Remembering David Crosby, a folk-rock legend

The Laurel Canyon pioneer is the reason why a lot of artists you know and love are even around 

If you felt a little blue within the past week, I don’t blame you. David Crosby, one of the music industry’s most influential musicians passed away on Jan. 18. He was 81 years old. While they were notified about Crosby’s death through an intimate sourve, “they did not disclose a cause,” according to Rolling Stone.

The folk rock icon was most known for his albums If I Could Only Remember My Name, and Oh Yes I Can, Crosby was a founding member of the band The Byrds — founded in 1964. The Byrds played for almost four decades until their retirement in 2000. Crosby was also a part of the supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, which was formed in 1968 by Graham Nash and David Crosby in Canadian Folk legend Joni Mitchell’s living room in Laurel Canyon, no less!  

To top all that off, he also juggled a third project: his solo career, which spanned nine studio records along with three live records. Crosby even collaborated with the likes of legendary folk artist Joan Baez, ’80s hit savant Kenny Loggins (“Danger Zone”), Carole King, and of course the neo-jazz group Snarky Puppy. 

He has had a controversial music career, often blurting things out without fully explaining them, which has caused a couple other musicians to fire back at him, like Phoebe Bridgers. On more than one occasion, Bridgers has used profanity against Crosby through twitter, one example in response to his disdain for smashing her electric guitar on SNL. In 2016, CSN (Crosby, Stills, and Nash) disbanded after Crosby and Nash had a bad fight. “I won’t tell anyone about that, but I will say that the damage between us is irreparable” said Graham Nash.

He is survived by his friends and family; his wife Jan Dance, and six children Beckett Cypher, Django Crosby, James Raymond, Bailey Jean Cypher, Donovan Crosby, and Erika Keller Crosby. His fellow colleagues and musicians who played with him over the years have shared their grievances through Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms. “It is with a deep and profound sadness that I learnt my friend David Crosby has passed,” said Graham Nash from CSN. American songwriter Brian Wilson shared his thoughts, saying “I’m heartbroken to hear about David Crosby.”

If you have the time, listen to some David Crosby today — trust me, you won’t regret it.  

Below is a list of songs that I recommend:

  • “Cowboy Movie” 
  • “The Us Below”
  • “Laughing”
  • “Orleans”
  • “Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves)”
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