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A Young Man's Fancy

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Album Review

Johnny Crawford began his prolific career in 1955 as a first-generation Mouseketeer, and by the end of the decade he was playing Mark McCain on the weekly Western drama The Rifleman. During the show's fourth season Crawford explored an alternate vocation, eventually cutting three LPs for the indie Del-Fi label. His second outing, 1962's A Young Man's Fancy, offers another 11 selections in much the same fashion as his debut, The Captivating Johnny Crawford, released earlier that year. Although merely a teenager, Crawford possessed a sonorous tenor that was well matched to the dramatic ability he brought to his performances. As his fan base consisted primarily of adolescent females, it is no surprise that the majority of the material could rightfully be considered love songs. This effort fittingly commences with Crawford's fourth single and sole Top Ten hit, the midtempo "Cindy's Birthday." It was one of four originals penned specifically for the artist by Jeff Hooven and Hal Winn, who likewise provided the lightweight "Your Nose Is Gonna Grow," which Crawford took all the way to number 14. Even more affective are the readings of the pop ballads "Moon River," "In the Wee Small Hours," "Little White Cloud," and "Young at Heart." In keeping with the archetypal early-'60s teen idol style, the arrangements bathe Crawford's vocals in a suitable string section and small studio combo that included session heavies such as Benny Gill (violin), Nathan Ross (violin), Tommy Tedesco (guitar), Rene Hall (guitar), Ray Pohlman (bass), and Earl Palmer (drums). [In 2004, as part of their restoration of the classic Del-Fi catalog, Collectors' Choice Music issued all three of Crawford's LPs on compact disc, making them available after several decades out of print.]

Biography

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...
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A Young Man's Fancy, Johnny Crawford
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