June 24, 1950 - May 6, 2017
On the passing of Sandy Ross
Sandy Ross has been entertaining audiences with her own special blend of contemporary folk and acoustic blues for more than four decades. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, she spent the '70s in Los Angeles, working as a staff songwriter for Warner/Chappell Music and producing demos on a single-song basis for nine other major song publishers including: Filmways Music, MCA Music, and Screen Gems/EMI. During that decade she had songs recorded by Kim Carnes and Anne Murray at a time when they were at the height of their careers, and indie released an LP of her own performances (A Lady of a Different Time - 1971). She was a regular singer-songwriter throughout the greater Los Angeles area and also booked other performers of many different genres at various Hollywood live-performance venues, including the Los Angeles Performing Arts and Folklife Festival and the internationally-renown Bla-Bla Cafe.
Sandy released three indie recordings in the 90s and toured the greater US four times doing more than 48 live syndicated radio shows and 120 coffeehouse/bookstore performances. In 1995, her third album (and first CD), Portraits of Innocence made the FOLKDJ-L Top 50 and received airplay on folk shows on 387 radio stations including rotation play on 17 Americana reporting stations. The Portrait of Innocence cut, "All My Heroes Sang the Blues," not only made the Americana rotation, but was featured on the CBC in Canada and made Top 40 rotation play in Hong Kong, China during that same time period. In 1998 her CD, Coloring Outside the Lines also made the FOLKDJ-L Top 50 (at number 9) when it debuted and in 1999 both CDs were incorporated into the Smithsonian Institute Folkways catalog, in addition to the Fast Folk recordings she made for the two Los Angeles compilation albums. (Sandy has the distinction of being the only Los Angeles singer-songwriter to have been included on both LA Fast Folk compilations.)
In 2005 Sandy wrote and compiled the book A Place Called the Bla-Bla Cafe, which is an insiders look at Hollywood talent showcasing against the historically political backdrop of the 1970s. The book has received great reviews and accolades from indie book publishing organizations and readers' websites, including a 2007 Independent Publishers Book Award (IPPY).
Sandy's latest CD, Grandma's Got a Boombox, 2015, was exceptionally well received by the folk/acoustic music community. It reached number 14 on the Folk Radio Top 70, was on the charts for 6 months straight after its release, and at year end was the 53rd most played album of the year (out of the top 300). "Distant Campfire," from that album, reached number 6 on the Top Folk Songs chart, and was the 26th most played folk song for 2015.
Future plans include continued US touring and a 2017 acoustic blues compilation CD release.
In the Words of Others...
"Sandy is a woman of substance, and this is reflected in both her songwriting and her performance style."
"Some songwriters have never let go of the reason we all started writing songs in the first place - it's about expression, and about the spirit of hope, change and compassion - all of which ring like a bell through these songs ('Grandma's Got a Boombox')."
"Sandy Ross is the real thing. . . a gifted, versatile songwriter and a powerful singer who always sounds entirely committed to her material. . ."
"Sandy Ross is a master storyteller. Her new release, 'Coloring Outside the Lines,' is a collection of songs in various musical styles that will move you, sometimes to anger, sometimes to tears and sometimes to stomping your feet."
"Sandy Ross is a legend. (Her song 'All My Heroes Sang the Blues'). . . is the best of genre, and has been a Pro Critic Radio Classic Track for a full year now. This one stays on my hard drive forever. . .this is as perfect as perfect gets, all the way around. "
"('Coloring Outside the Lines') is great songwriting that should be studied and analyzed by novices and professionals alike."
"Ross sings with soothing familiarity and plays with refreshing expertise. . .You need this album ('Portraits of Innocence') in your collection!"
". . .songs that cover the intensely personal with the power and understanding of real experience. 'Portraits of Innocence' is one of the most impressive singer/songwriter albums to appear from America in the last year (1995)."
For more bio information, click here for an autobiography published by Smithsonian Folkways, Fast Folk Musical Magazine.
VideoWatch Sandy on YouTube
AudioClick Here for Song Selections
Lee Hirsch, Publicist