b. Caroline Crawford (a.k.a Carolyn Crawford), 19th July 1949, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
Caroline Crawford Is a Soul singer and actress, who recorded at Motown Records in the early 1960's, later releasing material in the late Seventies for the Mercury imprint.
She began singing from a young age and played the piano.
When Caroline was 13 years of age, she won a talent contest held by Detroit radio station WCHB (who were hosting a talent contest sponsored by Tip Top Bakery).
This enabled her to become signed to the Motown Records label, after performing covers of the songs 'Operator' and 'Laughing Boy'.
forget about me - 1963 / my smile is just a frown (turned upside down) - 1964 / when someone's good to you - 1964
Caroline recorded three singles at Motown, which included 'Forget About Me' b/w 'Devil In His Heart' (in 1963), 'My Smile Is Just a Frown (Turned Upside Down)' b/w I'll Come Running' (the A-Side a song penned by Smokey Robinson in 1964), and 'When Someone's Good To You' b/w 'My Heart' (in 1964).
'My Smile' reached number 39 on the Billboard R&B Chart.
She also recorded some background sessions at the label.
After her contract at Motown expired, Caroline went on to complete her schooling, and later she joined the group Hodges, James, Smith and Crawford in 1972 (Pat Hodges, Denita James and Jessica Smith, along with Caroline), performing on two sides, namely 'Nobody' b/w 'I'm In Love' and 'Let's Pick Up The Pieces' b/w 'Write Me A Letter'.
After she left the group, she joined the ranks of Chapter 8, (following a spell as backing singer for Spanish-born disco diva, Charo), remaining with the group until she left and was replaced by Anita Baker in 1976.
just got to be more careful - 1974 / it takes two to make one - 1975 / if you move, you lose - 1978 / love me or leave me alone - 1979
She then approached Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff (at Philadelphia International Records), who initially signed her to the label, recording three singles over a thirteen-month period, along with enough material for a full album, however, the set never reached fruition.
Three such Philly sides were, entitled 'It Takes Two To Make One' (in 1975), 'If You Move You Lose' b/w 'Good And Plenty' (in 1975) and 'Just Got To Be More Careful', (in 1974).
Her work at Philly, led her to meet the drummer, Hamilton Bohannon, who signed her to his group, leading to her signing to the Mercury imprint, collaborating alongside Bohannon for two solo albums in 1978 and 1979.
my name is caroline - 1978 / nice and soulful - 1979
1978's album 'My Name Is Caroline' featured the dancer's 'Comin' On Strong' and 'A Nice Feeling', whilst 1979's 'Nice and Soulful' showcased a more Soulful juxtaposition to the Disco orientated music which prevailed over this period.
Both Mercury albums were produced by Hamilton Bohannon, and she became the featured vocalist on several of Hamilton Bohannon's singles and six of his albums, including his biggest U.S. single hit 'Let's Start the Dance'.
The Eighties saw Caroline working in clubs and stage shows for the greater part of the decade.
heartaches - 1990
Changing the spelling of her Christian name, 'Carolyn' (this spelling was utilised during her recordings at Philadelphia International) was recruited to Ian Levine's Motorcity imprint in 1989, recording an album entitled 'Heartaches' (featuring the single 'Timeless') for the label a year later.
In 2002, an unreleased song, entitled 'Until You Came Along', appeared on a Motown compilation album called 'Cellar full of Motown'.
Carolyn still performs, and resides, in Detroit to this date, and has had a career in film and television, including roles in the TV series 'Leverage'.
She occasionally stands in as a 'Vandella' for Martha Reeves whenever she is called upon to do so, and still tours with her own band.
My Name Is Caroline (Mercury Records 1978)
Nice And Soulful (Mercury Records 1979)
Heartaches (Motorcity Records 1990)