Today is the 57th birthday of folk-rocker David Crosby, of the '70s supergroup Crosby,
Stills and Nash. Crosby was born David Van Cortland in Los Angeles. Over the decades,
he has made his mark on rock music in a number of guises. He first appeared in the
Byrds, whose melding of folk with melodic rock influenced countless bands throughout
the years, including R.E.M. The Byrds' most famous hit was probably "Turn! Turn! Turn!"
but they also enjoyed success with their covers of such Bob Dylan songs as "Mr.
Tambourine Man" and "All I Really Want To Do."
Crosby left the Byrds in 1967 and formed Crosby, Stills and Nash the following year with
ex-Buffalo Springfield guitarist Stephen Stills and then-Hollies guitarist Graham Nash.
After signing with Atlantic Records, the harmonizing trio released their eponymous debut,
featuring classics such as "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes," "Marrakesh Express" and the
Crosby-written "Guinnevere," in 1969. Neil Young, who played with Stills in Buffalo
Springfield, was called in to tour with the trio and soon joined the band officially. But
Young's arrival marked the beginning of the group's tendency to change its roster over
In 1970, the group won the Best New Artist Grammy Award and had a #11 hit with
"Woodstock," written by songwriter Joni Mitchell, with whom Nash was romantically
involved and whose debut album was produced by Crosby. Also that year, the group's
first album with Young, Déjà Vu, topped the U.S. albums chart and
spawned the hits "Our House" and "Teach Your Children."
In 1971, Crosby released the solo If I Could Only Remember My Name, which
also featured Mitchell and Jerry Garcia. Crosby also toured Europe as a duo with Nash.
The following year, the two released Graham Nash/David Crosby, which went top
5 in the U.S. and top 20 in the U.K. and yielded the hit "Immigration Man." They also
issued Wind on the Water in 1975 and Whistling Down the Wire in 1976.
Crosby, Stills and Nash reunited in 1977 to tour behind their hit album CSN,
which went to #2 and produced the top-10 smash "Just a Song Before I Go."
In the '80s, Crosby's problems with drugs began to take over his life. He was arrested
twice in 1982 on various drug offenses. That same year, CSN enjoyed another top-10 hit
with the ironically titled "Wasted on the Way." The next year, Crosby was convicted in
Texas on drug and weapons charges and sentenced to five years in prison, but allowed
to enter a drug-rehabilitation program instead. In 1985, he was sent back to jail for
leaving a drug-treatment facility. Crosby spent a good part of the following year in prison.
In 1988, CSN released the top 20 American Dream and Crosby issued Oh Yes
I Can the following year. The trio continued to tour in the '90s and Crosby released
another solo set, Thousand Roads (1993). In 1994, CSN's tour behind After
the Storm was cancelled because Crosby was in dire need of a liver transplant. At
one point, he wasn't expected to live, but he pulled through and continued recording with
CSN and with CPR, the band he formed with his recently discovered biological son.
Crosby is currently on tour with CPR.
Meanwhile, CSN are planning an album of songs they each recorded with their earlier
bands. Nash explained the genesis of the project to Addicted To Noise earlier this
year: "Last year, when we asked our fans what they wanted to hear, several of them
asked for 'Turn! Turn! Turn!' [Crosby's hit with the Byrds]. It sounded great, so we decided
to try some Buffalo Springfield and Hollies songs."
Other birthdays: Dash Crofts (Seals and Crofts), 58; Larry Graham Jr. (ex-Sly and the
Family Stone, Graham Central Station), 52; Slim Dunlap (ex-Replacements), 47; and
Sharon Bryant (ex-Atlantic Starr), 42.