Throwback Thursday — Randy Crawford

I know I got all political on you yesterday, but it’s still Throwback Thursday, right? Wait, what did you say? It’s Friday? Oh. Well, better late than never, right?

Do you have a singer who you just wish you could open your mouth and sound just like them? Kind of corny, I know… but I’ve always had a few singers like that. When I sing, I imagine their voice pouring out of me. Randy Crawford’s definitely one of them. I’ve always loved the sound of her voice. Distinctive, slightly nasal, but always sweet and seemingly effortless.

She tends to sing these kind of epic story-songs (Almaz is a perfect example), and always delivers her vocals with a smile. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a Randy Crawford photo where she isn’t flashing a friendly grin. Her spirit appears to be as warm and wonderful as her music.

One of my very favorite Randy Crawford songs is One Day I’ll Fly Away. That song so perfectly captures longing and hope and sweet sadness. I thought it was a great addition to Moulin Rouge, although Lord knows Nicole Kidman’s voice can’t hold a candle to the original.

But my absolute favorite-favorite Randy Crawford song is just about everyone’s favorite. Most definitely Quentin Tarantino‘s favorite. Street Life. It’s the only life I know.

The Crusaders dropped Street Life the year I was born — 1979, a very good year. Back then, she was rocking a big, blown out curly hairstyle, and a whole lot of metallic eyeshadow. Work it, Randy!

Almost 30 years later, and Randy’s still performing her biggest hit. This jazzy version is so effortless and breezy and perfect. Love it. But I must admit, Randy’s hair is a little too ornately decorated for my taste, but hey. If she likes it, I love it. She’s a legend. I give musicians of her status a whole lot of room to work it however they see fit. Hope you enjoy your Throwback Thursday on a Friday, bellas! Happy weekend!

ppst — want a little more Randy? Check out The Ultimate Collection, or her most recent album with Joe Sample, Feeling Good. She’s got an interesting little interview about it where you can hear her version of the Nina Simone classic.

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  1. God I love this song! Thanks for posting it. Have a great weekend.

  2. I love Randy! She is a classic & her music always moves me. Great throwback!!!


  3. tracey in Ohio says:

    EXCELLENT CHOICE for throwback thursday. Randy has that type of voice that will make the hairs on your arms stand at attention! Another good one that shouldn’t be missed is Randy singing ‘everything must change’ – the live version. Almost bring tears to my eyes thinking about it! Much luv for Ms. Crawford.

  4. wrote this someplace else says:

    Thanks afrobella! You always seem to reconnect me with great music from the past! Randy is beautiful!!! It reminds me how we rarely see black women of her complexion anymore. It’s a shame the 70s was way more progressive than the ’08s.

  5. I had no idea Randy Crawford sang “Street Life!” I feel utterly foolish. I love “Look Who’s Lonely Now.” Great post.

  6. Wow Randy Crawford just blow me away! I am so glad that you highlighted her. Have you listened to the full 11 minute version of Street Life? Mam, she just gets down all the way to the end of the song. Also check out her self titled 1980 album on Warner Brothers, it is a wonderful album. Thanks again for the trip down memory lane. I was 5 years old in 1979 and I remember my mother playing this song many times.

  7. I like Randy’s hair. I was about to say that I didn’t get ananswer when I asked you how you style it. I see on the other side my natural so I’ll read that. Thanks

  8. Girl, you just gave me chills. Street life came out when I was in the ninth grade. Back then I didn’t understand what she was singing about but I knew almost EVERY WORD. I am putting that back in rotation in my cd player….I have the EXTENDED version!

    Obama 08!

  9. westindiangal says:

    Street life is a fave of mine. I think this song illustrates the purity of her voice.

  10. She does have an amazingly beautiful voice…To me she sounds a little like Ayo with the slightly nasal vibrato she has going on…thanks for a start of the week pick up ‘Bella…

  11. THANK YOU FOR THIS…. I love Randy esp Cajun Moon!

  12. Yes! love this post!

    when music actually sounded like music!

  13. muslimahlocs says:

    if ALL music could be this good, i might give it a try again ;-)

  14. Staci Schaal says:

    Dead indited subject matter, thankyou for selective information .


  1. […] I said it before and I’ll say it again – Randy Crawford’s voice does things to me. There’s such a distinctive quality to it. One Day I’ll Fly Away is so beautiful to me. Despite the fact that the song is about leaving a relationship behind, it’s just the chorus and her soaring voice in the song’s bridge… Listening to this song at the end of a hard day gives me everything I need. […]

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