Born: August. 7, 1950, Houston, TX
Rodney Crowell is an American musician known primarily for his work as a singer and songwriter in country music. He has won two Grammy Awards in his career, one in 1990 for Best Country Song for the song "After All This Time" and one in 2014 for "Best Americana Album" for his album Old Yellow Moon. Besides the two Grammy’s, he has written 15 #1 songs.
Crowell has had five number-one singles on Hot Country Songs, all from his 1988 album Diamonds & Dirt. He has also written songs and produced for other artists. He was influenced by songwriters Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt. Crowell played guitar and sang in Emmylou Harris' Hot Band for three years.
Rodney was born August 7, 1950, in Houston, TX, and lived in Crosby, Texas. He came from a musical family, with one grandfather being a church choir leader and the other a bluegrass banjo player. His grandmother played guitar, and his father sang semi-professionally at bars and honky-tonks.
At age 11, he started playing drums in his father's band. In his teen years, he played in various garage rock bands in Houston, performing hits of the day mixed with a few country numbers.
In August 1972, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, searching for a musical career and got a job as a songwriter after being discovered by Jerry Reed.
"I got really hungry to have something to contribute." Emmylou Harris had recorded one of Crowell's songs, "Bluebird Wine", on her Pieces of the Sky album and requested to meet him. After he sat in with Emmylou at her gig at the Armadillo World Headquarters in early January 1975, she asked him to play rhythm guitar in her backing band, The Hot Band. He accepted and left the following day to join Emmylou in Los Angeles
in 1977 as a side project, he formed a musical group, The Notorious Cherry Bombs, with Vince Gill, Tony Brown, and others. One year later, he signed a solo deal with Warner Bros. Records and, in late 1978, released his debut album, Ain't Living Long Like This.
In 1980, Rodney formed a backup band called “The Cherry Bombs.” In 2004, under the Notorious Cherry Bomb Band title, which included Vince Gill and many others. They released an album featuring Rodney and Vince. One breakout song from that album was titled “It is hard to kiss those lips at night.”
In 1989, Rodney came out with a critically acclaimed album Diamonds and Dirt. Besides the fact that it was a great album, the story goes further. This album did something that really never happens., It produced 5 #1 hits off of the single album. The only thing that compares to that is that the Michael Jackson Thriller album had five #1 hits as Katy Perry also had five #1 hits off one album.
The catalog of songs Rodney has written and performed is so beyond others in the music industry it is impossible to cover them all. Rodney was married to Rosanne Cash, and they formed a strong music creative team that continues to this day.
Over 50 plus years in the business, Rodney has been honored by all aspects of his profession. Crowell has won six Americana Music Awards throughout his career, including the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting, and is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
His songs have been recorded by country legends (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, George Strait), to current country chart-toppers (Tim McGraw, Keith Urban) to, blues icons (Etta James), and rock and roll legends (Van Morrison, Bob Seger.)
Rodney received the ASCAP Founder's Awards. The Founder's Award is one of ASCAP’s highest honors. It is presented to songwriters and composers who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. Previous recipients include George Strait, Alan Jackson, Jackson Browne, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Neil Young.
Though he had already several Country hits by artists covering his songs (including "I Ain't Living Long Like This" by Waylon Jennings, "Leaving Louisiana..." by the Oak Ridge Boys, and several covers by Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Jerry Reed, and others), Crowell got his first big taste of pop songwriting success with "Shame on the Moon". "Shame on the Moon" was recorded on the 1982 album The Distance by Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band. Glenn Frey joined Seger on background harmony on the song. The song appealed to a broad cross-section of listeners. The song spent four weeks at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart, topped the adult contemporary chart, and placed in the Top 15 of the country charts in early 1983. The song's dark, poetic and hypnotic style helped boost Crowell's cult status.