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ. Growing up in the church, Andrae learned to play piano and sing before he was 10 years old. He was often told the story about how his piano-playing was literally God-given when he was a child.
He formed his first musical group, the COGICS (Church of God in Christ Singers), when he was in high school. The COGICS were the first to record “The Blood Will Never Lose It’s Power.” Andrae founded the Disciples in 1965 and began to record his compositions in 1969 at the urging of composer Ralph Carmichael. During the 1965-1985 period, Crouch and the Disciples appeared on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, performed at the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall, and toured 68 countries. Andrae later worked as a producer or arranger with Michael Jackson, Madonna (“Like A Prayer”), Quincy Jones, Diana Ross, Elton John and Rick Astley (“Cry For Help”). His film credits include Once Upon A Forest, The Color Purple, The Lion King, and Free Willy.
His Christian songs have been performed by Elvis Presley, Paul Simon, and church choirs and other musical groups around the world. His recordings range from reverent hymns to contemporary light rock and pop-oriented songs backed by jazz musicians. Andrae is called the “father of the modern gospel music,” because he more than anyone expanded gospel music to include elements of R&B and modern popular styles during the 70s and 80s. He was also one of the first black gospel artists to crossover to mainstream contemporary Christian music, and his songs have become staples and popular hymns in churches all around the world.
Sandra is a co-pastor along with her brother at the Christ Memorial Church. She won a Grammy Award in 1985 for "Best Soul Gospel Performance, Female". During the late 1960s through the early 1970s, she played tambourine on a number of Motown recording sessions. She sang the lead in gospel mega-hit "God Is Trying To Tell You Something," written by Quincy Jones, with her brother Andre Crouch and Bill Maxwell. The song was part of the soundtrack, "The Color Purple." She is also an accomplished drummer, gospel performer and songwriter.
Sandra would often address the public for Andrae growing up, due to his severe stuttering. Andrae says,” his sister understands him the best of anyone he knows.” Her constant source of encouragement has been an inspiration to him throughout his career. At the age of 15, Andrae wrote the lyrics for "The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power." He considered the quality poor and threw it into the trash. Sandra disagreed; she salvaged the lyrics from the trash. The song went on to become one of Andrae’s most popular songs to this day.
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