Johnnie Taylor

Soul-blues and Pop Singer
Born May 5, 1937

Johnnie Harrison Taylor was an American vocalist in a wide variety of genres, from rhythm and blues, soul, blues and gospel to pop, doo-wop and disco.

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Johnnie Taylor.


1934 Birth Born on May 5, 1934.


1957 23 Years Old His singing then was strikingly close to that of Sam Cooke, and he was hired to take Cooke's place in the latter's gospel group, the Soul Stirrers, in 1957.
1962 28 Years Old A few years later, after Cooke had established his independent SAR Records, Taylor signed on as one of the label's first acts and recorded "Rome Wasn't Built In A Day" in 1962. … Read More


1966 32 Years Old In 1966, Taylor moved to Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was dubbed "The Philosopher of Soul". … Read More
1968 34 Years Old His hits included "I Had a Dream", "I've Got to Love Somebody's Baby" (both written by the team of Isaac Hayes and David Porter) and most notably "Who's Making Love", which reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 1 on the R&B chart in 1968. "Who's Making Love" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.
1970 36 Years Old In 1970, Taylor married Gerlean Rocket and they remained married until his death in 2000.
1973 39 Years Old 1 More Event
During his tenure at Stax, he became an R&B star, with over a dozen chart successes, such as "Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone", which reached No. 23 on the Hot 100 chart, "Cheaper to Keep Her" (Mack Rice) and record producer Don Davis's penned "I Believe in You (You Believe in Me)", which reached No. 11 on the Hot 100 chart. "I Believe in You (You Believe in Me)" also sold in excess of one million copies, and was awarded gold disc status by the R.I.A.A. in October 1973. … Read More


1975 41 Years Old After Stax folded in 1975, Taylor switched to Columbia Records, where he recorded his biggest success with Don Davis still in charge of production, "Disco Lady", in 1976. … Read More


1984 50 Years Old After a short stay at a small independent label in Los Angeles, Beverly Glen Records, Taylor signed with Malaco Records after the company's founder Tommy Couch and producing partner Wolf Stephenson heard him sing at blues singer Z. Z. Hill's funeral in spring 1984. … Read More


1996 62 Years Old In 1996, Taylor's eighth album for Malaco, Good Love!, reached number one on the Billboard Top Blues Albums chart (#15 R&B), and was the biggest record in Malaco's history.
1997 63 Years Old With this success, Malaco recorded a live video of Taylor at the Longhorn Ballroom in Dallas, Texas, in the summer of 1997. … Read More
1999 65 Years Old Taylor was given a Pioneer Award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1999. … Read More
2000 66 Years Old Taylor died of a heart attack at Charlton Methodist Hospital in Dallas, Texas, on May 31, 2000, aged 66. … Read More
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