The key figures behind Crystal Winds were Paul Coleman and M.C. (Morris) Brown, both alumni of the band Rasputin Stash which had had two albums out in the mid-‘70s which had done reasonably well for Atlantic subsidiary Cotillion and Chicago indie Gemigo, respectively.
Between them, keyboardist Coleman and saxophonist Brown wrote the vast bulk of the album “First Flight” (guitarist Martin Dumas co-wrote Lover’s Holiday with Brown, and one J.Lagrone is added to the credits of So Sad and Signs of Winter’s Time) and handled the male lead vocals, with the distaff element provided by Theresa Davis. Brown wrote the horn arrangements, the pair did the string arrangements, and legendary concertmaster Rich Tufo (associated with Curtis Mayfield and other Curtom acts including Linda Clifford) was also on hand for the album (credited with conducting and orchestrating both strings and horns). Guitarist Dumas had also been a member of Rasputin Stash, as had drummer E.Frank Donaldson (who plays on two tracks).