My friends and I were watching the Inauguration on TV, and we were laughing about James Taylor until one person said that he used to be good looking (this guy's mom had a crush on James Taylor). I looked up a picture of James, and lo and behold, he was fucking gorgeous! Does anyone here consider themselves a fan? Has he always done folksy music? Any gossip?
Love James Taylor. Yes, he was always a singer songwriter but his music wasn't always in the folk or easy category.
However, he was not at all in good voice yesterday. Whether it was the cold, the sound system, an off moment, or he just can't sing on pitch anymore, I have no idea.
In his day along with Carol King they ruled the music world.
He was married to Carly Simon. He was addicted to heroine at one time. I think he has been clean for a long time.
This was a popular album cover when I was in high school. Most of the girls had a crush on him. I loved his voice.
FYI, he was one of the first acts signed by the Beatles when they started Apple in the late 60's.
His album covers were all Sweet Baby James but Joni Mitchell gave us his other side in "Carey."
Mean ol' Daddy...
Carey was NOT about James Taylor. It was about a guy she met and fell in with while traveling in Europe.
She does have songs calling JT out on For the Roses.
And Carly Simon has done a pretty good job of bringing his asshole side to light.
Anyone Joni Mitchell hates must be...well, she seems to hate almost everyone, actually.
THIS was the handsome James Taylor my friends and I lusted after...
I don't think James is bad looking for his age, but he sure was hot as hell when he first came onto the scene.
I don't think James ever looked or sounded better than in the video below. It's a BBC concert from 1970 or 1971 and he looks incredible. All the girls in the audience look totally captivated by him. I myself am usually not into guys with long hair but he has me swooning here.
OP, just so you know this for the future, people over 30 exist and they use the Internet, just like you do.
Such a thin, reedy voice.
I think this song - Sweet Baby James - from the same concert was his first hit, R11. I was one of those high-schoolers who was instantly smitten. I still think his early songs perfectly capture the wistful footlooseness of that era.
What happened to Carly. She looks like Mary Tyler Moore in that video.
She's old, sweetie, and hasn't had any work done. That's what an older woman looks like.
Speaking with a black woman in the dr's office about the inauguration Tues - born in the 60s - did not know who James Taylor was.
The only thing I could say was "Fire and Rain," I was so stunned.
Unfortunately for him, James got the worse traits of both parents. His father was remote and cold. His mother was a controlling bitch who was incredibly cruel towards all her daughters-in-law. James was a heroin addict, then got addoicted to methadone. In and out of hospitals, including psychiatric (sp?) wards. Was given ECT at one place. His son followed in his footsteps, sadly, despite Carly being a loving, attentive mom.
James Taylor is the absolute worst. He sang hippie bullshit while acting like the biggest asshole in the world otherwise.
His longtime backup vocalist, the excellent Valerie Carter, was busted for crack a few years ago. James turned up at her rehab graduation ceremony. There are pics online, she's a wee bit of a thing, he's very tall!
R21, Back in the day the radio stations were completely segregated.
Beyond that, James Taylor had no "crossover" appeal.
Sweet Baby James was the one of the first albums I ever bought -- new, when I was in HS -- and I've bought every one of his lp's since then. His output is very erratic -- really, who needs those awful cover cd's, or his feeble attempts at being soulful -- but he is amongst the best singer songwriters alive. I'm also a professional guitarist and songwriter, and his gift is making what he does appear effortless, when it's actually anything but. His songs are full of unusual chords and surprising changes, and he makes it all sound so natural. His lyrics are fantastic, too. Check out this song, one of my favourites songs, ever, withe a pretty incredible lyric.
R26, you're right of course. Despite being a difficult person, he's creat5ed some great music. His brother Livingston has also written some gorgeous material (and he's a much nicer person).
"Back in the day the radio stations were completely segregated."
Good god, no, not at all. One local station carried everything - Motown, the Beatles, Aretha Franklin and James Taylor.
It's much more segregated now.
[quote]Carly being a loving, attentive mom.
And then some.
I agree, R26. I'm more into JT's earlier work as opposed to a lot of the more soul, Phil Collins-esque type stuff he put out in 80s and 90s. I think he's best when it's just him, his own lyrics, and an acoustic guitar.
And you're right, so many of those lyrics are incredible.
"Back in the day the radio stations were completely segregated".
R29...Good God I almost choaked when I read that.
You are right: radio is much more segregated today.
Back in the 1960's each city had only maybe 2 AM radio stations that kids (both black and white) listened to.
Motown was played together with the Beach Boys. You'd hear James Brown and then Petula Clark.
I'm always astounded to see the old YouTube clips of the TV show Shindig (1964/65) ... it's all black and white music (and performers) together.
Taylor is both an excellent songwriter and a talented singer. Love his interpretations of Every Day and Simon's Still Crazy.
Big cock. Almost in league with the pre-Islam Cat Stevens in terms of scoring women.
Typical petty man, still holding a grudge. Wouldn't let Simon use bathroom at his house when he was hosting some event. Dick.
He's finally going to release a new album this year (probably his last, he says).
His best albums:
Mud Slide Slim & The Blue Horizon
I love him, have had one of his CD's in my car for months and I listen to the same songs over and over. I listen to other things too, of course, but it's my default go to music. Recently saw Carole King in concert and we hoped James would make an appearance but he was out of town.
R35...it was their daughter's wedding day.
Every girl--and I mean every--I knew in college (mid 70s) had that Sweet Baby James album.
It was so weird to watch the PBS taped concert that he and Carole King did together. He mentioned Joni Mitchell, talked a bit about his career, but never mentioned Carly once. It seemed so bizarre. They were together at the height of both their careers, and they have two children together. But even musically...they sang back up on many of each other's hits, and sang two duets that hit the charts. She had a hit with "Night Owl" which he'd written, and they co-wrote stuff together. Much of their life together appears in their songs. Yet not one word.
And that would be one thing. But he doesn't even mention their children in his interviews. That bugs me. They've appeared on stage with him during his tours, but he won't discuss them.
I think he and Carly get along now, but R40 is right, he seldom mentions Carly or his kids. I think he's just intensely private in that way.
Ben Taylor is, of course, a recording artist too (and one that sounds like dad and is as handsome as James was back in the day).
Joni and he had an affair before he got together with Carly. He and Joni are the backup voices on some of Carole King's songs on Tapestry - specifically Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow. On For The Roses, "See You Sometime" and "Blonde in the Bleachers" are about James.
And the radio segregation thing: Well, radio was very segregated until the late 50s early 60s (no, am not that old but have studied broadcasting).
But between the 60s and the corporatization of radio that started in the late 90s it was way more open. Top 40 these days is so utterly tight and segregated, if not specifically by race then by music genre, more than it used to be.
[quote]I think he and Carly get along now
Wrong. James still hates her and won't speak to her.
She talks about this at every opportunity.
She is currently writing her memoir, which will, no doubt, be used to trash him.
James did not want Carly to speak about his drug issues, which she started to do after he remarried.
Carly was angry and resented the fact that the second wife was able to get him off of drugs, something she had tried to do for years. His second wife apparently didn't care for Carly either, and kept James away from the kids too.
James did not want the marriage to end, but Carly gave him an ultimatium to get off of drugs and stay around more with his family. He refused.
Joni and Carly have had an amicable relationship in recent years. Linda Ronstadt got them together to talk at a restaurant shortly after Carly and James married, and it was so tense that Linda wound up eating the food off of everyone's plates. Carly and Joni met again in the nineties, and really hit it off. They still get together on occasion.
[quote] Big cock. Almost in league with the pre-Islam Cat Stevens in terms of scoring women.
Say more, please!
"And the radio segregation thing: Well, radio was very segregated until the late 50s early 60s (no, am not that old but have studied broadcasting)."
If radio was segregated until the early 60s would you please explain to us how Little Richard had mega smash hits?
Or Chuck Berry?
Or the Platters?J
ackie Wilson? Fats Domino? Sam Cook? LaVern Baker? Lloyd Price? The Coasters? Brook Benton? The Drifters? Sammy Turner? Ray Charles? Bo Diddley? Johnny Mathis? The Impressions? Ruth Brown? Little Anthony? Nat king Cole? The Dominos? Hank Ballard? Big Joe Turner? Johnny Ace? The Del-Vikings? The Dells? Etc....and etc....?
Do you even know who these people are?
Yes, R45, I am WELL aware of who those people are.
Yes, they all eventually had hits that made it to white audiences. They indeed broke through those barriers, and it all evolved in the 50s.
But radio was VERY SEGREGATED in the beginning. Which is why there was atrocities like THIS (see link) on the pop charts.
Most of the people you mentioned had a fairly big audience, but they were not artists who had easy access to Top 40 in most cities. Ruth Brown was incredibly underappreciated by radio. Ray Charles and Nat King Cole were the biggest crossover artists on your list.
I should say, Ruth Brown was incredibly underappreciated by POP radio. Which is the point - pop vs. R&B.
Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon are not pals.
Joni doesn't like Carly and even mocks her talent in print.
Carly does not know why Joni doesn't like her.
Carly Simon was at a concert Joni gave about 10-15 years ago.
This is the one where Chrissie Hynde was a little drunk and in between songs loudly proclaimed "thank you for staying with us, Joni!"
She proceeded to walk over to Carly Simon, shake her quite profusely, and said, "Look, bitch, that's a real singer up there!"
LOVE that story.
Ruth Brown had pop chart Billboard Top 40 hits in 1957 and 1958.
So y'all got me to look up Ben Taylor. Beautiful voice that I can't believe I've never looked up. I can't tell if he's sick or just looks like his mother (his old mother) though.
R46 You don't know what you are talking about.
Maybellene (1955) #5
Roll Over Beethoven (1956) #42
Rock and Roll Music (1957) #8
Johnny B. Goode (1958) #8
Yes, she did R50. I'm not saying she didn't.
But compared to, say, what Patti Page or someone similar had at the time, and compared to how very popular Ruth's live shows would be and her songs would be on the R&B charts, she wasn't as recognized on the Pop charts.
It was a different time - far more segregation in our daily lives than now.
The 80s was the most diverse/integrated period on radio. Not just race but age as well. You could hear new wave, pop, harder edged stuff, older artists (Tina Turner) and newbies all at the same time. Prince and Michael Jackson really changed things. And you'd still hear James Taylor, Elton, Billy Joel et al as well.
A lot's changed in the last 20 years. One corporation owning all the stations means individual markets/regions can't grow an artist via airplay like they used to. And pop/mainstream rock stations really don't exist anymore - it's either light pop or hip hop/dance.
R51: D R U G S
Good dish. Didn't Carly date Cat Stevens? Was "Anticipation" about him?
I'm not debating this with you any more, R52.
You're missing the fucking point I'm making and making some sort of argument about a point I never tried to make.
[quote] Good dish. Didn't Carly date Cat Stevens? Was "Anticipation" about him?
This makes me think that "Anticipation" is about waiting for a guy that's taking a long time to cum.
R48 They're certainly not the best of friends, but they have gotten together a couple of times in recent years for dinner. They have an amicable relationship. Joni even felt sorry after hearing the stuff that Carly endured with Taylor.
It's mentioned in GIRLS LIKE US.
Billboard pop charts:
Platters #4 "My Prayer" and #12 "The Great Pretender" and # 36 "Magic Touch"
Fats Domino #25 "I'm In Love Again" and #41 Blueberry Hill
Frankie Lymon #28 "Why Do Fools Fall In Love"
1957 Billboard pop charts has Harry Belefonte at #15. Del-Vikings at #18. Sam Cooke at #20. Coasters at #21. Chuck Berry at #22
R59: Enough with your off-topic bullshit. STFU.
Eww! Those shirtless pictures of him are gross! That scrawny body without any muscle tone...yech! He looked like what he was: a junkie.
Here are some basic facts.
He came from wealth and privilege. His father was the dean of the University of North Carolina Medical School.
He was fucked up mentally and spent time in McLean Hospital, the famous psychiatric refuge whose former patients included Ray Charles, Sylvia Plath, Susanna Kaysen and John Nash.
He was a heroin addict for a long time.
He wrote some good songs early in his career ("Fire and Rain" "Carolina in my Mind") but his songwriting skills eventually burned out and he started singing remakes and standards.
He was in a high profile marriage with Carly Simon. During the heydey of their relationship he called her "a piece of ass." I think he meant it as a compliment. It didn't end well; supposedly Taylor has no communication with her at all, despite their having two children, and never speaks of her. It would seem that he desires to wipe the period of his life with her out of his consciousness. It's never been made clear why he has such animosity towards her, although it's been speculated that he resented her talking publicly about his heroin addiction and ran her mouth off in an interview about her former lovers (Kris Kristofferson, Cat Steven, Mick Jagger, among others).
R53 wrote "The 80s was the most diverse/integrated period on radio."
No, it would be the 1960s.
Pop culture had not yet splintered into niches. There was very little FM radio. Kids.... all kids... listened to AM radio because that's all there was...and there were not a lot of stations.
You'd have older artists like Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Peggy Lee mixed together with the British Invasion mixed together with Motown. You'd have a B'way show tune and then the Doors.... Edie Gorme and then Janis Joplin... Bobby Sherman and the Jimmy Hendrix... all in the same hour of listening.
That is what popular AM radio was like in the 1960s.
Take a look at the Billboard pop chart from the 1960s ... it was a crazy mix of styles and has never been duplicated.
R57 Anticipation is about having sex for the first time. From the woman's perspective. That's why that song was such a hit.
Since we're here... who is so vain?
"Anticipation is about having sex for the first time. From the woman's perspective. That's why that song was such a hit."
Uh, no. Carly Simon said the song was about an impending date with Cat Stevens. She was so aflutter with anticipation of his arrival that she was taking longer than normal to get ready for their meeting. Anyway, that's what she said
The next time a dude is taking forever to cum and my jaw and hand is hurting, I am SO putting Anticipation on.
And if he's really big and he's going to fuck me, then I'll put on I Haven't Got Time For The Pain!
Well, I liked his "America the Beautiful" very much. I think his voice is still very good.
I didn't mind James' performance at the inaguration either. His voice isn't what it used to be, but that frequently happens with aging artists. It's just nature.
It seems as thought James' current wife keeps him on a very short leash. She is constantly posting videos of him on his Facebook page doing menial jobs (repairing a fence, stoking a fire in a wood stove, etc.) and encourages him from behind the camera to explain his every move. James guest-starred on "The West Wing" a few years back and his wife also made an appearance. In 2011, James headlined a production of "A Christmas Carol" in Massachusetts and his wife and young sons also had roles. It's as though he can't do anything without her. I'm not sure if it's James' doing or if his wife is just hungry for a piece of the spotlight.
R49, that's not what happened. Hynde was drunk and punched Simon in the arm. It wasn't intended as an assault, she meant it affectionately. But because she was drunk, she hit a little too hard. Simon brushed it off as no big deal.
R71 That's what the official press reports say....
James doesn't speak to Carly because his subsequent wives have insisted upon it. It's a long story, but both women are extremely controlling, and his first post-Carly wife even tried to distance him from his children. Simon refused to discuss the details of the break-up at first. But over the years she grew angry at Taylor for allowing Kathryn to come between him and his kids. This messed Ben up pretty well, and infuriated Carly. Kim is pretty much the same as Kathryn. though she's less divisive where the kids are concerned.
Interesting excerpt from "Girls Like Us". This would be 1997 when Carly discovered she had breast cancer. I wonder when it turned so sour.
"On the other hand, James Taylor had come through. One night, when Carly was midway through her chemo, he'd visited her in her New York apartment. As he was leaving, she said, "If you ever think of me, just give me a call. Even if we're just silent on the phone together, that would be so nice." Carly remembers that he replied, "If I called you every time I thought of you, there would be little time for anything else."
R72...and you're getting your inside info from where, exactly? Neither Hynde nor Simon have discussed any further details, with Carly just brushing it off publicly as no big deal.
Carly stalked James for years after their marriage was over, sweet baby Jamie's will always be legendary.
Carly is still on very good terms with Livingston Taylor, according to reports. But not really on speaking terms with James, as of an interview done in 2004
R75 I've heard it from a DJ in NYC who was at the show, as well as a few of my friends that were there.
R78...uh huh. Your friends and this mysterious DJ you know just happened to be close enough to hear it. Wow! What are the odds!
R76...no she didn't. The ending of their relationship was almost an accident. She never intended to really divorce him, but announced their separation after he went on that huge binge after his concert tour. If Kathryn hadn't taken over, they undoubtedly would have gotten back together, particularly after his last stint in rehab. It was messy for a while because James and Carly were in touch, and it was clear they still had feelings for each other. Kathryn decided that James needed to break it off completely, and told everyone that Carly was 'using' the kids to try to get James back. So she tried to stop him from having any kind of relationship with their kids. That Kathryn was a nut job.