Born: February 11, 1943 | Died: May 17, 2002 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Little Johnny Taylor was one of the finest practitioners of the soul blues style of R&B which merges the vocal approach of black gospel with the blues. Born in Memphis on Feb. 11, 1943, he was raised in California and began his recording career singing in gospel groups, notably the Mighty Clouds Of Joy and then the Stars of Bethel.
Taylor briefly sang with the Johnny Otis Revue and recorded for Hunter Hancock's Swingin' label before joining the San Francisco-based Galaxy label in 1963. Under the production aegis of Cliff Goldsmith, he immediately reached the R&B chart with You'll Need Another Favor and then followed with one of the most famous blues of the modern era, Part Time Love (composed by Clay Hammond), which went to the top of the R&B charts, and even reached the pop Top 20.
Following the gigantic success of Part Time Love Taylor achieved only minor successes on Galaxy, with Since I Found A New Love (1964) Zig Zag Lightning (1966) and Big Blue Diamonds. (1967) Taylor left the Galaxy label in 1968.
He re-emerged in the early 70s on the Shreveport, Louisiana-based Ronn label, with whom he recorded in the Fame Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The result was a series of stunning records, notably Everybody Knows About My Good Thing in 1971 and Open House At My House in 1972.
He continued to perform and record until his death in 2002.