Friday, June 11, 2010
Charlie Gillett sent me this LP on the Soul City Records label some years ago - complete with hand written notes about each track. I used to send Charlie mix tapes of my market finds and he sometimes sent a record or two back that he had no further use for and thought I might enjoy. This much treasured early Johhny Taylor is excellent R&B from the 60's and owes much to Sam Cooke and Bobby Blue Bland as Charlie points out in his brief notes.
Wikipedia says -
"Johnnie Harrison Taylor was born in Crawfordsville, Arkansas. As an adult, he had one release, "Somewhere to Lay My Head", on Chicago's Chance Records label in the 1950s, as part of the gospel group Highway QCs, which had been founded by a young Sam Cooke. His singing was strikingly close to that of Sam Cooke, and he was hired to take Cooke's place in Cooke's gospel group, the Soul Stirrers, in 1957.
A few years later, after Cooke had established his independent SAR Records, Taylor signed on and recorded "Rome Wasn't Built In A Day" in 1962. However, SAR Records quickly became defunct after Cooke's death in 1964.
In 1966, Taylor moved to Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was dubbed "The Philosopher of Soul". Whilst there he recorded with the label's house band, Booker T. & the MGs. His hits included "I Had a Dream", "I've Got to Love Somebody's Baby" (both written by the team of Isaac Hayes and David Porter) and most notably "Who's Making Love", which reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 1 on the R&B chart in 1968. "Who's Making Love" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.
Taylor once toured in California with blues singer Blues Boy Willie of Memphis, Texas.
During his tenure at Stax, he became an R&B star, with over a dozen chart successes, such as "Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone", which reached No. 23 on the Hot 100 chart, "Cheaper to Keep Her" (Mack Rice) and record producer Don Davis's penned "I Believe in You (You Believe in Me)", which reached No. 11 on the Hot 100 chart. "I Believe in You (You Believe in Me)" also sold in excess of one million units, and was awarded gold disc status by the R.I.A.A. in October 1973. Taylor, along with Isaac Hayes and The Staple Singers was one of the label's flagship artists. He appeared in the documentary film, Wattstax, which was released in 1973."
Johnny Taylor - In Love With You
Johnny Taylor - Rome (Wasn't Built In A Day )
Johnny Taylor - Never Never
Johnny Taylor - Getting Married Soon
Johnny Taylor - Run But You Can't Hide
Johnny Taylor - A Whole Lotta Woman