Christopher Cross

Christopher Cross (born Christopher Charles Geppert; May 3, 1951) is an American singer-songwriter from San Antonio, Texas. Cross won five Grammy Awards for his eponymous debut album released in 1979. The singles "Sailing" (1980), and "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" (from the 1981 film Arthur) peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.[1][2][3] "Sailing" earned three Grammys in 1981, while "Arthur's Theme" won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1981 (with co-composers Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, and Peter Allen).

Christopher Cross
Cross in 2008
Background information
Birth nameChristopher Charles Geppert
Born (1951-05-03) May 3, 1951
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active1971–present
Associated acts


Early musical career

Cross first played with a San Antonio-based cover band named Flash (not to be confused with the early 1970s English band) before signing a solo contract with Warner Bros. in 1978.[4]. Although best-known for his vocals, Cross's guitar-playing is such that it once led to an unfulfilled invitation to play with Donald Fagen and Walter Becker of Steely Dan.[5] He also played guitar for a Deep Purple concert in 1970 when Ritchie Blackmore fell ill shortly before the show.[6]

The first album, and immediate success

Cross released his self-titled debut album, Christopher Cross, in 1979. The Billboard Hot 100 top 20 hits from this album included "Ride Like the Wind" (featuring backing vocals by Michael McDonald), "Sailing", "Never Be the Same", and "Say You'll Be Mine" (featuring backing vocals by Nicolette Larson). "Ride Like the Wind" hit No. 2 on the U.S. Hot 100, while "Sailing" topped the chart. "Never Be The Same" went No. 1 on the AC chart. Owing to the almost immediate success and popularity gained by his first album, he was nominated for several Grammy Awards, garnering five. Cross is currently the only artist in Grammy history to win all four General Field awards in a single ceremony, bringing home Record of the Year ("Sailing"), Album of the Year (Christopher Cross), Song of the Year ("Sailing"), and Best New Artist at the 23rd Annual Grammy Awards.[7]

The second album

Cross's second album, Another Page (1983), "All Right", "No Time for Talk", and "Think of Laura". "All Right" was used by CBS Sports for its highlights montage following the 1983 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, while "Think of Laura" is used as a reference to characters on the soap opera General Hospital. Cross allowed ABC to use his song in this context; however, he has stated that he wrote "Think of Laura" not in reference to the television characters, but to celebrate the life of Denison University college student Laura Carter who was killed when she was struck by a stray bullet. Another Page sold well, getting Gold Certification. He also co-wrote and sang the song "A Chance For Heaven" for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games.

The curse of the MTV generation

After 1984, Cross's star quickly dimmed. As music television station MTV grew to dominate the mainstream music scene in the United States, Cross's style of music proved to be a bad fit for the network, and Cross' brand of adult contemporary music declined in popularity.[8]

Cross's next two albums, 1985's Every Turn of the World and 1988's Back of My Mind did not produce any top 40 hits or reach Gold or Platinum status.

He did, however, place the song "Swept Away" in the TV show Growing Pains. It was used during a video montage while Kirk Cameron's character Mike fell in love with a local girl while vacationing with the family in Hawaii.

The 1990s

Cross made three more albums in the 1990s, and although some of his releases gained critical response, he was not able to attract the mass audience he once enjoyed. After his decline in fame in the mid-1980s, he toured and opened for various acts during the 1990s.[9][10]

The 2000s

The year 2002 saw the release of Very Best of... album, and in 2007 he completed a Christmas album entitled A Christopher Cross Christmas. In 2008 Cross recorded a new acoustic album of his hits titled The Cafe Carlyle Sessions.[11][12]

The 2010s

In 2011, Cross released a new studio album titled Doctor Faith.[13]

In 2013 he released A Night in Paris, a 2-CD live album he recorded and filmed in April 2012 at the Theatre Le Trianon in Paris, France.[14]

The song "Ride Like The Wind" was featured on the Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues original movie soundtrack, released in 2013.

In September 2014 he released Secret Ladder, followed in November 2017 by Take Me As I Am.[15]

In 2017, he played a concert at his hometown, Tobin Center, San Antonio, Texas.[16] In 2018, he joined with other musicians in Austin to form the band Freedonia.[17]

In late 2019 Cross toured with Todd Rundgren, Jason Scheff, Micky Dolenz and Joey Molland of Badfinger in celebration of The Beatles White Album on the "It Was Fifty Years Ago Today – A Tribute to the Beatles’ White Album". Cross performed Sailing and Ride Like the Wind.[18]


One familiar feature of Cross is the constant appearance of a flamingo in his album covers. According to him, there's no real significant meaning behind this, other than the fact that the painting chosen for the first album cover featured the bird and has been used as a motif ever since.[19]

Personal life

A self-described "Army brat", Cross is the son of a U.S. Army pediatrician stationed at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. in the mid-1950s, acting as physician for President Dwight Eisenhower's grandchildren.[20] [21]

Cross was married to Roseanne Harrison from 1973 until the couple divorced in 1982. His 1988 marriage to Jan Bunch ended in a 2007 divorce.[22]

Cross has a son named Justin from his first marriage, and two children from his second marriage, son Rain and daughter Madison.


Studio albums

Year Album Label Chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
1979 Christopher Cross Warner Bros. 6 26 18 14 16 14 6
1983 Another Page 6 23 2 1 7 9 12 4 11
1985 Every Turn of the World 44 27 34 37 127
1988 Back of My Mind 45 27 93 49
1993 Rendezvous CMC 96
1995 Window 91
1998 Walking in Avalon
2000 Red Room
2007 A Christopher Cross Christmas Ear
2008 The Café Carlyle Sessions
2010 Christmas Time Is Here
2011 Doctor Faith 48
2013 A Night in Paris
2014 Secret Ladder Christopher Cross Records
2017 Take Me As I Am


  • 1991: The Best of Christopher Cross (WEA)
  • 1999: Greatest Hits Live (CMC)
  • 2001: Definitive Christopher Cross (Warner Bros./Asia)
  • 2002: The Very Best of Christopher Cross (Warner Bros.)
  • 2011: Crosswords: The Best of Christopher Cross (101 Distribution)



Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
1980 "Ride Like the Wind" 3 25 31 69 2 24 Christopher Cross
"Sailing" 1 21 18 46 8 48 1 10
"Never Be the Same" 25 42 41 15 1
"Say You'll Be Mine" 33 20 15
"Mary Ann" (Japan only) Single only
1981 "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" 2 7 1 13 10 6 7 1 1 Arthur (soundtrack)
1983 "All Right" 13 23 14 16 5 30 44 5 51 12 3 Another Page
"No Time for Talk" 33 10
"Think of Laura" 9 100 9 1
1984 "A Chance for Heaven" (swimming theme from 1984 Summer Olympics) 76 16 The Official Music Of The XXIIIrd Olympiad Los Angeles 1984
1985 "Charm the Snake" 68 Every Turn of the World
"Every Turn of the World"
1986 "Love Is Love (In Any Language)"
"Loving Strangers" 94 27 Nothing in Common (soundtrack)
1988 "Swept Away" Back of My Mind
"I Will (Take You Forever)" (with Frances Ruffelle) 47 41
1993 "In the Blink of an Eye" (Germany only) 51 Rendezvous (Germany & Japan only)
"Nothing Will Change" (Germany only)
"Is There Something" (Germany only)
1994 "Been There, Done That" (Germany only) 55 Window (Germany & Japan only)
"Wild, Wild West" (Germany only)
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Other appearances

  • 1974: Electromagnets, (with Eric Johnson) - "Motion"
  • 1981: Chris Christian, (Boardwalk Records) - "Don't Give Up on Us" (guitar solo)
  • 1982: Long Time Friends, Alessi Brothers - "Forever" (background vocals)
  • 1985: Soul Kiss, Olivia Newton-John - "You Were Great, How Was I?" (background vocals)
  • 1985: Crazy from the Heat, David Lee Roth - "California Girls" (background vocals)
  • 1988: Brian Wilson, Brian Wilson - "Night Time" (background vocals)
  • 1989: Christmas at My House, Larry Carlton - "Ringing the Bells of Christmas"
  • 1991: Love Can Do That, Elaine Paige - "Same Train"
  • 1994: Grammy's Greatest Moments Volume III - "Arthur's Theme" (live version)[43]
  • 1996: Venus Isle, Eric Johnson - "Lonely in the Night" (background vocals)
  • 1996: On Air, Alan Parsons - "So Far Away"
  • 1998: Imagination, Brian Wilson (special edition "Words and Music" bonus disc) - "In My Room"
  • 2001: A Gathering of Friends, Michael McDonald - "Ride Like the Wind"
  • 2001: When It All Goes South, Alabama - "Love Remains"
  • 2004: Confidential, Peter White - "She's in Love"
  • 2006: Skylark, Gigi Mackenzie - "That's All"
  • 2008: Soundstage: America Live in Chicago - "Lonely People", "A Horse with No Name"
  • 2013: Train Keeps a Rolling, Jeff Golub - "How Long"
  • 2013: Imagination of You, Eric Johnson - "Imagination of You"


[48] [49] [49]


  • Cross filled in for guitarist Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple (who had fallen ill) by performing with the band in San Antonio, Texas in 1970.[51]
  • Cross contributed backing vocals (along with The Beach Boys' Carl Wilson) to David Lee Roth's 1985 hit "California Girls".
  • Cross performed the song "Sailing" alongside the pop band 'N Sync at the Fifth Annual Blockbuster Entertainment Awards in 1999.
  • Cross also performed lead vocals on "So Far Away", a song from Alan Parsons' album On Air. When Parsons was touring in support of that album, Cross would sometimes join the band onstage to sing the song if he was available.
  • Cross spent much of his youth living in a home on Newbury Terrace in Terrell Hills, just outside San Antonio, Texas. That home had earlier belonged to the Cummins family. Another notable San Antonian, the historian and author Light Townsend Cummins, had grown up in that same house a decade earlier. It has since been demolished.
  • Cross played French horn, as well as bassoon, on the cult classic "Peanut Butter Karma" with indie rock legends Monsterland.
  • Cross also contributed French horn and bassoon solos on "Two Tickets To Paradise: The Money Vegas Duets" an unreleased album of Eddie Money collaborations with Indie cult hero Greg Vegas of Monsterland, Explodee, and Hat City Intuitive fame in 1995.
  • A small snippet of Cross's early hit "Sailing" (in slow-motion) was played in the DreamWorks-Aardman Animations film Flushed Away.
  • "Sailing" was also featured in an episode of the Fox sitcom Family Guy.
  • Cross performed his hit song "Ride Like the Wind" on the NBC show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Monday, October 5, 2009, in a "Yacht Rock" themed episode. He was joined by Michael McDonald, whom he has worked with in the past. As the credits were rolling, Cross, McDonald, and The Roots, the Fallon house band, broke into "Sailing", which he also performed in an online-only performance on
  • Toured as part of the 2002 "A Walk Down Abbey Road" tour with Alan Parsons, Mark Farner, Jack Bruce, Eric Carmen, and Todd Rundgren.
  • Performed as part of the 2003 "A Walk Down Abbey Road" show, which consisted of two performances at the Atlantic City Hilton on August 8–9, with Alan Parsons, Todd Rundgren, Joey Molland, and Denny Laine.
  • Christopher Cross was portrayed in the parody web series Yacht Rock by Justin Roiland.
  • "Ride Like the Wind" was featured in a skit on the television series SCTV in which the song's use of Michael McDonald's distinct yet decidedly sparse backup vocal is satirized. This skit would further be the subject matter of an episode of the aforementioned web series Yacht Rock.
  • Newman booked Christopher Cross for his Millennium party in Season 8 Episode 20 of Seinfeld.
  • Singer Robyn Hitchcock named "Arthur's Theme" as her 'most-hated' song in a 2013 A.V. Club interview.


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  2. "New York Times". January 18, 2007. Retrieved October 11, 2011.
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  4. "Christopher Cross & Flash". Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2010.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  5. Flans, By Robyn. "Classic Track: "Ride Like the Wind,"Christopher Cross". Mixonline.
  6. Prato, Greg (2014). "Interview: Christopher Cross, Songwriter". Songfacts, LLC. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  7. "A Virtual College of Grammy Knowledge", by Wook Kim, Entertainment Weekly, 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-07.
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  9. "". Retrieved October 11, 2011.
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  12. "". May 4, 2009. Retrieved October 11, 2011.
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  14. "Christopher Cross Returns with his First Live Release "A Night in Paris"". Archived from the original on July 13, 2013.
  15. "Christopher Cross Official Web Site".
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  17. "Christopher Cross Official Web Site".
  18. Dolenz, Rundgren, Molland Begins Beatles Tribute Tour|Best Classic Bands
  19. "Christopher Cross Official Website - FAQs". Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  20. Christopher Cross. Comments during Concert at Wolf Trap Performing Arts Center, Vienna, Virginia. January 19, 2013.
  21. "Christopher Cross Net Worth 2019|The Wealth Record".
  22. "Christopher Cross files for divorce". USA TODAY. April 27, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2011.
  23. Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.Note: This reference gives Australian albums and singles information. It is used for chart peak positions as the early albums were released before ARIA regulated the Australian charts itself (1989)
  24. "Canadian Albums peaks". Archived from the original on May 25, 2016. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
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