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Gwen McCrae

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Gwen McCrae (b 21 December 1943, Pensacola, Florida) is an American R&B singer best known for her 1975 hit “Rockin’ Chair”.

Born Gwen Mosley in Pensacola, Florida, she grew up singing in her pentecostal church and later discovered secular singers like Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin. She began performing in local clubs as a teenager, and singing with local groups like the Lafayettes and the Independents. In 1963, she met a young sailor named George McCrae, whom she married within a week.

From 1963 she recorded as a duo with her husband George, and was first to receive a solo contract, with Henry Stone’s TK Records. She found success on the R&B charts with “Lead Me On” in 1970, followed by “For Your Love”.

George & Gwen were discovered in 1967 by singer Betty Wright, who helped get them signed to Henry Stone’s Alston label. Their debut single, “Three Hearts in a Tangle,” was released in 1969; the follow-up, “Like Yesterday Our Love Is Gone,” marked the first time they worked with the writing team of Clarence Reid (who would later morph into the bawdy comic Blowfly) and Willie Clarke. Both were regional hits, as was third single, “No One Left to Come Home,” although none of those records broke nationally; meanwhile, the McCraes and Wright were collectively earning a reputation as stellar session vocalists.

Following husband George’s unexpected solo success with “Rock Your Baby”, Gwen went on to have a major hit of her own in 1975 with “Rockin’ Chair”, a # 1 R&B hit which also reached the US Top 10.

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