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  • Date :
  • 5/31/2004

Johnnie Harrison Taylor

(May 5,1938 _May 31,2000)

A vocalist in a wide variety of genres, fromgospel,blues andsoul topop,doo-wop anddisco. He was born inCrawford, Arkansas on and of a heart attack.

He had one release, "Somewhere to Lay My Head", on Chicago'sChance Records in the1950s, as part of the doo-wop groupFive Echoes. His singing was strikingly close to that ofSam Cooke, and he was hired to take Cooke's place in Cooke's gospel group, theSoul Stirrers in 1957.

A few years later, after Cooke had established his independentSAR Records, Taylor signed on and recorded "Rone Wasn't Built In A Day" in 1962. However, SAR Records quickly became defunct after Cooke's death in 1964.

In 1966, Taylor moved toStax Records in Memphis, who dubbed him "The Philosopher of Soul." He went on to become their best-selling artist (outselling such names asOtis Redding andSam & Dave). His hits included "I Had a Dream" and "I've Got to Love Somebody's Baby" and especially "Who's Making Love", which reached No. 5 on the Billboard Top 40 and No. 1 on the R&B charts in 1968.

As Stax folded with the advent of the1970s, Taylor switched toColumbia Records and made his most well-known hit, "Disco Lady" in 1975. Columbia tried to promote him as a disco artist and neglected his wide-ranging talent. Not surprisingly, his record sales slipped.

He recorded an album forBeverly Glen Records in 1982, and two more forMalaco Records after that.


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