David Crosby biography
SynopsisDavid Crosby was a founding member of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and their first album earned them a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1969. Crosby has earned many gold and platinum records and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 with the Byrds and in 1997 with CSN. Crosby's success was often overshadowed by his personal demons, such as drugs, which he has since overcome.
Singer, songwriter, guitarist. Born David Van Cortlandt Crosby, on August 14, 1941, in Los Angeles, California. David and his brother Ethan were raised by their parents, Aliph Van Cortlandt and Floyd Crosby (an Academy Award-winning cinematographer), in Santa Barbara. While still in their teens, the two brothers started singing and playing guitar in beatnik coffeehouses and local clubs.
In the early 1960s, David Crosby chose to go out on his own. He spent the next few years drifting from city to city in search of work until he met fellow folk singer Roger McGuinn. The two experimented with different musical styles, developing an exclusive sound that blended folk music with electronic amplification.
In 1964, Crosby and McGuinn (guitar and vocals) started their first band, the Byrds, with fellow musicians Gene Clark (vocals, guitar, and tambourine), Chris Hillman (bass and vocals), and Michael Clarke (drums). In May 1965, the Byrds released their first single, a remake of "Mr. Tambourine Man" (originally released by Bob Dylan earlier that same year), which skyrocketed to the top of the charts and held a place as one of the Top 10 songs for 13 weeks. The band followed their initial success with two more hit singles, "All I Really Want to Do" and a modern version of Pete Seeger's "Turn! Turn! Turn!" As their popularity grew to a phenomenal level, the unique synthesis developed by the group was coined "folk rock" by those in the music industry.
The Byrds performed together for four years, continuing to reinvent themselves with a succession of widely popular albums, including Fifth Dimension (1966) and Younger than Yesterday (1967). Serving as the band's singer, rhythm guitar player, and songwriter, the headstrong Crosby often assumed creative control over the group. In 1968, he was ousted from the group. Crosby walked away with a significant cash settlement, and the freedom to pursue other opportunities.
Crosby spent a short time in Florida, where he befriended aspiring musician Joni Mitchell. As Crosby helped Mitchell record her first album, Mitchell returned the favor by introducing him to Neil Young and Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield (a band that was on the verge of breaking up). Stills contemplated going out on his own, but instead began a professional partnership with Crosby. The addition of former Hollies member Graham Nash turned the duo into the trio of Crosby, Stills and Nash. The release of their first, self-titled album in 1969 proved to be a success, earning the band a Grammy Award for Best New Artist.
Shortly after their well-received debut, guitarist Neil Young joined the group.
In August of 1969, the newly renamed Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young played to half a million people at the landmark Woodstock Festival in Bethel, New York. The following year, the group released their first studio collaboration, Déj Vu, which earned Gold Record status in less than a week. Despite, their overwhelming popularity, the band broke up that same year, citing creative differences.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Crosby periodically reunited with the band members of his past. The reunions often yielded albums, including 1976's Whistling Down the Wire (with Graham Nash), 1982's Daylight Again (with Crosby, Stills and Nash), and 1989's American Dream (with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young).
Crosby accumulated multiple gold and platinum records during his career, which now spans over three decades. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on two separate occasions ?? in 1991 with the Byrds, and in 1997 with Crosby, Stills and Nash. However, Crosby's success was often overshadowed by his personal demons. Plagued by a lifelong battle with drugs, he was arrested for possession of cocaine in 1985. During his 11-month incarceration at Texas State Penitentiary, he underwent an intense detoxification and rehabilitation program.
In 1989, a clean and sober Crosby had a renewed determination to make music again, briefly reuniting with McGuinn and Hillman. The trio performed as the Byrds, and recorded four songs for The Byrds box set, which was released in 1990.
However, in 1995, Crosby's years of reckless living came back to haunt him. Partly due to his years of substance abuse, Crosby??s liver was severely deteriorated. Shortly after this dim prognosis, he received a desperately needed liver transplant, and has since completely recovered.
In 1987, Crosby married Jane Dance with whom he has one child, Django. He has a daughter Anne from a previous relationship with Debbie Donovan. Crosby recently discovered that he sired another son, James Raymond, from a brief relationship with an unnamed woman. Raymond is an accomplished musician who now plays in his father's new band, Crosby, Pevar and Raymond (CPR).
In 2000, Crosby made headlines when singer Melissa Etheridge revealed that he fathered (through artificial insemination) the two children she is raising with her partner, Julie Cypher.