Golden Hits Of The 60s” 

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(Clay Hammond)

Galaxy 722

No. 19    October 5, 1963




“I’m a legend now,” said Little Johnny Taylor, in an exclusive interview.    “30 years now, but not too many

peoples know that.”   He was born Johnny Young, February 11, 1943, in Memphis.

While still knee-high, Little John was asked to join the renowned Mighty Clouds of Joy–one-time home to

BUNKER HILL–where he remained for half a decade.   At 17,after a brief stay in the Stars of Bethel gospel

group, John moved to Los Angeles to takeup the life of a secular singer and harmonica man.    “One song

turned me ’round, Bobby’Blue’ Bland’s ‘I Smell a Whole Lot Of Trouble,'” said Taylor.   “I learned that and

was arhythm and blues man.”


Little Johnny Taylor, as he renamed himself, worked the bars and let word of his music get around town.

For a while in the late ’50s, he was with the JOHNNY OTIS Show; making his first recordings about then for

Hunter Hancock’s Swingin’ label.  Sales were minimal, but scouts from the Berkeley-based Fantasy/Galaxy

label took notice and offered him a contract.    “You’ll Never Need Another Favor,” “Part Time Love” were

two of his earliest waxings for Galaxy; the latter, his big mainstream moment.   “I had to beg ’em to let me

record ‘Part Time Love,'” said Taylor.    “It just fit me just right, but they didn’t hear it.   See, I had this girl I

went with for five years and we broke up and she married this old 65 year old and I was just this teenager,

then, 18 when I cut it.   I did that song for her, from my heart.   She came and wanted me to take her back

after that but it was too far gone.”


Perennial favorites with R&B  listeners are Taylor’s “Everybody Knows About My Good Thing. (R&B: #9,

1971) and “Open House At My House” (R&B: #16, 1972).    While pop listeners would get to hear little more

by him–and would often confuse him with the more prominent Johnnie Taylor, of “Who’s Making Love”

and “Disco Lady” fame–Taylor, with his distinctive dry-voiced style, has maintained a loyal R & B following

through the years.       More than a half-dozen of his sides have made the black charts.   In the ’70s, Little

Johnny would often do duets with his labelmate the late Ted Taylor (a cousin, according to Little John),

who besides charting under this name charted as “Austin Taylor” with a rockin’ regional hit, “Push Push,”

in 1960.


Little Johnny is still active, still recording, and most definitely still hoping to be a contender for a

second crossover hit.