James Taylor

James Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter, born in Boston, Massachusetts. He grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where his father was the dean of the University of North Carolina Medical School. His family summered on Martha's Vineyard.

Taylor's career began in the mid-1960s, but he found his audience in the early 1970s, singing sensitive and gentle acoustic songs. He was was part of a wave of soft singer-songwriters of the time that also included Carole King, John Denver, Jackson Browne and Carly Simon.

His Greatest Hits album from 1976 was certified diamond and has sold more than 11 million copies.

"The Best of James Taylor" album cover

Taylor's four siblings, Alex, Livingston, Hugh and Kate have also been musicians with recorded albums. (Livingston is still an active musician; Kate was active in the 1970s and did not record another album until 2003.) Taylor's children with Carly Simon, Ben and Sally, have also embarked on musical careers.

Early career

Taylor first learned the cello as a child, then switched to the guitar in 1960. While attending Milton Academy, a prep school in Massachusetts, Taylor met Danny Kortchmar at Martha's Vineyard and the two began playing folk music together. After dropping out of school, James formed a band with his brother, Alex, then was committed to McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts due to depression. He believes that this action on his behalf saved his life. He earned a high school diploma while in the asylum, then left and formed a band called the Flying Machine with Kortchmar and Joel O'Brien. The band was signed to Rainy Day Records and released one single, "Brighten Your Night with My Day"/"Night Owl"; the song was not a success.

While living in New York, Taylor became addicted to heroin. After a desperate phone call, his father drove to New York and "rescued" him. 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. The album did not sell terribly well and Taylor's addiction worsened. Moving back to the United States, Taylor checked into Austin Riggs Hospital in Stockbridge, Massachusetts to try to kick the habit. 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 after that, he broke both hands in a motorcycle accident on Martha's Vineyard and was forced to stop playing for several months.

1970s success

Once recovered, Taylor signed to Warner Brothers Records and moved to California, keeping Peter 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 an asylum and the suicide of a friend. The success of this single and the album, piqued interest in Taylor's first album, James Taylor, bringing it and the single "Carolina on My Mind" back onto the charts.

Taylor worked with Dennis Wilson (of the Beach Boys) on a film, Two-Lane Blacktop, but this was unsuccessful at the time. 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 (see 1972 in music) Taylor returned with One Man Dog and married Carly Simon, another singer-songwriter. His next album, 1974's Walking Man, was a disappointment but the following one, Gorilla, was a success, partially because of a successful single, a 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 rerecordings of Apple Records-era material. It became a huge hit and remains Taylor's best-selling album.

Taylor and Simon had two children, Benjamin ("Ben") and Sarah ("Sally"). Simon was unhappy with Taylor's being out on the road traveling so much; he rejected an ultimatum from her that he spend more time with his children, and they eventually divorced in 1983.

Taylor signed to Columbia Records and released JT in 1977, winning another Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, for "Handy Man".

After collaborating with Art Garfunkel and briefly working on Broadway, Taylor took a two-year break, reappearing in 1979 with Flag. The album was a success, though there were no hit singles from it. Taylor also performed at the No Nukes concert in Madison Square Garden, then appeared on the album and film from the concert.

Later career

Beginning in 1985 Taylor staged a career resurgence. He put his addiction problems behind him. That's Why I'm Here started a series of studio recordings that, while spaced further apart than his previous records, showed a more consistent level of quality. He toured regularly, and was especially popular on the American summer outdoor amphitheatre circuit. His concerts feature songs from throughout his career; a particular strength is his section of backup singers, especially Arnold McCuller.

Taylor's two albums of original material from the 1990s were notably successful: his thirteenth album, New Moon Shine, went platinum in 1991, and he won the coveted Grammy for Best Pop Album in 1998 for Hourglass.

Flanked by two greatest hits releases, the new October Road appeared in 2002 to a receptive audience. It featured a number of quiet but sophisticated instrumental accompaniments and passages, one of which won the corresponding Grammy. In 2004, with his Columbia/Sony record contract having concluded, he released James Taylor: A Christmas Album with distribution through Hallmark Cards; it continued the accompaniment trend.

Always visibly active in environmental and progressive causes, in October 2004 Taylor joined the "Vote for Change" tour, playing a series of concerts in American swing states. These concerts were organized by MoveOn.org with the general goal of mobilizing people to vote for John Kerry and against George W. Bush in that year's Presidential campaign. Taylor's appearances were joint performances with the Dixie Chicks.

In 2001 Taylor wed for the third time to Caroline (Kim) Smedvig, Director of Public Relations and Marketing at the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Awards and recognition

Grammy Awards:

  • Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, 1971, "You've Got a Friend"
  • Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, 1977, "Handy Man"
  • Best Pop Album, 1998, Hourglass
  • Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, 2001, "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight"
  • Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s), 2002, "Mean Old Man", arrangement by Dave Grusin
  • Best Country Collaboration With Vocals, 2003, "How's the World Treating You", with Alison Krauss

Other recognition:

  • Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 2000
  • Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, 2000

Discography

  • James Taylor (1968)
  • Sweet Baby James (1970)
  • James Taylor and the Original Flying Machine (1971) - recorded 1966-1967
  • Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon (1971)
  • One Man Dog (1972)
  • Walking Man (1974)
  • Gorilla (1975)
  • In the Pocket (1976)
  • Greatest Hits (1976)
  • JT (1977)
  • Flag (1979)
  • Dad Loves His Work (1981)
  • That's Why I'm Here (1985)
  • Never Die Young (1988)
  • New Moon Shine (1991)
  • (LIVE) (1993)
  • (Best LIVE) (1994)
  • Hourglass (1997)
  • Greatest Hits Volume 2 (2000)
  • October Road (2002)
  • The Best of James Taylor (2003)
  • James Taylor: A Christmas Album (2004)

Videography

  • James Taylor: In Concert (1982) - CBS/FOX laserdisc of a 1979 concert in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
  • James Taylor: In Concert (1988)
  • Squibnocket (1993) - Tour rehearsals on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
  • Live at the Beacon Theatre (1998) - Recording of a show in New York City
  • Pull Over (2002) - Recording of a 2001 show in Chicago, Illinois

Further reading

  • White, Timothy (2002). James Taylor: Long Ago and Far Away. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0711991936.

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Other recognition:. A performer with enduring appeal, a new Bonnie Tyler CD is scheduled to be released later in 2004. Grammy Awards:. Si Demain, their French version of Total Eclipse of the Heart, was released in January of 2004 and went to No.1 in France and Belgium. In 2001 Taylor wed for the third time to Caroline (Kim) Smedvig, Director of Public Relations and Marketing at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. After that her live performances continued to draw large followings but her recordings met with limited market success until 2004 when the young French singer Kareen Antonn approached her to record a duet. Taylor's appearances were joint performances with the Dixie Chicks. In 1984 she had another major success with the single, Holding Out for a Hero.

Bush in that year's Presidential campaign. That same year, she again received a Grammy nomination as best Rock Female Vocalist for the song Here She Comes. These concerts were organized by MoveOn.org with the general goal of mobilizing people to vote for John Kerry and against George W. At the 1984 Academy Award show, Tyler's stirring rendition of Total Eclipse brought down the house at what until then had been one of the dullest award shows in history. Always visibly active in environmental and progressive causes, in October 2004 Taylor joined the "Vote for Change" tour, playing a series of concerts in American swing states. The album brought Tyler a 1983 Grammy Award nomination as best Pop Female Vocalist and the song Total Eclipse of the Heart earned her a nomination for best Rock Female Vocalist. In 2004, with his Columbia/Sony record contract having concluded, he released James Taylor: A Christmas Album with distribution through Hallmark Cards; it continued the accompaniment trend. 1 on the British charts and going on to become a record that is regarded by rock connoisseurs as an operatic masterpiece with its thundering Tchaikovskyesque cannons.

It featured a number of quiet but sophisticated instrumental accompaniments and passages, one of which won the corresponding Grammy. The multi-million selling album took the music world by storm, debuting at No. Flanked by two greatest hits releases, the new October Road appeared in 2002 to a receptive audience. 1 for several weeks. Taylor's two albums of original material from the 1990s were notably successful: his thirteenth album, New Moon Shine, went platinum in 1991, and he won the coveted Grammy for Best Pop Album in 1998 for Hourglass. Her album, Faster Than the Speed of Night proved an international blockbuster and the single Total Eclipse of the Heart written by Jim Steinman topped the charts worldwide, remaining at No. His concerts feature songs from throughout his career; a particular strength is his section of backup singers, especially Arnold McCuller. Following this success her ensuing recordings were met with only moderate acceptance but things changed when she signed with CBS Records in 1982.

He toured regularly, and was especially popular on the American summer outdoor amphitheatre circuit. The song It's A Heartache from her second album Natural Force, reached the top 5 in Britain, Europe and in the United States, leading to her first American tour. That's Why I'm Here started a series of studio recordings that, while spaced further apart than his previous records, showed a more consistent level of quality. As it turned out, her next single, where she used all of her husky voice's power, made her an international star. He put his addiction problems behind him. Under doctor's orders not to speak, she did, with the result that her singing voice took on a raspy quality that at first made her believe her singing career was over. Beginning in 1985 Taylor staged a career resurgence. Prior to the album's release, Tyler underwent surgery to remove nodules on her vocal chords.

Taylor also performed at the No Nukes concert in Madison Square Garden, then appeared on the album and film from the concert. Titled The World Starts Tonight, it met with only modest success but did well enough that she could tour throughout Europe. The album was a success, though there were no hit singles from it. Her success with Lost In France led Tyler to record her first album in 1977. After collaborating with Art Garfunkel and briefly working on Broadway, Taylor took a two-year break, reappearing in 1979 with Flag. Over the ensuing decades, the song has become one of the favorites of her fans. Taylor signed to Columbia Records and released JT in 1977, winning another Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, for "Handy Man". The record, that showed the potential of her powerful voice, made it into the top 10 of the British pop music charts after which it was released in Europe where it became an even bigger hit.

Simon was unhappy with Taylor's being out on the road traveling so much; he rejected an ultimatum from her that he spend more time with his children, and they eventually divorced in 1983. Her second single Lost In France, was a whimsical melody with lyrics that demonstrated how seemingly meaningless words on paper can be rich with meaning in song. Taylor and Simon had two children, Benjamin ("Ben") and Sarah ("Sally"). In 1975 Bonnie Tyler recorded her first single for RCA Records called My My Honeycomb that failed to make the charts. It became a huge hit and remains Taylor's best-selling album. Adopting different stage names until settling on Bonnie Tyler, for nearly a decade she and her band performed at pubs and nightclubs all over South Wales. This was followed by In the Pocket in 1976, and then a Greatest Hits album that included some rerecordings of Apple Records-era material. As a teen, she sang with a group called Bobby Wayne And The Dixies, following which she formed her own band, calling it Imagination.

His next album, 1974's Walking Man, was a disappointment but the following one, Gorilla, was a success, partially because of a successful single, a cover version of Marvin Gaye's "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)". Born into a large working-class family of six children, her father worked as a miner while her mother, an opera fan, shared her love of music with her children. In 1972 (see 1972 in music) Taylor returned with One Man Dog and married Carly Simon, another singer-songwriter. Bonnie Tyler (born Gaynor Hopkins on June 8, 1953 in Skewen, Neath) is a Welsh singer. He won a Grammy Award for his version of Carole King's "You've Got a Friend". The World Starts Tonight 1977. 1971 saw the release of Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, another hit album. It's a Heartache 1978.

Taylor worked with Dennis Wilson (of the Beach Boys) on a film, Two-Lane Blacktop, but this was unsuccessful at the time. Natural Force 1978. The success of this single and the album, piqued interest in Taylor's first album, James Taylor, bringing it and the single "Carolina on My Mind" back onto the charts. Diamond Cut 1979. His second album, Sweet Baby James, was a massive success, buoyed by the single "Fire and Rain", a song about his experience in an asylum and the suicide of a friend. Goodbye To the Island 1981. Once recovered, Taylor signed to Warner Brothers Records and moved to California, keeping Peter Asher as his manager and record producer. Silhouette In Red 1983.

Shortly after that, he broke both hands in a motorcycle accident on Martha's Vineyard and was forced to stop playing for several months. Faster Than the Speed of Night 1983. On July 20, 1969, he performed at the Newport Folk Festival. Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire 1986. By 1969, he was well enough to perform live and had a six-night stand at the Troubadour Club in Los Angeles. Hide Your Heart 1988. Moving back to the United States, Taylor checked into Austin Riggs Hospital in Stockbridge, Massachusetts to try to kick the habit. Bitterblue 1991.

The album did not sell terribly well and Taylor's addiction worsened. Angel Heart 1992. 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. Free Spirit 1995. After a desperate phone call, his father drove to New York and "rescued" him. Heart Strings 2003. While living in New York, Taylor became addicted to heroin.

The band was signed to Rainy Day Records and released one single, "Brighten Your Night with My Day"/"Night Owl"; the song was not a success. He earned a high school diploma while in the asylum, then left and formed a band called the Flying Machine with Kortchmar and Joel O'Brien. He believes that this action on his behalf saved his life. After dropping out of school, James formed a band with his brother, Alex, then was committed to McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts due to depression.

While attending Milton Academy, a prep school in Massachusetts, Taylor met Danny Kortchmar at Martha's Vineyard and the two began playing folk music together. Taylor first learned the cello as a child, then switched to the guitar in 1960. (Livingston is still an active musician; Kate was active in the 1970s and did not record another album until 2003.) Taylor's children with Carly Simon, Ben and Sally, have also embarked on musical careers. Taylor's four siblings, Alex, Livingston, Hugh and Kate have also been musicians with recorded albums.

His Greatest Hits album from 1976 was certified diamond and has sold more than 11 million copies. He was was part of a wave of soft singer-songwriters of the time that also included Carole King, John Denver, Jackson Browne and Carly Simon. Taylor's career began in the mid-1960s, but he found his audience in the early 1970s, singing sensitive and gentle acoustic songs. His family summered on Martha's Vineyard.

He grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where his father was the dean of the University of North Carolina Medical School. James Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter, born in Boston, Massachusetts. ISBN 0711991936. Omnibus Press.

James Taylor: Long Ago and Far Away. White, Timothy (2002). Pull Over (2002) - Recording of a 2001 show in Chicago, Illinois. Live at the Beacon Theatre (1998) - Recording of a show in New York City.

Squibnocket (1993) - Tour rehearsals on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. James Taylor: In Concert (1988). James Taylor: In Concert (1982) - CBS/FOX laserdisc of a 1979 concert in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. James Taylor: A Christmas Album (2004).

The Best of James Taylor (2003). October Road (2002). Greatest Hits Volume 2 (2000). Hourglass (1997).

(Best LIVE) (1994). (LIVE) (1993). New Moon Shine (1991). Never Die Young (1988).

That's Why I'm Here (1985). Dad Loves His Work (1981). Flag (1979). JT (1977).

Greatest Hits (1976). In the Pocket (1976). Gorilla (1975). Walking Man (1974).

One Man Dog (1972). Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon (1971). James Taylor and the Original Flying Machine (1971) - recorded 1966-1967. Sweet Baby James (1970).

James Taylor (1968). Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, 2000. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 2000. Best Country Collaboration With Vocals, 2003, "How's the World Treating You", with Alison Krauss.

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s), 2002, "Mean Old Man", arrangement by Dave Grusin. Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, 2001, "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight". Best Pop Album, 1998, Hourglass. Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, 1977, "Handy Man".

Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, 1971, "You've Got a Friend".

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