Have you ever had a moment of clarity where everything just seemed to come together and make sense? Earl W. Crutchfield knows what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a bad luck streak. He also says music is what turned his life around. Here, Earl Crutchfield talks about his life and why his music is so important to him.
Earl W. Crutchfield said in his early years, his father had a big impact on his life and was the ultimate role model for him and his 3 siblings. From a very young age, his father introduced him to the world of music and taught him how to express himself through music and singing. “He taught me the technical side of music too,” he says, “and pretty soon we started singing together.” As young children, Earl Crutchfield and his siblings performed in various talent shows across the state. “It was such a fun time,” he says looking back. “Music seemed to bring out the best in all of us, and we actually were pretty good.”
Even as a child, Earl W. Crutchfield was serious about his music and the talent he had. Since Earl Crutchfield was the oldest sibling, he took over leading the family in practice when his father wasn’t available. Eventually, Earl started singing everywhere he got the chance and soon started to get noticed as a solo artist. He went on to perform at various functions throughout his childhood.
During high school, Earl Crutchfield was president of his school choir and sang many solos during the music concerts. He sang the National Anthem at many high school sporting events. Earl graduated Joseph A. Foran High School in 1998 where he also sang the anthem for the commencement ceremony.
Earl W. Crutchfield said he’s not sure what happened next. “Somewhere along the way, I let life get in the way and forgot who I was,” he said. For the next several years after graduation, he tried going to college, worked various low-paying jobs, “but I never really was happy,” he adds. With the long struggles on again off again, life had worn Earl Crutchfield down and he felt alone and depressed. But that wasn’t to last long . . . .
One cold and wintery day, Earl W. Crutchfield was driving his car when a certain song he recognized from his childhood came on the radio. “I’m not sure how the song got on there since it was a song from church,” he said. “But it brought tears to my eyes and I had to pull the car over to the side of the road to compose myself.” Earl Crutchfield said it was in that moment he realized he wasn’t fulfilling his true potential. “There was so much I wanted to do with my life,” he said, “but I didn’t know where to start.” Earl said hearing that song coming on his radio at that exact moment was the catalyst that changed his life and the direction he was heading. “From that point,” he adds, “I knew I could do so much more.”
So, in January of 2014, Earl W. Crutchfield decided to take back his life. He started going back to his old church in Milford, CT, and enrolled back in college. In between college classes and working, Earl Crutchfield got back into music where his heart was. He began working with his brother, a DJ, on weekends, and used his talents at church to sing in the choir and at weddings, funerals and other church events. He started volunteering and donated his time toward several charity events. He even sang at nursing homes with his church during Christmas holidays.
Finally, in May 2019, Earl W. Crutchfield graduated from Penn State University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. “That was one of the happiest days of my life,” he says. “I had worked hard, and it paid off, but it all started with that one little song on the radio.” Earl Crutchfield said the energy of that song was so powerful that day that it changed me forever. “I think it was my angels,” he said, “telling me to get back on track.” Whatever it was, Earl Crutchfield said it saved his life.
His achievements were even more special sinceEarl W. Crutchfield was the first in his family to ever graduate college. It took him 21 years to finish, but he did it. Now my life has a purpose, he says. “That moment I realized I had choices, was one of my greatest moments.” Earl W. Crutchfield says he wants to always remember that feeling and knows there is much to be grateful for. “I know that help is always available,” he said, and the power of an uplifting comment at just the right time, a kind gesture, or the right song when you need it most, can mean so much. “I show my gratitude now by bringing blessings to others with my music,” he says. “It has helped me so much in my life, and you never know when someone else might need it.”