David Crosby, the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, died on January 18, 2023, after a long illness. He was 81.
Mr. Crosby was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash. His music is on five of Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
David Crosby dropped out of college to pursue a career in music. Before joining the Byrds, Mr. Crosby performed with Terry Callier and later with Les Baxter’s Balladeers.
In 1964, David Crosby joined the Byrds and a year later they had their first #1 hit with Mr. Tambourine Man. This was followed up by Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season) which also peaked at #1, David Crosby stayed with the Byrds until 1967. In 1973, he reteamed with them for the album Byrds which he also produced.
In 1968, David Crosby met Stephen Stills and they began playing together informally. Graham Nash of The Hollies joined the duo and soon they formed Cosby, Stills and Nash. When the group played at Woodstock, it was only their second live performance! Their first album, Crosby, Stills & Nash was a hit. In 1969, Neil Young joined the group which retitled itself as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Throughout the rest of his career, David Crosby would play with variations of CSN&Y, perform solo, as well as work as a session musician providing background vocals for folks like Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Carole King, Elton John and Phil Collins (just to name a few). In 1996, Mr. Crosby created CPR, a band consisting of himself, Jeff Pevar, and Crosby’s son, James Raymond.
Some of David Crosby’s hits include: Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season) which peaked at #1 (with the Byrds); Mr. Tambourine Man peaked at #1 (the Byrds); Wasted on the Way reached #9 (CS&N); Just a Song Before I Go hit #7 (CS&N); Woodstock reached #11 (CSN&Y); Southern Cross peaked at #18 (CS&N); Teach Your Children reached #16 (CSN&Y); Suite: Judy Blue Eyes hit #21 (CS&N); Ohio reached #14 (CSN&Y); Marrakesh Express topped at #28 (CS&N).
David Crosby never lost his youthful love of fun. He always seemed like a younger man in an older man’s body. Some of my favorite songs by him include Mr. Tambourine Man, Just a Song Before I Go and Teach Your Children. It’s interesting that I had forgotten the names of some of his songs, but once they started playing I knew the words and enjoyed them all over again.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to David Crosby’s family, friends and fans.