Smooth Sailing For Christopher Cross

GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter discusses songwriting and his latest album at the GRAMMY Museum
  • Photo: Rebecca Sapp/
    Christopher Cross
November 22, 2011 -- 12:34 pm PST

GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter Christopher Cross was the featured guest for a recent installment of the GRAMMY Museum's An Evening With series. In an intimate interview setting, Cross discussed his musical influences, career highlights, songwriting, and his most recent album, Doctor Faith, among other topics.

"My process is not going to the office every day," said Cross regarding songwriting. "It's usually if I'm at soundcheck or I'm doing something else in the studio, I come up with a riff or an idea that ends up being a song. And I can usually tell if it's something that has promise."

Born in San Antonio, Christopher Cross first garnered notoriety with his cover band, Flash, on the Texas club circuit in the '70s. Cross subsequently secured a deal with Warner Bros. Records and released his self-titled debut album in 1979. The album established Cross as a bona fide star, peaking at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and yielding four Top 20 hits, "Say You'll Be Mine," "Never Be The Same," "Ride Like The Wind," and the No. 1 "Sailing." Artists featured on the album included the Doobie Brothers' Michael McDonald, the Eagles' Don Henley and future GRAMMY-winning guitarists Larry Carlton and Eric Johnson. Produced by Michael Omartian, the album netted Cross five awards at the 23rd Annual GRAMMY Awards in 1980, including an unprecedented sweep of the General Field categories, Album, Record and Song Of The Year, and Best New Artist. Cross scored his second No. 1 hit in 1981 with "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)," a song co-written with Peter Allen, Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager for the comedy film Arthur. The song was nominated for Record and Song Of The Year, and earned Cross an Oscar for best original song.

Cross' sophomore album, Another Page, was released in 1983, reaching No. 11 on the Billboard 200 and spawning two additional Top 20 hits, "All Right" and "Think Of Laura." In 1984 he reprised his collaboration with Bacharach and Bayer Sager in penning "A Chance For Heaven," the swimming theme for the 1984 Summer Olympics. Though Cross would not attain similar commercial success, he continued to release studio albums, including Every Turn Of The World (1985), Back Of My Mind (1988), Rendezvous (1993), Window (1995), Walking In Avalon (1998), and Red Room (2000).

In 2008 Cross released The Café Carlysle Sessions, a collection containing jazz-influenced arrangements of 15 songs from his catalog, including hits such as "Sailing." For his most recent self-produced album, 2011's Doctor Faith, Cross co-wrote all of the songs with longtime musical partner Rob Meurer and reunited with McDonald for the album's title track and Johnson on "Hey Kid."

Upcoming GRAMMY Museum events include Reel To Reel: Sinatra Sings (Dec. 1), A Musical Conversation With Little Willie G (Dec. 4) and Reel to Reel: Blue Wild Angel: Jimi Hendrix At The Isle of Wight (Dec. 8).

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