He began playing the banjo early on and was offered a job with Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys, a backup group in 1954. Before starting in Martin’s band, Crowe played with Pee Wee Lambert and Curly Parker.
Crowe recorded with Martin between 1956 and 1960. In 1961, he formed the Kentucky Mountain Boys, principally performing in the Lexington region. In 1971, Crowe changed the band’s name to The New South. As of 1975, the New South began to add Jazz and Rock influences to its Bluegrass repertoire, as well as Country and Folk elements drawn from the work of Gram Parsons and Gordon Lightfoot, respectively.
Crowe received the Bluegrass Star Award, presented by the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation of Dallas, Texas, on October 15, 2011. The award is bestowed upon Bluegrass artists who do an exemplary job of advancing traditional Bluegrass Music and bringing it to new audiences while preserving its character and heritage.