Baxter Taylor

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Baxter Taylor (born 1940) is an American folk singer and teacher.

Timeline[edit]

  • August 28, 1940, Born Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and raised in Dallas, Texas.
  • 1959- Original member: The Nightlighters, Oklahoma City, OK
  • 1959 to 1960-The Wayfarers Trio- Founding member, other members were Mason Williams and Bill Cheatwood.
  • 1960- Original member: The Wayfarers Trio. Other members were Mason Williams and Bill Cheatwood.
  • 1961- "SONGS OF THE BLUE AND THE GREY" (Mercury Label) April release; Artists: The Wayfarers Trio
  • 1962- Member of The New Christy Minstrels.
  • 1966- Birth of daughters, Lesley and Ashley.
  • 1971- "Marie Laveau" - recorded by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, found on their debut LP Doctor Hook.
  • 1973- "Marie Laveau" - recorded by Bobby Bare Sr, found on BOBBY BARE SINGS LULLABYS, LEGENDS AND LIES (AND MORE), (RCA/RLG/LEGACY Records), RCA Victor CPL2-0290
  • 1975- BMI Songwriting Award for co-write of MARIE LAVAUX with Shel Silverstein.
  • 1980-Semifinalist @ The Kerrville Folk Festival, New Folk Songwriting Contest, Saturday May 24 show.
  • 1985-Married Nancy McCausland and became father to her three children, Robert, Andrea, and Joshua.
  • 1992- "MARIE LAVEAU" is included in Act II of the original Broadway musical THE HIGH ROLLERS SOCIAL AND PLEASURE CLUB [1], at The Helen Hayes Theater, New York City. Performance dates: 04/21/1992 - 05/02/1992.
  • 1999- Birth of first grandchild, Brayden Taylor Hull. Birth of Cassidy Mae Hull.
  • 2004- Producer; Owner of BaxTrax Recording Studio, Plano TX. Birth of grandson, Ty Groff.
  • 2006- Retired from teaching and birth of granddaughter, Gretchen Lee Doerr.
  • August 28, 2007- Birth of granddaughter, Noelle Taylor Doerr.

Biography[edit]

Baxter Taylor grew up in Dallas, Texas and spent summers on the family farm in Fargo, Oklahoma. His grandfather was the inspiration for the family. All of his children sent their children back to the farm as teenagers to get a proper education – some hard work and independence.

As a freshman in college, Baxter met a tall banjo player named Bill Cheatwood who introduced him to folk music and Mason Williams. It wasn’t long before they were The Wayfarers, a trio of young "sometimes" college attendees. Says Taylor,

"A friend and fellow folk singer named Steve Brainard opened a coffeehouse in Oklahoma City, OK named THE GOURD. We all sang there most every night as the house band and made most of our classes during the day. The house band (affectionately referred to as The Gourd Singers) also included regular players/folk singers Johnny Horton and bassist Joe Lawrence. THE GOURD later became THE BUDDHI (at a different location)- Oklahoma City’s most famous folk music club."

As The Wayfarers Trio, they made a couple of records for Mercury Records and did some touring. After a couple of years the trio split up so that each member could try his hands at being a solo artist. Discography: April 1961, SONGS OF THE BLUE AND THE GREY, Mercury Records.

Said Taylor in an interview, "It was a great time to be a folk singer. Coffee houses existed as performance venues: people came to hear the music and there was no liquor to bend the audience into an inattentive crowd – and the coffee kept most of the listeners awake. I worked out of Chicago and became friends with Shel Silverstein, an incredibly talented man who could write a clever lyric about anything. We wrote several songs together, including MARIE LAVAUX and THE MONKEY AND THE ELEPHANT."

"Baxter Taylor has something going for him....a folk singer who somewhere along the line learned to sing...immensely worth listening to." Dan Safran, Dallas Times Herald, 1962

"At the time, I still had a contract to record for Mercury Records when Uncle Sam decided that my services might be required to protect my country from some folks over in Asia that I had never heard of. Fortunately, I did not have to make the trip past Kentucky. But, by the time I got out I was ready to settle into a different life."

"Some of my songs had been recorded, so I took an advance on my song royalties and went back to college, graduated, and got married. When my twin daughters were born, I put the guitar into the closet and went to work for Sears."

"For about ten years, I hardly touched the guitar. Then one evening a friend from work was over to the house, and after a couple of drinks I decided to sing him some of the songs that I had written. He listened politely until I did a song Shel Silverstein and I had written about the New Orleans witch Marie Lavaux called, 'POOF, ANOTHER MAN DONE GONE.' "

"My friend said, “Up to now I was buying this whole singer/songwriter bit. Now, you try to pass off a hit song as yours. I’m not buying that!”

“What are you talking about?” I said. “I’m probably one of only three or four people who know that song.”

“Yeah, right," my friend replied. "That song is number one on the country charts right now. Bobby Bare sings it.” And he went over and turned on the radio. And they were playing the song. Folks, I’m not making it up - it happened just like that!"

"In 1975, over twelve years after it was written, Shel and I received a BMI award for the song titled MARIE LAVAUX.*** I started writing songs like mad.***"

"I went to Nashville to see if I could interest anyone in my new songs. I talked to a lot of old friends and new acquaintances with common theme being “If I can only get one more good song, I can get a house, raise a family and settle down.” Then I realized “What am I doing here? I’ve already got all those things.” So, I took my guitar and drove back home to Plano, Texas, my home and my family."

"I did keep singing and writing, though. And from time to time I attend a jam session held every Sunday at The Eagles Lodge. This marvelous group of Dallas musicians has been meeting for over twenty years at various establishments around Dallas. The group changes some, but the music stays fresh and wonderful. I haven’t been on a stage as a professional in a long time, but when it’s my turn to sing, I love it! If a person loves to be in front of an audience, they will always love being in front of an audience."

"I retired as a school teacher in 2006. I plan to use my experience and talent to make music for myself and other folks as a producer. Instead of me being the center of attention, I would like to help other folks get a bit of the spotlight."

"I love good music, and there is a lot of it out there. What I would like to do is record some of those singers and their original songs to help them find an audience. Someone once said, “The song is in the singing.” And it’s even more fun if there are listeners." [1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ MySpace