David Crosby, a prominent actor in the wild 70s Laurel Canyon scene who helped popularize folk music with The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, has passed away at age the age of 81. The artist’s publicist confirmed his death to NPR and no reason for his death was revealed in the current story.
Crosby was a long-time sufferer of severe health issues, like numerous heart attacks along with diabetes, and the hepatitis C and hepatitis C, for which he received a liver transplant in the year 1994. Despite all of these issues the veteran musician had an enthralling creative period in the last few times. He released the albums of his solo catalogue from 2014 to 2021 and frequently toured with two groups of collaborators: The Lighthouse Band (which featured Snarky Puppy leader Michael League) and the Sky Trails Band, featuring James Raymond, his son. James Raymond, on keyboards.
Crosby’s passion for touring stretches from the beginning of his professional career, in which he was a traveling folk musician who was honing his skills as a performer while on the road. In the latter half of 1950, Crosby started performing at cafes situated in Santa Barbara, Calif. Then he began to travel throughout all over the U.S., popping up in the southern part of Florida, Chicago and Boulder, Colo. Crosby also was a part of the development process living in Greenwich Village, where he was a part of the newly-opened Bitter End together with Chicago artist Terry Callier.
The long and lucrative solo career, however, Crosby thrived on collaboration — a characteristic that he first discovered as a kid, when he was captivated by a performance of a symphony orchestra. “The idea of cooperative effort to make something bigger than any one person could ever do was stuck in my head,” Crosby wrote in his autobiography from 1988, Long Time Gone. “That’s why I love being a harmony singer, why I love being in a group.”
The first of his big hits was as a founding member of the large California country-folk band The Byrds. The group reached its commercial top during his time with the group, achieving two No. 1 singles that included versions of the Pete Seeger classic “Turn! Turn! Turn!” as well as Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” — and achieving the Top 20 with the stormy classic “Eight Miles High.” Crosby wrote the song with Bob Dylan, and wrote several other iconic Byrds songs, such as the gentle Jangly “Lady Friend.” He played a key role in helping the group to develop their harmony-rich vocal style and its kaleidoscopic sound that featured jazz, psychedelic rock, and twangy folk. He is credited with the introduction of his bandmate Roger McGuinn to the music of John Coltrane and Ravi Shankar.
It was in 1967 that Crosby had been fired by the Byrds due to his personality’s growth and creative disputes (although he returned later to perform and produce the 1973 tour of Byrds). In a state of confusion and unable to find a solution, he embraced sailing, which was one of his passions in his youth and bought a schooner at $25,000, with the help of The Monkees’ Peter Tork. The vessel would serve as an outlet of peace and inspiration for a long time and he composed songs such as “Wooden Ships,” “The Lee Shore” and “Page 43” while on the vessel.
Crosby was born on Aug. 14 1941. He was raised at home in Southern California. His father was a cinematographer Floyd Crosby, who won an Academy Award for his work on 1931’s Tabu: A Story of the South Seas and along with the Golden Globe for 1952’s High Noon. (Crosby himself was influential in an additional notable aspect of Hollywood He would often say the fact that Dennis Hopper took inspiration from his appearance and manner of speaking for the 1969 film Easy Rider.)
When he was a child, Crosby fell hard for The Everly Brothers, which was the basis of his love affair with close harmony. It was strengthened by his family’s frequent singing sessions. The older brother of his, Ethan, introduced him to jazz, a genre that he would play around with during his professional career. He did so his late ’90s/early the ’00s band CPR and on his ruminative solo 2017 album called Sky Trails.
The influence of Crosby’s early influences became evident in his collaborations along with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash and Graham Nash, who explored innovative ways of communicating harmony. in Long Time Gone, he dissects their distinctive vocal style in a manner that is typical, noting that the group’s vocals were “nonparallel stuff” influenced by classical music the late ’50s, early 1960s jazz, along with the Everlys. “I did some of my very best work being subtle, moving the middle part around in internal shifts that kept it happening,” He recorded. Crosby’s soaring tenor sounded like a sea. alongside the vocals from Stills as well as Nash in whispered and haunting manners, particularly in his song “Guinnevere.” The songwriting contribution of his also led the group in new directions particularly the beat-driven the harmonies that are featured in “Deja Vu” and the loose arrangements and boho-influenced music in “Wooden Ships.”
As as a trio, Crosby, Stills and Nash was commercially as well as critically appreciated by the public and critics. Their self-titled debut album in 1969 was a huge success, bringing them to Woodstock and an award at the Grammy for the best new artist. The album of the 1970’s Deja Vu — by at this point Neil Young had joined, and added a word to the band’s name — explored the comforts of traditional music and the sweeping generational changes which were taking place. After a few months of Deja Vu’s debut, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young were to become an influential voice in the national anti-war movement and recorded the song written by Young “Ohio” in response to the shooting in May of 4 students from Kent State University.
Through the decades, Crosby — who was admitted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice, both as the lead singer the band The Byrds and of CSN was still performing with numerous collaborators and with Nash being his most reliable opponent until around the middle of 2010. Always adamant and honest Crosby was a candid and open about his flaws, personal shortcomings and failures, as the way he felt about his fellow musicians. His straightforward persona made him both charming and unsettling, especially as a member of the band — the internal conflicts of CSNY were famous. In later years, it helped make Crosby a perfect fit for the slick and witty character of Twitter. Crosby posted a variety of thoughts on music and politics on the platform. He also addressed questions from fans, both about his professional life (he said to one fan that the fact that he “was not the right guy for the job” to ask if it was the truth that he should be working on Leonard Cohen’s second album) as well as about the people who were in his circle (“Was Jerry Garcia a tenor?” Answer: “Tenor/baritone.”). This witty wit even earned him a column of advice on Rolling Stone.
Crosby’s career was marked with many rebirths and second opportunities. The years of documented substance abuse caused tumultuous relationships both between music and non-music several arrests, as well as an indefinite stay in the Texas jail in the 1980s. The voice of David Crosby remained solid and unharmed which Crosby himself was unable to explain, according in a conversation with Cameron Crowe in the 2019 documentary David Crosby: Remember My Name. However, the film also displayed an abundance of humility, presenting the musician who is facing his death in a bid to not think about the past.
“I’ve hurt a lot of people,” Crosby stated on Here & Now, the midday newscast from NPR and WBUR in the year 2019. “I’ve helped a lot more. I just have to be able to look at it and understand it and learn from it. I’m not beating myself up about any of it. Truthfully, I’m actually pretty happy with the guy I am now. I’m trying real hard to be a decent human being. And I like it.”