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Johnnie Taylor

Johnnie Harrison Taylor was a vocalist in a wide variety of genres, from gospel, blues and soul to pop, doo-wop and disco. He was born in Crawford, Arkansas[?] on May 5, 1938 and died May 31, 2000 of a heart attack.

He had one release, "Somewhere to Lay My Head", on Chicago's Chance Records[?] in the 1950s, as part of the doo-wop group Five Echoes[?]. His singing was strikingly close to that of Sam Cooke, and he was hired to take Cooke's place in Cooke's gospel group, the Soul Stirrers in 1957.

A few years later, after Cooke had established his independent SAR Records[?], Taylor signed on and recorded "Rone Wasn't Built In A Day" in 1962. However, SAR Records quickly became defunct after Cooke's death in 1964.

In 1966, Taylor moved to Stax Records[?] in Memphis, who dubbed him "The Philosopher of Soul." He went on to become their best-selling artist (outselling such names as Otis Redding and Sam & Dave). His hits included "I Had a Dream" and "I've Got to Love Somebody's Baby" and especially "Who's Making Love", which reached No. 5 on the Billboard Top 40 and No. 1 on the R&B charts in 1968.

As Stax folded with the advent of the 1970s, Taylor switched to Columbia Records and made his most well-known hit, "Disco Lady" in 1975. Columbia tried to promote him as a disco artist and neglected his wide-ranging talent. Not surprisingly, his record sales slipped.

He recorded an album for Beverly Glen Records[?] in 1982, and two more for Malaco Records[?] after that.

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