Joshua Crawford | Play Me

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Play Me

by Joshua Crawford

A refreshingly-CATCHY Texas pianoman with raspy seductive vocals, "GREEN-EYED-SOUL" was a term invented by the critics themselves for this young pioneering filmmaker turned Singer-Songwriter/Novelist/Actor, and you'll know why once you listen to him.
Genre: Pop: Piano
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Play Me
5:15 $0.99
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2. Cryin' Party
5:44 $0.99
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3. Sing Along
6:42 $0.99
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4. Play Me (Airplay Version)
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
~BIO~
A refreshingly-CATCHY Texas pianoman whose Heart-of-History lies in the raspy seductive breath of his astounding bass-to-treble storytelling voice that climbs effortlessly (without being too perfect to sing to, nor too imperfect NOT to!), his simple-but-complex \'by-ear\' piano-playing (for he can\'t read a single NOTE after failing piano-lessons 3 times over in his youth!), his haunting Radio-Friendly melodies with piercing poetic original lyrics that somehow make use of words not always heard (yet he still makes \'em RHYME anyway!), and his love for LIFE itself -- which was almost taken from him when he was diagnosed with \'DEATH\' at the young age of only 14! \"GREEN-EYED-SOUL\" was a term invented by the critics themselves for this young pioneering filmmaker turned Singer-Songwriter/Novelist/Actor, and you\'ll know why once you listen to him! Get ready to dim the lights and unplug the phones! He kinda stays with ya! \"PLAY ME\" (his 3rd song out of the now rumored 1,000 that was written in just 5 mins!) has already obtained a legacy unlike any other, getting major AirPlay and good Buzz from the Industry over the years, with a most unusual journey that began in Lubbock, Texas, made its way to Clive Davis and Spielberg, then after the industry had forgotten about it, it popped up online at the dawn of the millennium and soon found itself being one of the most downloaded songs for an unsigned artist ever!

A renaissance man of the most profound sorts, this child prodigy singer-songwriting/piano-man of over 1,000 adult-contemporary pop songs (each of them with Top40 radio-friendly potential! -- and he can\'t even read a single NOTE) and an author of 2 epic novels written about his \"ThrillerBaby Generation\" (those born in the 1970s and raised under the highest divorce-rate of all time in the corporate 1980s under their BabyBooming single-parents who worked all the time, leaving their kids alone at the dinner tables) ... Crawford has crept up so slowly on \"the scene\" over the years that he tends to go from \"un-noticed\" to \"RE-noticed\" every other day it seems by either those that are \'young\' enough in the biz to have just caught the liberty of hearing his bag of melodies and authentic voice for the very first time, or those that are \'old\' enough in the biz to have stumbled across him in their \"REJECTION\" files and wonder how he ever got there?

The general public however, has had a much different reaction to the much beloved artist and his inspiring personality, as 2006 proved to be quite a storm of surprise to EVERYONE in the biz when Crawford helped cause a virtual SELL-OUT at the 20-million-dollar/7th-top-theater-in-the-world (THE SPENCER in Alto/Ruidoso, NM) when he was asked to perform merely one single song as part of an ensemble cast of artists for a charity benefit.
Not only did die-hard fans from all directions show up when word got out that he was going to make a cameo appearance towards the tail-end of the show, but the guest-list for Joshua alone (and his one single song) included everyone from Clive Davis and Jeff Blue ... to Rolling Stone ... and even Anderson Cooper.

Corresponding with every top A&R man in the world in an attempt to GET SIGNED, as well as every Literary Agent in the world in an attempt to get his popular underground novel (“Signature Place”) published, let alone flying over (and under!) the heads of some very well known movie directors, it remains a mystery as to what stands in the way of this very gifted artist\'s \'fusion of destiny\', much less ... why everyone who has the power to sign him to virtually any form of mass media has overlooked him, and kept him in their \'MAYBE\' files.

In a world where a record-label\'s belief that one of their artists could quite possibly stack one hit album on top of the other to build an entire CATALOG of hits anymore along the likes of the James Taylors, the Billy Joels, and the Bruce Springsteens, and have now sadly settled for rushing the \"next best thing\" by drilling a wannabe-artist through made-up numbers on MYSPACE or radio-stations into the minds of the eager-for-a-good-artist-who-not-only-looks-good-and-can-carry-a-note,-but-can-actually-play-an-instrument-and-have-something-to-offer-the-world, Joshua Crawford (without ever meaning to) has interestingly gained a strong reputation for BEING \"the real deal\" instead of ACTING like it. Perhaps it\'s because as the genres of the music industry have changed over the years since Crawford\'s quiet entrance with every one-hit-wonder out there from everyone else to help the major labels stay afloat during an era were the Internet has not only cut into the profits of a Major, but has actually cut BACK the number of Mercedes that an A&R man can own anymore, much less caused the world to be introduced to a much BROADER scope of talent than the majors OR indies can even offer anymore due to not taking the time to actually TALENT-SCOUT anymore, Crawford\'s often-looked-upon loss of mainstream notoriety has quite unexpectedly turned out to be his GAIN (aka, his marketing), even if it\'s to the artist\'s humble unknowing. And his underground following seems to know this, while the majors and indies seem to not.

Though he\'s been behind the blue-collar music scenes for several years now, only recently have the white collar executives even bothered to wake up to what they have had on their platter for over a decade. For Crawford\'s \"PLAY ME\", a popular iPod favorite, has the quality of sounding like it was recorded just yesterday, when its reputation for BEING that iPod fave has been built upon the song being so readily available to the public for quite some time without it being given the proper limelight and wings to fly; it was recorded in 1993 when Crawford was just 18, and was merely the 3rd song he ever wrote. It hasn\'t hurt the song\'s word-of-mouth either to be known as the \"little adult nursery rhyme that was written in just 5 minutes by a guy who can\'t even read music!\" And it only seems to help FUEL the public\'s appreciation and fascination for Crawford\'s sincere lust to share the stories of his life by continuingly being reminded that he\'s never been signed or published, nor has he made hardly a dime off his many years of songwriting and authoring. As it\'s quite well known that he\'s refused to register his vast and lyrically tormented song catalog with any Performing-Rights-Organizations until he gets the opportunity to be drilled into the public like his competitive wannabes who write NOTHING, proving his ernesty to entertain and evolve the business -- as the desire to write for money has never been his motive to play or sing or tell a good story. And this has only boosted his love on the underground circuit from those who have taken the time to research these exact statistics.

The fact that such well written and melodic pieces such as \"PLAY ME\" or \"CRYIN\' PARTY\" or even the jazzy and often overlooked \"SING ALONG\" that have so much potential to generate millions of dollars have never even been registered with the likes of ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, etc. since each of the songs\' conceptions over 15 years ago, is indeed quite a gamble of a statement that an unusual artist like Crawford has made on his \"we\'re-sick-of-the-pop-icon-wars\" audience ... who usually see those icons fade within about 6 months. His refusal to be looked upon as one of his contemporaries whose face and barely clothed body is purposely saturated handsomely into the market in order to help a wannabe GAIN an overnight following to boost albums sales ... but only temporarily until someone younger and even less barely clothed comes along, has only AIDED those that love Joshua\'s work and find him quite underappreciated and overlooked. And therefore, the mystery as to why he\'s not on the cover of any number of those small indie music magazines, much less Rolling Stone, continues. As does the reason why more of his work hasn\'t been recorded or financed by a label to be given to an already built-in public who\'s rather hungry for someone so original?

As of current time (2008), it\'s never been made quite clear just how many \"PLAY ME\" albums have been in circulation since the works (although copywritten) have never been registered with any PROs and since so many have been given away by Crawford himself (to back up his reasons for wanting to get signed) as opposed to being sold. Though it\'s well known that he has made comments in the past that he once quit counting the copies of the album when they reached 22,000 at the turn of the millennium, and Warner Bros. executives (let alone other insiders) have been unable to disprove this. One often discussed-with-intrigue question amongst his fans is how many of those 22,000 were sent to labels and radio and Hollywood insiders ... that ended up in the shredder? No one is quite sure of the answer, including Crawford. As in retrospect, the progression of keeping track of the album literally stopped being clocked at 22,000 ... and that was some eight years ago. Crawford\'s 2nd unpublished novel \"SIGNATURE PLACE\" has endured this same strange legacy.
What IS known however, is what those who do know of him, seem to already know:

Some have called him and his large body of work (for someone so young!) \"genius\" ... other\'s have deemed him \"the new Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow\" ... critics, however, have merely given him his OWN genre; \"GREEN EYED SOUL\" and fans AND critics alike seem to agree that it\'s only a matter of time before this popular underground contemporary pauper of a poet (he lives a very modest life on \'Disability\' in order to pay for his heart meds) hits the big time on a national level!

When someone once said that Joshua Crawford was a bit of a \'spokesperson for his generation\', they weren\'t kidding! One of the few indie-rockers on the planet that\'s actually made a career out of NOT HAVING A CAREER. Already having a reputation in both the west and the east for being \"the most passed around demo in history\"! It’s even rumored that he wrote a “Bond song: for the next Bond film! And he doesn\'t even have a MANAGER \'OR\' a LABEL?

It\'s no surprise Joshua Crawford was originally born in the same hometown of John Denver and Demi Moore; Roswell, New Mexico (for you can hear the \'Alienation\' in not only his signature voice, but his signature songwriting as well.) And \'signature\' is a pretty good word to choose for one of the most diverse entertainers ... that nobody seems to know too much about?, but whose songs are so memorable, you feel that you\'ve heard them before in some distant dream in which you enjoy not waking up to. In fact, Joshua\'s 2nd Epic-Novel written for the 1st LatchKey Generation in which his own childhood-of-the-1980s spawned, (\"SIGNATURE PLACE\" at www.SignaturePlace.com), has created quite a Buzz amongst the Publishing world for being one of the most popular books ... to have NEVER been PUBLISHED!:

\"It\'s been turned down by everybody,\" he has said in the past, “at least twice. And that\'s not a joke! The only people who seem to enjoy it are people of my generation. But I imagine it are the people of my generation who will be running those publishing and literary houses one day, and maybe then ... it\'ll finally be published.\"

Like many other LatchKey Children raised in the 1980s (whom Crawford himself has coined the word THRILLER-BABY GENERATION for in which the now widely known ThrillerBaby.com revolves around), Joshua\'s life as a youngster in the mid 1970s was no stranger to poverty.

The middle-kid of two siblings (which is evident in his hard-at-work slouched writers-posture), Crawford\'s father (who served as a drummer in a mid-60s band himself that went nowhere) hocked his drums to pay for his son\'s birth, and Joshua\'s mother often found herself collecting Coke-bottles to pay for her son\'s diapers: \"For the longest time, we got our school-clothes at garage-sales, and even though I knew I didn\'t look as \'new\' as everybody else did come school-time, I didn\'t care. Because every time we went to a garage-sale, there\'d be an old stash of records somewhere. And I found myself being drawn to the music, while my mom picked me out some clothes. Shoes, however, being the exception. Because I grew so fast, so young. And mother always insisted to my dad that she dress me in new shoes to offset my old clothes. I love her for that.\"
-- And an \'exception\' the shoes were indeed ... in which Joshua filled nicely! For Crawford was an early \'talker\', and he was already \'walking\' at the age of only 10 months; a sign that he\'d eventually be tall:

\"Thankfully I stopped growing in my early 20s, I THINK.... at 6.2, but there for a while I was always the tall deranged mute elf in all the Christmas pageants whose job was to stand on the back bleacher and act clueless.\"
-- A position he didn\'t so much grow accustomed to, but found himself forced into once the nightly arguments between his parents got out of hand.

But before the brutal divorce of his parents occurred, Crawford\'s early and some same most \'formatic\' years, were that at the age of 3 and 4, when his parents, having rented a piano for Joshua\'s sister to learn and take lessons on (in which she never took to it) walked in on young Crawford, who happened to be picking out the theme to \"The Entertainer\"; made popular at the time by the Redford/Newman movie \"The Sting\" and its Scott Joplin famous score. He thought he had done something wrong at first, until they simply said, \"Play that again son.\"
So he did. And from there on after, the rest is history that\'s worthy of its \'own\' set of novels.

An early memory of Crawford\'s was that of his father having to keep raising the household stereo to a higher bookshelf because young Joshua kept shoving 8-tracks into the player, trying to see how in the world music was able to come out of that little thing that was the size of a wallet:
\"I was fascinated I remember with how sound was actually able to be put onto not only discs, but onto magnetic TAPE? WOW! And yes. We were a bit poor to have an entertainment center, so my parents, knowing I kept messing with the stereo, raised it to the top kitchen shelf so I couldn\'t reach it. Then one day, dad came home and found that all the kitchen drawers which let up TO that shelf, were opened; each drawer opened just enough as to allow a \'step\' to be made so that I could step onto the other drawer, and then the other, and then finally be able to reach the top shelf where the stereo was. He smelled something burning was how he knew to \'look in the kitchen\', and when he did, it was a mess. I didn\'t realize it, but I\'d not only forgotten to close all the drawers, I\'d shoved an 8-track player in the wrong way and it was spitting out the magnetic-tape and eating away at the stereo. What can I say. It could be no one else. He knew it was me. And I think that was the day that we buried the stereo and ordered a new one from Sears while I stuck to my Winnie-The-Pooh record-player for a while, praying it wouldn\'t die out on me.\"
Crawford\'s father also did something in which Joshua himself considers very ingenious:

In lieu of putting all the kids to bed with story after story and book after book, Crawford\'s father often propped up one of the stereo\'s speakers to the nearby air-vent on the ceiling in the living-room, and cranked up the volume; therefore it \'re-verbd\' (echoed) out to the rest of the vents in the house (including the children\'s bedrooms), and served as an \'intercom\' of Piped-In music to the children, to put them all to sleep: \"I must say, it was brilliant. We went to bed hearing Barry Manilow, Kenny Rogers, Neil Diamond, and all the AM-radio staples, and often woke up to \'em as well. Sometimes, I\'d get up in the middle of the night to fetch a glass of water and I could still hear the needle playing the blank space at the end of the record. So I\'d go restart it over, and fall asleep with the music all over again. I\'m sure that had a lot to do with how I would later lean towards \'melody\' and catchy hooks, as opposed to just bland music with no melody whatsoever.\"
Something ELSE however ... had a \'lot to do\' with Joshua\'s future as well.

At the age of 7, Joshua\'s parents took him and the family to see a new film that had just opened at the box-office and was doing quite well!; \"E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.\" Finding himself \'magnified\' at the character \'Elliott\' midway through the film who was also a middle-kid like Joshua was, and even seemed to be going through the loss of a father-figure (Crawford\'s own father wasn\'t hanging around the house much at the time), Joshua found himself weeping at the end of the film, but not because of E.T.\'s famous goodbye, but in Crawford\'s own words, \"...because Elliott didn\'t go back WITH E.T. I couldn\'t believe it! He STAYED? On EARTH? I was heartbroken! He bypassed a trip to the Heavens!\" -- It was at this event, that young Joshua walked out of the theater and walked over to the movie\'s theatrical poster, where he begged of his father, \"Who made this movie?\" in which of course his father replied, \"Says here on the poster it was by someone named Steven Spielberg.\" From that day forward, Crawford\'s lifetime goal was to not only become an actor, but go into film-making and eventually go to work for Spielberg himself.
-- Little did Crawford know, he\'d not only get his CHANCE, but he\'d also get that much beloved missed trip to the Heavens !
However,
it wouldn\'t be an expected one.

\"E.T.\" was to be the last film Crawford and his family ever saw as a complete unit; for his parents separated weeks after the film\'s release, and when a divorce and bitter custody battle finally came into fruition, Joshua chose to go live with his father who had plans of leaving New Mexico, and heading over to a middle-class booming oil-town in Texas at the time ... that would eventually spawn both of the Bush presidencies, as well as the famous rescue of baby Jessica McClure from an abandoned well in the ground in the late 1980s; Midland, TX. It was there that Crawford\'s father started making big money (in which he\'d later lose along with many other oil men by way of the stock-market crashing on Wall Street\'s infamous Black-Monday of 1987), and the severed family spent one single year at a freshly built condominium-complex in which every family who lived on the block, seemed to be a family who had just gone through a divorce as well. Except most of the other kids lived with their mothers, not their fathers ... as was the case with young Joshua. This single year (1983 to 1984 to be exact) would be a year that 12 years down the road, Crawford would one day spend an unheard of \'6 YEARS\' writing an entire 3-part Epic-Novel about; \"SIGNATURE PLACE\" -- the popular underground documentary for the ThrillerBaby Generation and all they had to go through with being roughly the first generation to have grown up with \"single-parents who worked all the time\" as the NORM. Crawford\'s heartbroken mother however, stayed in New Mexico. And this made it most difficult for young Joshua to struggle with, knowing he\'d made the decision to live with his seldomly-seen dad ... because it was such a treat:

\"Elliott got his dad back. What else can I say? And we all went from garage-sale shopping, to shopping at that new thing called The Mall. Where Jordache Jeans and Pac-Man and New Wave music was abundant to my entire peer group. It served as a break from all the hell that my parents and their dramatic fights had put each other and us kids through. It was heaven ... for a while.\"

And yes, in the midst of all that heaven, was a new BabyGrand-piano in which Joshua\'s father had boughten for the household, but usually asked that \'kid\' of his (who always seemed to be able to pick out the theme to the movie of the week on HBO, and play it instantaneously after only a trial run) to have a seat at the bench and \"\'Fire away!\'\" he\'d say.\"

What\'s interesting here, is that at this time, (although he was very young to have ANY concrete ambitious dreams), Crawford only had dreams to act and direct, and only considered the piano as a \"remedy to the end of my day ... and sometimes the beginning of it.\" In other words, he either played for a small group of family and friends, or he played alone; (the later would carry him through his adulthood and some of the more darker years of his life.) He never played at school ... except on a few occasions:

\"Gosh no! And be singled out as the \'Elf who was now somehow able to PLAY for the MUSIC TEACHER\'? Hell no! I already felt singled-out enough as it was, due to my height and perhaps even the pain of my parents\' divorce. I never wanted to be popular ... at least not at that age, and I had very few friends at school because I was the new kid. And I wanted to become the \'old\' kid who no one noticed anymore as \'the kid who was TALL\'. I even dropped my grades a little so that I wouldn\'t be called upon to check roll or grade papers, and I seldomly recall making any close friends, except for the friends I had at Signature Place for that one year. We all lost touch however, after I moved away. And only recently have I been able to track down a few of those people that shared my life in the early 80s. Turns out a few of them are doctors and one of them even wanted to write a book about the LatchKey Generation like me! Yet it was funny, they remembered me mostly for one thing; my big piano. I had no idea I had made an impact on them ... I only thought they\'d made an impact on me but had long forgotten about me by now; for those days existed well over 20 years ago. That\'s a long time to some people.\"
-- Perhaps the reason why Crawford considers 20 years a mere fraction of his life, is because his life forever changed when he was 14. And the years after THAT age, were years that seemed like they were from another life. For it was at the age of fourteen, that upon Crawford paying a visit to his local doctor, complaining of stomach cramps (thinking he merely had the FLU!), a chest-x-ray was taken ... which revealed that somehow, a mysterious virus had attacked Crawford\'s heart, causing it to enlarge four-times its normal size!; being deemed with the medical term \'Cardiomyopathy\' (aka \'enlarged heart\').

Within hours, the young boy was flown to Houston (home to one of the leading cardiology centers) where 12 of the top cardiologists in the world told him and his parents that if he didn\'t partake of a heart-transplant immediately, he\'d surely die. Which was strange to Crawford at the time, because that\'s exactly what he was wanting: Not a new heart, but death:

\"They never knew what brought on the virus that attacked me. But I can\'t deny that I had been wanting to die that whole year. I just didn\'t realize it. For alcoholism was playing a rather overshadowing part in my homelife. And this was something I had never noticed as a young boy, but only became aware of when I started to connect all the dots of why I always seemed to be blamed for things that I never even did. And then the following morning, those \'things\' were completely \'erased\' from the memory of the ones who would blame me. It was a tough lesson to learn and a reality I wish I never had encountered. But the homelife was getting to be a bit much for me and my soul. And I was crying out for help in a way ... I guess I didn\'t realize though that my heart was the one that was doing all the crying. When on the outside, I merely appeared to be going through life as a mute middle kid who liked movies and music and a good story and nothing else. I didn\'t realize I was stepping stones away from death\'s door. And when that door opened, it didn\'t just aim to swallow me, it aimed to swallow me whole. Without even chewing me up.\"

Strangely enough, the decision to receive a transplant or not, was left up to none other than the young 14 yr old himself! And after much debate, Joshua Crawford ... the-submitter-to-sadness ... became Joshua Crawford ... the-survivor-who-lived-to-TELL about that sadness. For he had decided to live. But only after imagining what it would be like to die without have ever gotten the chance to work for the person who had inspired this strong-willed young man to stay ALIVE; Steven Spielberg.

What soon followed was a bit of a spiritual enigma that shocked not only the family, but the entire medical-field as well. Holding onto a little metal cross (in which his father had given him for hope), Crawford\'s body was so weak that quite often, chest x-rays called for the x-ray machines to be brought into Crawford\'s personal ICU-Transplant room; for his pulse was too near-death to even attempt at leaving his I.C.U. hospital-bed to have the x-rays taken in another area of the hospital wing ... which was common procedure. And one morning, Joshua awoke to find his little metal cross MISSING. This was the same morning he was due for a chest x-ray at any moment so that the doctors could evaluate his heart for the day, as they so often did. Soon, the x-ray machine was brought in, the lead-plate was slipped under Joshua\'s bare back as he laid in bed, the machine was then hovered over him, and the x-ray was taken. But what the nurses discovered when they DEVELOPED the x-ray however, was mere and morbid bafflement because they thought young Crawford had swallowed his lost metal CROSS! For locked into the x-ray of his heart, was a translucent tiny cross!

After the hospital staff ran into Crawford\'s hospital room, they looked him over in complete wonder. Hoping he was still alive. What in fact had happened was that Joshua had found the cross ... stuck on his back with perspiration, only moments after the x-ray was initially taken. He had lost the cross in his sleep the night before, and gathered that it had fallen behind his back and had simply \'stuck to it\' when the lead-plate had been slipped behind the back itself to have the x-ray taken. Therefore, the cross had merely gotten \"caught in the x-ray.\" And once the medical-field learned of this, they were in awe that the cross, being made of \'metal\' elements, hadn\'t burned through Crawford\'s skin like acid!
-- To this day, the x-ray serves as a testimony to the days when Crawford\'s health started to gain, and death\'s door (in which he was ever so close to!) started to close him out. Yet still, the doctors accused Joshua\'s parents of \'murdering their own son\' by not allowing him to receive the transplant. And they even went so far as to secretly corner Crawford\'s own mother, in an attempt to get her to \'sue\' her ex-husband for full-custody of Joshua, so that she could then turn him over to the doctors and they could perform the transplant anyway. What most people don\'t know about transplants however, even to this day, is that not only was 5-to-8-years the maximum that a heart-transplant lasted at this time in modern-medicine (IF they even SURVIVED the transplant that is!), but that a drug in which killed off the body\'s immune-system had to be partaken for the rest of the patient\'s life ... as to prevent that patient\'s body from rejecting the transplant itself. And the drug killed the immune system at just one drop. Therefore, it became easy for the patient to die from even the common cold, even after a successful transplant. And the kidneys could often give out over time, due to the drug\'s potency.
-- 2 weeks soon passed however after this historic medical-miracle, and then Crawford was allowed to go home ... which was exactly where many doctors thought he\'d surely eventually die a rather quick death.

It is now 17 years and 300 songs later.
And he\'s still here, and he\'s still got his own heart ... which over time, shrank almost back to its normal size.

\'Weakened\' however he was at the time (which was 1989), young Joshua was deemed TOO weak and had to stay out of school his entire freshman year so that he could regain his strength (or what was left of it), and allow some of the medications the doctors had put him on to work their way into his heart. But Crawford\'s mind knew better than to let the entire year go to waste. So he began writing letter after letter to Steven Spielberg, addressing each letter to \'Universal Studios\', never even knowing if the letters were making their way to the director\'s own desk or not. Crawford also did one other thing: He began to play the piano OFF THE WALL! Particularly in the late night hours, as means of \'solacing\' his heart to help heal not only his body, but his mind and spirit as well.

Finally, a phone-call was tossed his way in the spring of 1990 by one of Spielberg\'s staff members from Spielberg\'s then \'Amblin Entertainment\' which yes, was located out in Universal Studios in Hollywood: \"They called me on Oscar night, and offered me a movie-poster of choice. Of course ... {laughs} ... naturally, I chose none other than \"Close Encounters\" and when I asked if I could meet Steven and perhaps just \'sit on the set for the day\' at my own expense to watch him work and learn a few tricks and trades of the camera--something he himself had once tried to do with Hitchcock but was thrown off the set for--they told me he was busy for the next several years. So I laughed a little, and said, \'well, I\'ll just keep trying.\' And they encouraged me to do so. Naturally, it was later that year that I took a more \'gift-giving approach\' and decided that if I spent enough time and money making and creating an elegant-looking birthday gift for the guy, and then Fed-Exed it to him, perhaps he\'d just have to call and thank me.\"
-- And yes, to even Crawford\'s surprise, the idea WORKED!

\"I Fed-Exed the gift to him on his birthday which I knew was in the same month as mine, and then I soon received a thank-you letter a few months later. It was then from that same letter-head that I obtained a phone-number which linked directly to his office. And one day, I swallowed my throat, and I just called it up. And the friendship that would change my life forever (for the better!) was born.\"
-- The friendship Crawford is speaking of here, isn\'t one with the director himself of course, but one with a woman who served as Steven\'s secretary at the time. She took young Joshua\'s calls, once a month, for the next several years. And it were these same calls that got Crawford through the lonely days of highschool, where he felt like a \'reject\' because of his growth in not only his maturity level (which had always been a bit off the norm), but the growth of his spirituality as well, which is ever so apparent in his words and music and personality if you were to meet him today.

Now around this same timeframe, not only was Crawford making small mini-movies on his camcorder (in which he\'d send off to Amblin for their viewing enjoyment), but after studying Fitzgerald\'s \"The Great Gatsby\" in English-class upon finally being able to return to high-school his sophomore year, Joshua began writing his 1st novel at the age of only 15, simply entitled \"TRUE\"; inspired by the love for his favorite song of all time (of the same title) from 1983 by new-wavers Spandau Ballet. The novel, about a couple of kids who were raised in a bar in which their parents owned and the affects that this had on their adulthood once they grew up, soon became an extension of Crawford\'s own self. And one of the leading characters in the book found himself running away from home (Roswell, NM) ... only to end up out in California (Universal City) working for none other than Steven Spielberg. So as one can imagine, Crawford was more than just \"gratefully SHOCKED\" when as a surprise for his 18th birthday, he was invited by his Spielberg buddy out to Hollywood for an exclusive tour of not only Amblin Entertainment (which employed about 50 at the time), but he was also allowed access into Steven\'s private office; the director of course allegedly being out of town at the time:

\"It was quite a time for Steven. He was in between \'Jurassic\' and \'Schindler\'. Or \'slain dinosaurs\' and \'slain Jews\'. And I was honored to have even sat in his chair during a most historic, but trying year for the director\'s career. What\'s strange is that the world kinda only knew how talented he truly was AFTER he had won the Oscar for \'Schindler\' a few years later. So it\'s weird for me when people refer to him as \'God\' {laughs}. In which they often do in Tinseltown. Because to me, yes, he was the backbone for my wanting-to-live, but more importantly, I think he was the backbone because of his capability to be just plain old Steven, who never forgot that certain \'pain of his childhood\' and then DREW on that, as well as his survival from a few scratches and hits himself in life, to use those moments in storytelling ... in which he fortunately lived to tell about through film. So I always saw him as a small boy with the beard of man. And not a small man with the beard of boy ... which is kinda the way the world thinks of him now. And it pleases me that they think of him at all. \'Cause yeah, believe it or not, he was rather under-appreciated at the time. Now, however, {laughs again}, THAT isn\'t a problem anymore. And just look at what\'s he done! He\'s inspired us all! God only knows, I wouldn\'t be the singer-songwriter that I am today, had it not been for that seat in his chair which I had no idea at the time, that I would go the opposite way of directing ... and instead, fall into music. It still blows my mind, that I had every opportunity to become a director, and didn\'t. Why? God only knows.\"

What Crawford is referring to here, is that after his stay in Hollywood and VIP passes to the studios (a gift from his beloved Spielberg secretary friend), Joshua flew back to Midland and instead of making another home-movie and contemplating enrollment to the American Film Institute, he sat down at the piano and wrote what was to be his very first song ever lyrically written from beginning to end; a 6 and a half minute pop-ballad (which many producers have found to be an amazingly written and orchestrated piece for a \'first-song\') entitled \"SING ALONG\"; a clever trick-of-a-title that opens with a set of lyrics that speak \"I guess I\'ve gotten over it by now\" which intriguingly serves as either a closed-chapter to Crawford\'s life as a director? Or the beginning of a new one as the birth of a singer-songwriter. Not even HE knows the answer to this. Nor does he seem to know the reason for his words? He just writes them. And \"Sing Along\", a song that starts out with nothing but a simple heart-shattering set of piano chords (accompanied by an unintrusive shy voice that grows in strength as the song does), soon turns out to be a \'Carpenters-like\' rift that eventually modulates into one awesome melodic abridgment (in which Crawford of course doesn\'t even know what \'key\' it\'s on! -- if you can believe that) ... \"it\'s on those black keys,\" he says ... and it\'s wonderful to hear a complete STOP of the song, following this abridgment (which when played alone, has enough merit to be a song all its own!). After the abrupt unexpected surprise STOP of the song occurs however, Crawford then cuts into a chop-sticks spiraling-down-of-the-piano, where he then picks back up the song, and takes it to the next level of what the melody in your mind wants to hear.
-- It\'s quite original, to say the very least. And it seems only appropriate that \"Sing Along\" has the LIVE \'applause\' at the end, leading many to debate, was it recorded live? Or was that applause tossed-in for fun.
We\'ll let YOU decide.

Next up on the list was a little diddy that Joshua came up with while driving, which he says that many of the songs come to him when he is behind the wheel. This song is entitled \"CRYIN\' PARTY\"; another trick-song-title written just days after \"Sing Along\" that also has the power to draw in the listener, but on more of an upbeat 50s-style melody, with a modern twist; production that reminds us of the power of \'experimenting with song\' to the point that it dies, just like the lyrics do at the end. Which seems quite the way Crawford contemplated the writing, since he is indeed a novelist, as well as a singer-songwriter and lover of sound. And one has to wonder if he blends all three mediums as a means to tell us \'musically\' ... what he\'s trying to say \'lyrically\'.

For instance:
The song starts out with somehow managing to cram an entire \'3-paragraphs-worth of words\' into mere seconds at an easy flow, then paves the story about how the man who\'s singing, is \"cryin\' cuz I can\'t get over you.\" Yet when the song goes into overdrive with OVER-tracking (as literal CRYING often does when it involves not only the loss of a woman, but the mere fact of being easily replaced by another man who seems to have his exact same qualities), it only serves the song and the listener justice to hear it all abruptly END! And somehow, we guess that perhaps it even served Crawford this as well, and he ended it just when we needed it to end; with a PARTY of vocals that recuperate the song\'s motives!

\"Cryin\' Party\" truly is one of those that is so well-executed on all levels (vocals are a real pleasure here) that you feel like you\'ve heard it before, when indeed, it\'s a new original song from Crawford\'s vault-of-a-mind that could\'ve easily been featured in \"Grease\" ... yet has enough modern qualities to it production-wise, that it\'s rather \'undated\' and could be played on the radio in either the \'50s ... or today; ala Billy Joel\'s \"For The Longest Time\" from the \"Innocent Man\"-album or even Timothy B. Schmit\'s \"So Much In Love\" from the old \"Ridgemont High\"-LP (both from the early 80\'s; an obvious long overdue source for not only Crawford\'s upbringing, but for much of his inspiration as well. Just look at his novels! They both tap into rather \'untapped\' stories of the 1980s). And Crawford seems to have fun with it, all while his heart is breaking. (No pun intended ... well, maybe just a little. That\'s up to the listener, which makes it even more fun.)

Simple-but-complex; (a style that seems to become the official \'Trademark\' for this diverse entertainer the more you hear his stuff), \"Cryin\' Party\", in addition to \"Sing Along\", is another PLUS! Especially for only his second song written. And a good idea of the octave ranges he can display are pretty solid here, as is the strength in his voice that you can tell he\'s climbing in energy with ... like he will someday on those Billboard charts; for \"Cryin\' Party\" is the one that has the strange legacy behind it for being considered for representation by a well-known CAA agent who turned the song DOWN (saying \"it didn\'t have enough of a SIGNATURE\" of all things?), but only after listening to it over 12 times on his way home from work:

-- \"That\'s 10 more times than I expected,\" Crawford says.
And this pleased him tremendously, as it did his father; whom Crawford was on his way to pick up at the airport, when Crawford came up with the rift for the song.

Finally, there\'s \"THE ONE\" as those who know Joshua refer to it AS. And we\'re talking about the one that could easily not only become \'the one\' that goes the highest on the charts and cause the listeners to buy his 1st album, but the one that could even lead to being the ultimate \'Signature Song\' of Crawford\'s ever-growing catalog;
\"PLAY ME\"!
(Take note. Another great TRICK-TITLE that fully delivers!)

As the story goes, \"PLAY ME\" (another gem-of-a-song that\'s melody is so strong, you feel like you\'ve heard it before!) started out as another song entirely. Crawford was watching 1984\'s \"Romancing The Stone\" on the old VCR for the jillionth time, then found himself seated at the piano soon after the film\'s credits rolled to mimic the film\'s soundtrack, like he\'d done so many times with so many films as a young toddler. But instead of playing Alan Silvestri\'s much under-appreciated score (in which Crawford had played a hundred times over before), he played a completely different piece for just a few seconds and then stopped to wonder, \"what in the world is THAT?\" Well ... \'THAT\' turned out to be \"PLAY ME\"; an adult nursery-rhyme that \'rows your boat gently down the stream\' ... and then cracks your heart open by sinking the orr (instead of the anchor!) into the abyss of love\'s dark side. With its shattering story of \'infidelity masquerading as the request for a last One-Nighter with the person whom either was cheated on with, or got cheated OUT of with\' (YOU do the math!), \"PLAY ME\" (a perfect title for the name of ANY artist\'s album, much less a struggling one!) is the one to hit the REPEAT-button for. (And what a heartwrenching FALSETTO the man has on this one!) Again, simple story here, but complex and very unusual (if not extremely VISUAL) way of telling it; the Singer-Songwriter\'s official trademark has now been signified here and one can only guess that he might\'ve just known this when he wrote it.

Served up in the ever popular key-of-C (for CHEATING) that rides across the waters to the key-of-F (for possibly FAILING-to-succeed-with-the-request for sex), then drowning back into the key-of-C, where the singer begs of us to \"Hush. I know. I\'ll go. Just one last time. Play me tonight\" (listen carefully for the \'breath\' at the end of the song from the storyteller himself by the way ... it\'s quite compelling!) ... \"PLAY ME\" is a definite \'KEEPER\' to say the very minimum. And like the other two songs, \"PLAY ME\" keeps in Crawford\'s traditional rule of using only \'authentic\' instruments for its production: \"They age better that way,\" he says. (And granted, he\'s right. They do! But we\'ll get to that a bit later.) What\'s baffling here, is the mere story that upon realizing the song was indeed of his own doing, Crawford left the piano (without even finishing the melody ... which he says is usually what he does first before he starts in with the lyric-writing) and headed to his laptop computer in his bedroom at the age of 18, where he whipped out not only the rest of the 5 minute melody, but the entire set of lyrics in just that; FIVE MINUTES !
Lyrics that many have found to be perplexingly mature with ripe wisdom ... for someone so young to have written them.

He then came back to the piano in the dark of night, plugged in his laptop and sat it on the piano-bench, played the song entirely while reading the lyrics off the computer screen just once, and then had the song down platinum in his memory for life. After then playing the song for his father (lights still off), it was shortly after this, that his father soon decided to take his wannabe-director-son off to Buddy-Holly-land (nearby Lubbock TX), and record all 3 songs at a small independent studio for a few hundred bucks with Crawford serving as composer and co-producer; the only 3 songs Crawford had even written at the time!
-- Which is where the FLUKE of this story hides!:
For this particular DEMO (that\'s JUST NOW gaining MAJOR AirPlay) was entirely recorded well over 10 years ago at the peek of the grunge movement, before Crawford even learned how to properly use the vibrato in his voice (if you can believe that!) and this set of songs was, and remains, the only publicly \'recorded\' music of Crawford\'s entire catalog available on the market ... which he continues to use as a demo, even to this day!:

\"If they don\'t want me after this one, then it\'s pure and simple; they just don\'t want me because my music isn\'t powerful enough for them, no matter how well it\'s recorded or not recorded, and no matter how good or not good I\'m singing it for the day.\"
(We agree!)
And soon, so did Spielberg\'s office.

When the demo was completed (as well as Crawford\'s first book \"TRUE\" -- (c) 1995), Joshua, at age 21, sent both of his labors of love (the novel and the songs) off to his long-time friend up at Amblin. And unlike his communication with the company before, there was now an interesting twist: for Amblin Entertainment had now merged with Jefferey Katzenberg and David Geffen to form DreamWorks Studios; an entire multi-media of outlets for creativity that included none other than yes? Its very own Record-Label:

\"They had George {Michael} at the time, and that was it. But as you can imagine, when I got a call from the office one day with showers of compliments and they asked me what I wanted? I said it very simply: \'I want to speak to people with my music.\'\" But after indicating to Crawford that he would soon ink a record-deal and be one of the first ever newcomers to the baby label with big potential, Crawford soon discovered that hopes could just as easily be shattered as they could be built. And DreamWorks found themselves too busy with other more \'known\' artists to sign. And Crawford found himself surviving a relapse of his heart. For in possibly guessing that his \'heart\' might have been the reason for his \'lack of a signing\' with DreamWorks, he mistakenly quit all his medications completely cold turkey after writing his next book \"Signature Place\". And within days of that book\'s completion, he found himself going into rewind with his health, and becoming so bed-ridden, that he had to move out of his apartment and into the homes of nearby relatives to recuperate; in which he did, but only after 2 years of almost complete solitude.

Once he was back in the saddle with a full recovery however, and flipping through his catalog of songs to surprisingly find none other than 300 and going!, he quickly picked back up his attempts to land a major record-deal. As he also aimed at getting his book for all latch-key children and their parents (\"Signature Place\") published. Which leads us up to now:

In downloading these first few raw-but-talented glimpses of a truly profound entertainer\'s musical HEART (or buying them directly from his website: www.JoshuaCrawford.com), you\'re not only welcoming yourself to a pure listening pleasure and the early birth of one very diverse entertainer whose strength lies in his ever-MINT-green eyes (in which he\'s become ever so known for), you\'re downloading the merit of Art itself. And the effort and challenge and work that goes into making the dream not only dreamable, but achievable ... through the act of \'surviving\' the dream. The dream of the mind, the dream of the flesh, and the dream of the spirit.

When asked whether or not he thinks he\'ll ever \'get signed\' or \'open the SuperBowl\' someday, Crawford merely responds with earnest weathered eyes that sigh honesty mixed with modesty: \"I don\'t know. I\'ve been at this a while.\" (11 years!) \"I\'ve got over 2000 rejections and I\'m getting old,\" (he\'s only 30!), \"but there\'s those awful bands that you see on Leno and Letterman that have their one hit, the fame, the fortune, and glory and are never to be heard from again ... and then there\'s people like me. Who sing and write and play for different reasons. We do it for, well, like Barry Manilow once said, \'when you can\'t NOT do it ... you know you were MEANT to do it\'. I guess we don\'t know why we do it (?), we just do it. And we do with our heart, and not our wallets. Could I use a studio? A manager? A label? A team of masseuses? Sure. {laughs} That\'d be great. It would allow my hard-earned life of stories and accomplishments of the human spirit to be shared with the world. And I could inspire them on a more global level with all the love and passion I have for my work ... just like someone once inspired me. But until then, the only thing I feel comfortable enough to even complain about, is the fact that there\'s not enough MELODY in music anymore. It\'s all built on hype and shock-jock self-image these days, rather than HOOK and STORYTELLING. I\'ve had enough SHOCK in my life. I\'ll just stick with storytelling for now. I\'m alive. I survived the misery of my own youth. I can live with that. Can everybody else? Well, I guess that\'s up to them, and however many times my songs get downloaded or sold. But in the end, it\'s all about the love of music, and not the lust for it. There IS a difference.\"
-- And in Joshua Crawford\'s very own words from \"PLAY ME\" that simply moan (with that wise old scratchy voice for someone who wrote the words when he was just eighteen!), \"Row row your boat, up and down the stream, if only my life were but a dream,\" ...
Mr. Crawford?
We\'re sure glad it ISN\'T just a dream.
And even if it were one, we\'d take it anyway.

Having traces of the great ones that were once PIPED INTO the room of a troublesome young boy who had dreams of escaping into motion pictures for a living (Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, Billy Joel, Elton John, Kenny Rogers, James Taylor, Lionel Richie, Michael McDonald, Marvin Gaye, Hall & Oates, Eric Carmen, Christopher Cross, Dallas Holm, Bread, America, Elvis Costello, Lindsey Buckingham, Stephen Bishop, Paul McCartney ... and even more recent acts such as Ben Folds Five, Brian McNight, Billy Corgan, Dave Matthews, Norah Jones, Coldplay, Five For Fighting, REM, John Mayer, Jewel, and even The Cure ... with just a touch of the famous film-composers who impacted his life such as John Barry, John Williams, Michael Legrand, Dave Grusin, Hans Zimmer, James Horner, Maurice Jarre, Alan Silvestri, Jerry Goldsmith, Christopher Young, Danny Elfman, David Foster, Angelo Badalamenti, Tangerine Dream, Giorgio Moroder, Randy Newman, Henry Mancini, and the great Scott Joplin, it seems only fitting that Joshua Crawford\'s very first song to ever be played at the piano was simply, \"The Entertainer.\"
And we think you\'ll agree.

With only a limited run of tours each year, due to the demands of his energy-level, (although he has been known to drop in unexpectedly to head for the nearby shadowy corners of your local piano-bars here and there and surprise you with a tune or two), Joshua Crawford\'s \"PLAY ME\" (and its counterparts) serves as a perfect \'listen-and-dissect\' piece either over candlelight and caviar? Pizza and a beer? Or alone and in the dark with a pack of smokes and perhaps even a scripture or two.

Somehow, these 3 songs seem to serve-for-any-occasion: \"It\'s funny. People who\'ve become familiar with my work, particularly with Play Me, always come up to me and tell me that it\'s not only one of their favorites to get-intimate to with, but that \'when the relationship ended\', they also used it as a \'heartbreaker to console their emotions with\' song. I never expected Play Me, nor any of my others, to cross so many genres that way. I guess I wrote it as a break-up song and not a make-up song ... never really guessing that it might just be possible that \'he gets her back at the end\'. I\'m glad to know all the lovers out there have so much hope. But honestly. If I had to come up with my reasons for choosing the lyrics that I chose for Play Me, I guess I could only say one of two things; the first one being what John Denver once said. And that was that it isn\'t so much that I\'ve HAD all these experiences, but it\'s that I\'ve had such a desolate life (even though it\'s been one full of great stories), that I\'ve often chosen words that CRAVE those experiences ... even if it\'s a relationship gone sour. To some of those like me out there (the loners), at least it\'s a relationship, period. And we\'ll take it for what it\'s worth. Even if it doesn\'t pan out. At least we can say we tried it. The \'second\' reason would be a simple three words in which every man goes through; I WAS EIGHTEEN!\"

Is it any wonder with all that he\'s lived through that Joshua Crawford HAS \'crossed\' so many genres?

Whether he\'s breaking our hearts with the sweat of his OWN ...
or putting them back together again with the faith of his passion ...
one thing\'s for sure;
he\'s definitely going to be around a while.
And the countdown has begun for the day when his music (and the stories behind it) will finally gain appreciation on a national level, backed up by his official myspace page (www.myspace.com/JoshuaCrawford.com) that has become an underground coveted hip and sheik “site to be on” in its own right for being one that has a “friends list” which represents a “who’s who” of some of the most influential public figures of both the 20th and 21st century who have uncovered and rediscovered the artist, way long after the entertainment industry initially overlooked him. Many have aimed to “be on the list”, but in pure anti-establishment Crawford tradition, who often stays one step ahead of “thinking outside the box”, it remains un-manipulated by made-up myspace numbers that has become common for the Internet’s dizzying array of untalented garage bands, and “the list” is rather exclusive with a highly subjective screening process that won’t approve just anybody.
Not bad for a kid that can\'t even read a single note and according to modern-medicine,
wasn\'t even supposed to live … then later wrote an alleged 1,000 songs and 2 epic-novels; one in which coined the very word for the entire generation born 1965-1980; “thrillerbaby.” The thrillerbaby.com website has since gone on to become an entire generation’s “hot-spot” for nostalgia and overlooked forgotten gems; much like the artist himself … though his music is far from sounding “dated”. As what few recordings and bootlegs that exist by the man with the mint green eyes (which includes the often discussed \"$49 Demo\"), continually age, year by year, like fine wine; with many mistaking it for a batch of songs that were just recently recorded, adding to Crawford’s underground appeal in the process. With his “Signature Place” novel having become so popular for being “rejected by major publishers”, that its own word, “thriller baby”, has seeped into pop culture, along with “the most passed around demo in the entire history of the music business”; HIS !

(For more information, visit www.JoshuaCrawford.com, www.SignaturePlace.com, www.ThrillerBaby.com, and iTunes; all of which have direct LINKS at the top left side of this page!)

Mr. Crawford\'s music has appeared on the following Compilation CDs available for Music Industry sources:

NEW MUSIC WEEKLY\'s \"Future Hits Vol.21\" (2005)
- EMAIL: futurecd@newmusicweekly.com
or CALL 888-325-2901 TO ORDER

NEWSHOWS \"Program #4\" Compilation CD (2005)
- VISIT www.netshows.us/netshows/mediafactoryrecords.html
or EMAIL: netshows@aol.com TO ORDER

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