R. Dean Taylor

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R. Dean Taylor
Birth name Richard Dean Taylor
Born (1939-05-11) 11 May 1939 (age 74)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres Pop, rockabilly, soul
Occupations Singer-songwriter, record producer, musician
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1961–present
Labels Rare Earth/Motown Records
Website http://www.rdeantaylor.com

R. Dean Taylor (born Richard Dean Taylor, 11 May 1939 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada)[1] is a Canadian singer, most notable as a recording artist, songwriter and record producer for Motown during the 1960s and 1970s. According to Jason Ankeny, Taylor "remains one of the most underrated acts ever to record under the Motown aegis."[1]

As a singer, American audiences know Taylor best for his chart-topping 1970 hit "Indiana Wants Me", which hit No. 1 in Cash Box in the United States and was also #1 in Canada. It peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was featured in the opening minutes of the 1980 American movie, The Ninth Configuration. He is well known in the United Kingdom for his other hits, "Gotta See Jane" and "There's a Ghost in My House".

Biography[edit]

Taylor began his career in 1961, as a pianist and singer with several music bands in Toronto. He also made his first recordings in 1961, for the Audiomaster record label. The next year, Taylor's "At The High School Dance", a single for Amy-Mala Records, was a minor success. His next single, "I'll Remember", on the Barry label, was a No. 23 success for Toronto rock and roll radio station CHUM, and the singer decided to relocate to Detroit, Michigan to further his career.

In Detroit, Taylor was hired by Motown Records in 1964 as a songwriter and recording artist for the Motown subsidiary V.I.P. label. Taylor's scheduled first single (March 1964) for V.I.P. was the topical satire "My Ladybug (Stay Away From That Beatle)", but it was deemed too weak for release and was never issued.

It was not until November 1965 that Taylor's debut V.I.P. single, "Let's Go Somewhere", was issued. It was written by Taylor in conjunction with Brian Holland, and produced by the team of Holland and Lamont Dozier, who had already produced five No. 1 scoring songs for The Supremes. However, the song was only a regional success in several U.S. cities and Toronto.

Taylor's next single (1967's "There's A Ghost In My House") was written by the team of Holland–Dozier–Holland along with Taylor, and again produced by Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier. It was also a commercial disappointment in the US—but later it was a #3 hit in the United Kingdom in 1974. Taylor was also beginning to become a songwriter for other acts, as "I'll Turn to Stone" by the Four Tops, and "All I Need" by The Temptations were both charting US singles in 1967, co-composed by him.

In 1968, Taylor's self-produced single "Gotta See Jane", (co-written with Brian Holland), became a Top 20 hit in the UK.[2] However, his real success came as a member of the Motown writing and production team known as "The Clan". This production group were briefly the prime creators of material for Diana Ross & the Supremes after the Holland/Dozier/Holland team left Motown. Among Taylor's successful co-compositions and co-productions during 1968/69 as a member of The Clan were Diana Ross & the Supremes' No. 1 US hit "Love Child" and their #10 hit "I'm Livin' In Shame".

Taylor resumed his recording career in 1970, becoming one of the first artists assigned to Motown's new subsidiary Rare Earth, which was dedicated to Caucasian artists. In that year his first Rare Earth single, "Indiana Wants Me", became a #1 hit in his native Canada and in Cash Box magazine in the US. It peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and at No. 2 in the UK. "Gotta See Jane" was also reissued in 1971, and became a Top 10 success in Canada. His 1972 single "Taos, New Mexico" did not do well on the Canadian charts.

Taylor continued recording for Rare Earth, and working as a writer/producer for other artists until Rare Earth was ended in 1976. Though he never again scored the charts as he had done with "Indiana Wants Me", his releases did moderately well, especially in Canada. As a Canadian citizen, he could be played on CKLW and other Canadian radio stations and counted towards the stations Canadian content quotas.

Taylor attempted a comeback during the early 1980s, after which he had a hiatus from the music industry. He also established his own record company, Jane Records.

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

Audio Master releases[edit]

  • 1961: "At The High School Dance"

Barry releases[edit]

  • 1962: "At The High School Dance"
  • 1962: "We Fell In Love As We Tangoed"
  • 1962: "I'll Remember"(Toronto (CHUM) No. 23)

Mala releases[edit]

  • 1963: "It's A Long Way To St. Louis"

V.I.P. releases[edit]

  • 1965: "Let's Go Somewhere" (Toronto (CHUM) No. 39)
  • 1967: "There's A Ghost In My House"
  • 1967: "Gotta See Jane" (UK No. 17, NL No. 32)

Rare Earth releases[edit]

  • 1970: "Indiana Wants Me" (Canada No. 1, US Billboard No. 5, US Cashbox No. 1, UK No. 2, South Africa No. 3)
  • 1971: "Ain't It A Sad Thing" (Canada No. 35, US No. 66)
  • 1971: "Gotta See Jane" [re-issue] (Canada No. 12, US No. 67)
  • 1971: "Candy Apple Red" (Canada No. 69, US No. 104)
  • 1972: "Taos, New Mexico" (Canada No. 48, US No. 83, NL No. 22)
  • 1973: "Shadow" (Canada No. 82)

Polydor releases[edit]

  • 1974: "Window Shopping" (UK No. 36)
  • 1974: "Walkin' In The Sun"

Tamla Motown releases[edit]

  • 1967: "There's A Ghost In My House"
  • 1968: "Gotta See Jane" [UK No. 17]
  • 1971: "Indiana Wants Me" [UK No. 2; US No. 5]
  • 1974: "Don't Fool Around"
  • 1974: "There's A Ghost In My House" [re-issue] (UK No. 3, NL No. 29)
  • 1974: "Gotta See Jane" [re-issue] (UK No. 41)
  • 2004: "There's A Ghost In My House/Gotta See Jane" [re-issue]

Jane releases[edit]

  • 1973: "Sweet Flowers"
  • 1973: "Bonnie"
  • 1974: "Wipe My Tears Away"
  • 1974: "Walkin' In The Sun"
  • 1975: "Let's Talk It Over"
  • 1976: "We'll Show Them All"
  • 1976: "Bonnie"
  • 1976: "Closer My Love"
  • 1977: "Dixie's Hands"

Farr releases[edit]

  • 1976: "We'll Show Them All"

Ragamuffin releases[edit]

  • 1979: "I'll Name The Baby After You"

Strummer releases[edit]

  • 1982: "Out In The Alley"
  • 1982: "Let's Talk It Over"(No. 90 on U.S. Country charts)

20th Century Fox releases[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • 1970: I Think, Therefore I Am (Rare Earth) (U.S. No. 198)[3]
  • 1971: Indiana Wants Me (Motown)
  • 1975: LA Sunset (Polydor)

Songwriting credits[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Jason Ankeny. "R. Dean Taylor | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  2. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 550. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ a b "R. Dean Taylor | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  4. ^ "R. Dean Taylor | Songs". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 

External links[edit]