Notes-Worthy: Cindy (Peddycoart) Crawford

Notes-Worthy: Cindy (Peddycoart) Crawford

C.U. Bands and Fans' Terry Brown chats with longtime vocalist, guitarist and bassist CINDY (PEDDYCOART) CRAWFORD, who now plays in Broken Prairie alongside her husband, Ron.

How long have you been performing live music in C-U and how did you begin your career in music?

In 1969, my dad took me to audition for The Marvin Lee Show. I was 12. I toured and sang with him until 1972. I went to Nashville in 1975 and joined a contest where I appeared on the Grand Ole Opry. I also performed on The Porter Wagoner Show and The Ralph Emery morning show.

I took a breather for a couple of years. After getting married and having two babies, my brother Billy and I formed The Whitewater Band. We were popular in the late '70s/early '80s, during the Urban Cowboy era.

When the band went our separate ways, I received a call from Backstage Boogie, a popular Top 40 rock band in 1984. They needed a frontperson. I had never fronted a band before, as I have always played either acoustic or bass guitar. The band was a success for 3 years, then fizzled out in 1987.

I received a phone call and was asked to be a front person in another Top 40 rock band ... Obsession. We became very popular locally and were very busy. I shared the front lead with another girl and we all had a blast!

In 1991, I left the band to spend more time with my struggling family. I wanted to take a couple of years off, but it became a decade. I retired from music altogether. With the children grown and being single again, I followed my daughter's karaoke jobs and got up to sing once in a while.

Tell us about playing with Marvin Lee.

I was only 12 when I sang on his TV show for the first time. I was scared to death! Marvin asked my parents if they would let me be a guest on some of his outdoor shows. Of course, they were thrilled and took me to every show. At that time, he was very busy with many traveling shows, along with his local TV show every Saturday, which I had become a regular member of.

The more I sang on TV, the more I was made fun of at school. No kid in the early '70s liked country-western music! I was such a victim of bullying at school and was always asked to give over my lunch money, or was deliberately tripped by the other kids and then laughed at me when I hit the floor in front of them. Once, someone put their foot out for me to stop and would not let me pass until I sang something louder, louder, LOUDER, while tears fell down my face! I was glad at those times when Marvin's shows were so far out of town that we got home too late and I had to miss school.

For that reason, I hated school, but got through it and graduated early in 1975. I also had many good times, as we traveled within the viewing area. I actually got stopped for an autograph at Kmart! Marvin was my mentor, my teacher. He taught me how to use a microphone and to hold it down so people could see my face. He taught me the verbiage of what "kickoff," "tag," "intro" or "turn around" meant and also to never do too many slow songs in a row.

I looked up to him and took it all in. He also taught me gospel songs that I had never heard of before. He was an upright, decent man and that's why my parents let him take me under his wing. He is still that person today and still mentors other young talent ... one being Allison Krauss.

You are still lively in music and active with your husband Ron. Catch us up on your projects and what you are up to now.

Since a bad fall took me down in 2007, I have developed a lot of health problems with three autoimmune diseases that they know of. I probably had them as a young girl, but not healing well from that surgery is when they began testing for other things. I went for years with braces on both legs, using a walker, sometimes a mobility chair and now a cane.

My illness and medications have interfered with my memory, eyesight and judgment. Since then, I have had more than 17 surgeries. Needless to say, I was mostly inactive for several years. I have had to quit working and driving. I have had to cancel on my grandchildren's birthday parties and school programs if I was having a bad day.

I enjoy music through my kids and grandkids, as they are all very talented and active through CUTC and other productions. I also became somewhat active in pet rescue over time. We somehow ended up with six yorkies and a cat! I keep busy grooming them and can now physically do some household chores, etc.

My husband, Ron, has helped me overcome the insecurities about singing and performing that I developed over the years of not doing it by taking me to karaoke on occasion. I met Ron through my daughter's karaoke show in November 2001. We married four months later. He sang everything from Lionel Richie to Merle Haggard very well! He had also played drums in church and sang in a band when he lived in Evansville, Ind.

We had fun going to karaoke every weekend and still try to go on occasion. He joined Broken Prairie three years ago. Physically, I could not go and sit for that long, so I never went to see them. Mentally, I was not up for it. Once I retired in 1991, I swore that I would never sing in a band again, thinking that was the source of two failed marriages.

On New Year's Eve 2016, I finally decided to go out to hear and support Ron in Broken Prairie. I told them not to call me up to sing. They did anyway. Very much out of practice, I mustered up a couple of country songs that I still knew by heart. Bingo! It brought back a love in me that had been buried so long ago. I regained the confidence that I once had. I even took up playing the guitar again and now am a full-time member of Broken Prairie, alongside my husband.

Where will you be performing next?

Ron and I work with Broken Prairie once or twice a month, but also go out on our own and guest at local Opry shows. We keep it low key and don't play every weekend because of my health. Ron also works as sound man with Whiskey River. I sometimes go if I'm up to it. It is just as fun to watch, listen and take pictures. They will be playing at The Lucky Monkey at Bement, starting at 8.

Our next show together will be on New Year's Eve with Broken Prairie at the Eagles in Champaign, beginning at 8:30 p.m.

Topics (2):Music, People