Terri Crawford and Rick Johnson began performing together in a band in 1971 in Winnipeg, Manitoba while attending Charleswood Collegiate. The band was known then as “Crawford”. The other original members were Scott Gair, (bass guitar) Birch Nero (drums) and Tony Ward (vocals and guitar). Tony Ward left the band in 1973 and was replaced by pianist, Alan McDougall. This group remained intact through 1975, performing predominantly in the clubs in Winnipeg while occasionally venturing beyond the Manitoba borders into North Dakota, Minnesota, western Canada and Ontario. Birch Nero left in 1975 and was replaced on drums by Dave MacKenzie. Extensive touring in the southern Ontario club circuit from 1974 to 1977 led Terri and Rick to decide to relocate to Toronto. Numerous musicians came and went as Terri and Rick searched for the right combination of personalities.
In 1979, the band consisted of lead vocalist Terri, Rick on guitar, John Hannah on drums, Al Corbeil on bass guitar and Dale Saunders on keyboards. This unit hired manager, Allan Katz who in turn, signed the band to RCA records and they set about recording their first, self-titled album. The album was recorded in Montreal at Listen Audio Studios and was released in the summer of 1980. It was produced by Richard Blakin and Dixon Van Winkle, who had worked such people as producer Phil Ramone, Paul McCartney and Men without Hats. The first single (Maybe you think I’m a) Dreamer was pick of the week in Billboard magazine in February 1981. Terri received her first JUNO award nomination for Most Promising Female Vocalist based on her work on this first recording.
The band toured Canada extensively through 1980 to 82 establishing itself as one of the must see Canadian rock/pop acts.
1982 saw the band return to the studio to record their second album for RCA. The album “Good Girl Gone Bad”, was produced by manager Allan Katz and Memphis producer, Carl Marsh. This recording opened doors for the band from coast to coast. Singles, “Running’, Get Away”, “Chocolate Candy” and “The Gunfighter” received extensive airplay and moved the band up several more rungs on the ladder. They toured and performed with a variety of acts like Toronto, Chilliwack, The Romantics and The Beach Boys. Terri was again nominated for a JUNO award in 1983.
They released album number 3 for RCA, Virgin Heart, in late ’83. This album, produced by the same team as the previous recording, contained their biggest hit single, “One Time for Old Times”. The song, written by Gary O’Connor would later be released by 38 Special and become a huge hit for them in the United States.
Endless touring took it’s toll on the band and by the end of 1984, Terri and Rick were looking for another new band and a new recording company. Edmontonian, Bryan Feland, moved to Ontario to join the band and he remains a member to this day.
The trio worked together on the fourth Terri Crawford album “Total Loss of Control”, released in late 1986. This recording was on Attic Records and was produced by Tim Thorney and Joel Feeney. Brian Allen of the band, “Toronto” fame also pitched in on the production side. Singles, “I’ll Be Back” and “First Step” received extensive airplay. The band also produced its first video for the song “First Step” which was shown repeatedly on Much Music and a variety of music video shows at the time. They toured across Canada with their old friends, The Beach Boys in the summer of 1987, appearing at such venues as, the Edmonton Colliseum, Calgary’s Saddledome, The Montreal Forum and the CNE Grandstand.
After 17 years on the road, Terri and Rick decided to establish some roots and purchased a farm northeast of Toronto. They built a recording studio, moved their horses home and celebrated the arrival of their first child, Patricia in May of 1988. Son Michael arrived in April of 1990 and while they remained active in many areas of the music business, they did no touring while the children wee young.
Terri got involved in jingle singing in 1988 and quickly established herself as one of the busiest session singers in Canada. She was the bluesy voice of Budweiser Beer, Hostess Chips, Coast Soap, Sprite, Coke, Schooner Beer, and of course, Hanes Underwear! She also sang on many writers’ demos and other artists recordings.
!996 saw Terri, Rick and Bryan re-unite for a benefit concert in Oshawa, Ontario. The fire was rekindled and the end result was the formation of the Retro Rockets. They set out to revisit the music they had started out performing nearly 30 years earlier.They have been performing at select venues across Canada and are proving once again that they can rock with the best of them.
July 2000 saw Terri & Rick journey to Winnipeg to attend their high school reunion and to perform with the other original members of the Terri Crawford band, Scott Gair, Birch Nero and Tony Ward, at the event. It was a very memorable evening for the band and for the audience. It was their first performance together in 27 years.
The past decade has seen several developments in the musical career of Terri and Rick. They have continued to work and tour with their children’s music all the while writing and working towards finishing that elusive 5th pop/rock recording. Keyboard player and long time friend, Dale Saunders, has returned to the fold joining Terri, Rick and Bryan in finally finishing their long awaited 5th recording, Life Lines! The new CD was released in January of 2011 and is available digitally through regular outlets. The band membership has been rounded out with the addition of Steve Steele on bass and Bill King on drums. The band is proud to be back on the national concert scene and will no doubt, be rocking audiences across Canada!