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The Captivating Johnny Crawford

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Album Review

Teen idol actor-turned-singer Johnny Crawford had already established himself as a Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeer and primary cast member of The Rifleman prior to recording The Captivating Johnny Crawford (1962), his first of three long-players for Del-Fi in the 1960s. Boasting a decidedly rich tenor voice and dramatic delivery, Crawford quickly became a vocalist of considerable note. After his debut single, "Daydreams," reached a respectable number 70 and was a local "pick hit," Del-Fi founder Bob Keane set up a session featuring Crawford backed instrumentally by the Champs, a group that included, among others, Glen Campbell (guitar), Dash Crofts (drums), and Jerry Cole (guitar). The results were a mixture of affective ballads and typical mid-tempo pop numbers. The opener, "Lucky Star," sets the effort's tenure with the artist providing a bright and bouncy melody atop of the lightly orchestrated score. This is similar to the sides "Son of the Moon," "We Belong Together," a cover of Ritchie Valens' "Donna," and his earliest Top 40 platter, "Patti Ann." Crawford's expressive inflection on "Tennessee Waltz" is simply remarkable, as his sincerity and maturity all but defy his age. Otherwise, "That's All I Want From You" and the aforementioned "Treasure" are all aptly matched for his principally teenage female audience. In 2004, as part of their restoration of the classic Del-Fi catalog, Collectors' Choice Music issued all three of Crawford's LPs onto compact disc, making them available after several decades out of print.


Born: 26 March 1946 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s

Johnny Crawford may have been the best child actor of his generation, at least on television. Born into a theatrical family, he began his TV career as one of the original Walt Disney Mousketeers, but he quickly moved on to much more prominent and demanding work as the co-star of the Western series The Rifleman. The series, telling of the adventures of a widowed sodbuster and his son on the frontier, was an immediate hit and ran for five years. During this period, Crawford proved himself to be a superb...
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The Captivating Johnny Crawford, Johnny Crawford
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