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Claim to Fame
Voted the 84th Greatest Rock `n` Roll Artist of all time by Rolling Stone
Comedy, Traditional Bluegrass, Old-Timey, Traditional Country, Country Comedy, Bluegrass, Comedy/Spoken
Amiable/Good-Natured, Earthy, Joyous, Sweet
Singer/Songwriter, Adult Contemporary, Soft Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Psychedelic, Folk-Rock, AM Pop
Soothing, Poignant, Calm/Peaceful, Wistful, Warm, Relaxed, Literate, Laid-Back/Mellow, Refined/Mannered, Gentle, Earnest, Intimate, Sentimental, Reflective, Carefree
Acid Jazz, Electronic, Clubjazz, Club/Dance, Jazz, Soul Jazz
Soundtrack, Music Department, Actor/Actress
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Profile Bio Text
James Vernon Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is a Grammy Award winning American singer-songwriter and guitarist born in Boston, Massachusetts, and raised in Carrboro, North Carolina.
Taylor`s career began in the mid-1960s, but he found his audience in the early 1970s, singing sensitive and gentle songs. He was part of a wave of singer-songwriters of the time that also included Joni Mitchell, Tom Rush, Cat Stevens, Carole King, John Denver, Jim Croce, Don McLean, Gordon Lightfoot, and Jackson Browne, as well as Carly Simon, whom Taylor later married (and divorced).
His 1976 album Greatest Hits was certified diamond and has sold more than 11 million copies. He has retained a large audience well into the 1990s and early 2000s, when some of his best-selling and most-awarded albums were released.
Taylor grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where his father, Isaac M. Taylor, was the dean of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine from 1964 to 1971. His family spent summers on Martha`s Vineyard.
Taylor first learned to play the cello as a child in Chapel Hill, and switched to the guitar in 1960. His style on that instrument evolved from listening to hymns, carols, and Woody Guthrie. He attended Milton Academy, a prep school in Massachusetts, and summered with his family on Martha`s Vineyard, where he met Danny Kortchmar. The two began playing folk music together. After dropping out of school, he formed a band called The Corsayers with his brother, Alex. Later, he committed himself to McLean Hospital for depression, where he subsequently earned a high school diploma from the associated Arlington School. After graduating, he formed a band called the Flying Machine with Kortchmar and Joel O`Brien in New York City. The band was signed to Rainy Day Records and released one single, "Brighten Your Night with My Day" (B-side: "Night Owl"). The single was not a success. (A UK band with the same name emerged in 1969 with the hit song "Smile a Little Smile for Me".)
While living in New York City, Taylor became addicted to heroin. One night, after receiving a desperate phone call, his father drove to New York and rescued him. Taylor later wrote a song called "Jump Up Behind Me" that paid tribute to his father`s help during a time of desperate need. The song also reflects on Taylor`s memories of the long drive from New York City back to his home in Chapel Hill.
In 1968, Taylor moved to London. He was signed to Apple Records after sending a demo tape to Peter Asher (of Peter & Gordon) and released his debut album, James Taylor. Despite the Beatles connection, and the presence of Paul McCartney and George Harrison on one track, the album did not sell very well, and Taylor`s addiction worsened. Moving back to the United States, Taylor checked into the Austen Riggs Center to treat his drug problem. Riggs is a hospital in Western Massachusetts in the town of Stockbridge (near where he lives today). By 1969 he was well enough to perform live, and had a six-night stand at the Troubadour Club in Los Angeles. On July 20, 1969 he performed at the Newport Folk Festival. Shortly thereafter he broke both hands in a motorcycle accident on Martha`s Vineyard and was forced to stop playing for several months.
Once recovered, Taylor signed to Warner Bros. Records and moved to California keeping Asher as his manager and record producer. His second album, Sweet Baby James, was a massive success, buoyed by the single "Fire and Rain," a song about his experience in psychiatric institutions and the suicide of his friend, Suzanne Schnerr. The success of this single and the album piqued interest in Taylor`s first album, James Taylor, and propelled the album and the single, "Carolina In My Mind," back into the charts.
During the time Sweet Baby James was released, Taylor appeared with Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys in a Monte Hellman film, Two-Lane Blacktop. Also, 1971 saw the release of Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, another hit album. He won a Grammy Award for his version of Carole King`s "You`ve Got a Friend".
In 1972, Taylor returned with One Man Dog and married fellow singer-songwriter Carly Simon on November 3. His next album, 1974`s Walking Man, was a disappointment but the following one, Gorilla, was a success partially because of a successful single cover version of Marvin Gaye`s "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)." This was followed by In the Pocket in 1976 and then a greatest hits album that included some re-recordings of Apple Records-era material. It became a huge hit and remains Taylor`s best selling album. It was certified diamond, and to date has sold over 11 million copies.
Taylor signed with Columbia Records and released JT in 1977 winning another Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for his cover version of "Handy Man."
After collaborating with Art Garfun
Couple Profile Source
Milton Academy, Milton, Massachusetts
Full Name at Birth
James Vernon Taylor
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James Vernon Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A five-time Grammy Award winner, Taylor was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
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Music Profile Complete
Music Genre (Text)
Folk rock, rock, pop, soft rock, blues, country
Vocals, guitar, harmonica
Apple, Capitol, EMI, Warner Bros., Columbia, SME, Hear Music
Carole King, Carly Simon, Peter Asher