History

Sherry Fox, Laura Allan, Joel Siegel and the Story of Starcrossed

"What a long strange trip it's been," sang the Grateful Dead in their most popular anthem, "Truckin'." The same could be said for the saga that brought Joel Siegel, Sherry Fox and Laura Allan together to make Starcrossed. In a way, this album was more than 30 years in the making. It's a culmination and a vindication. It's the fulfillment of a dream and of destiny. It's a journey and a destination. It's yesterday, today and tomorrow. Most of all, it's real music, sung and played with passion - heart songs and brain food - voices rising in sweet harmony, carried on rivers of rhythm and rhyme.

The friendship between Joel Siegel and Sherry Fox stretches back to the late 1960s, when both were students and aspiring musicians at Henry Ford High School in a working class part of Detroit. "Everyone in the group that became R.J. Fox went to the same high school," Joel remembers. "We all started singing in choirs when we were kids. We sang in the same honors glee clubs, though we weren't all in the same grade."

Both had music in their backgrounds from a very early age. Joel's parents played in Detroit's symphony orchestra - mom was first violin, dad first cello - on top of successful careers as a psychologist and professor, respectively. Sherry's parents were both huge fans of music, so the sounds of Ella, Sinatra, Mel Torme, Peggy Lee and other great singers filled the house, and were augmented by her older brother's folk music records. And then, of course there was that inescapable music that had branded Detroit as one of the music capitals of America: Motown.

"Growing up in Detroit I cut my teeth on Motown," Sherry says. "That's really my roots - Motown, Gospel and R&B, even more than the things I heard at home, though I loved all that, too."

"There was also a very big folk music scene [in Michigan]," Joel adds, "and we were all influenced by that. Actually, we were hearing everything - folk and Motown and, of course, rock 'n' roll. When we started R.J. Fox, we used to blend all those styles and we also had something that was unique; a sound of our own."

R.J. Fox took its name from the first names of Richard Hovey and Joel Siegel, and from Sherry Fox. Hovey, a fellow classmate, had known Sherry since she was 12, and sang with her (and his brother) in coffee houses in the period before R.J. Fox was formed. One evening, Sherry relates, Joel walked into a club where Richard and Sherry were singing, and, "I think by the end of that night we were onstage together, and that was it. We started working together, and then Joel pulled out all his original songs and we started to work them up. We ate, slept and drank music. We played at night and worked on the music during the day.

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