Johnnie Harrison Taylor (not to be confused with Little Johnny Taylor) was an American gospel /R&B / soul singer, born 5 May 1937 in Crawfordsville, Arkansas, died 31 May 2000 in Dallas, Texas. He started his career in the mid-1950s as a member of gospel group The Highway QC's but left that group in 1957 to replace Sam Cooke as lead vocalist for The Soul Stirrers. Taylor has been active as a solo artist since the early 1960s, first at Sam Cooke's SAR Records, later at the Stax label where he had a string of hits. His best known song from that period is probably "Who's Making Love" (1968). Following the bankruptcy of Stax in 1976 he signed at Columbia where he recorded his biggest hit "Disco Lady" (1976), the first single to be rewarded with a platinum record in the US (for selling 2 million copies). After a brief period at Beverly Glen Music in the early 1980s he signed at Malaco Records in 1984 where he would record until his death.
Links to Peel
Peel didn't seem to play much soul music from Johnnie Taylor at the beginning of his British radio career, but by the time the 70's arrived, he was more open to the genre, where he often play soul records that were signed to the Stax label. According to available playlists, Johnnie Taylor's music seemed to first appear on Peel's show in 1973 and a year later, his track, I've Been Born Again, was voted by Peel as his 4th favourite single of 1974 Top Fifty One Singles. It was also played on Peel's 40th birthday show on 29 August 1979, where he choose records that he would like to hear in a party.
Between the 80's and 90's, Peel didn't play much material from Johnnie Taylor, but did revisit him between 2000 and 2001, where he played archive material from the singer.
After Peel's death in 2004, it was later found that he kept his I've Been Born Again single in his wooden box which contained 142 singles from various artists. The wooden box later became part of the TV documentary programme, John Peel's Record Box, which was broadcast on Channel 4 in 2005.
- 31 May 1973: I Believe In You (You Believe In Me) (single) Stax
- 14 August 1973: Separation Line (LP - The Johnnie Taylor Philosophy Continues) Stax
- 11 October 1973: I Believe In You (You Believe In Me) (LP - Taylored In Silk) Stax
- 24 September 1974: I've Been Born Again (7") Stax
- D030: I've Been Born Again (7") Stax
- 03 January 1978: Just A Happy Song (LP - Disco 9000) Columbia
- 17 February 1978: Who's Making Love (LP - The Johnnie Taylor Chronicle Volume One. 1968-1972) Stax
- 28 May 1979: Separation Line (LP - The Johnny Taylor Philosophy Continues) Stax
- 29 August 1979: I've Been Born Again (single) Stax
- 05 February 1980: I've Been Born Again (Album - The Johnny Taylor Chronicles Vol 2)
- 22 November 1988: Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone (v/a LP - Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die) New Musical Express
- 03 December 1993: I Could Never Get To Be President (v/a album - Stax O' Soul) Stax
- 15 June 2000: I've Been Born Again (LP - Super Taylor) Stax
- 12 October 2000: Take Care Of Your Homework (LP - Who's Making Love...?) Stax
- 19 October 2000: I'm Not The Same Person (LP - Who's Making Love) Stax
- 07 December 2000: I'm Trying (Compilation CD - Who's Making Love) Ace
- December 2000 (FSK): Mr. Nobody Is Somebody (LP - Who's Making Love) Stax
- 04 January 2001: Woman Across The River (Compilation LP - Who's Making Love) Stax