Shooby Taylor

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William "Shooby" Taylor
Born (1929-09-19)September 19, 1929
Origin American flag U.S.
Died June 4, 2003(2003-06-04) (aged 73)
Genres Scat, Outsider music
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocal
Years active c. 1975 - c. 1984[1]
Labels N/A
Website http://www.shooby.com/

William "Shooby" Taylor (a.k.a. "The Human Horn") (September 19, 1929 - June 4, 2003) is famous for scat singing over various records, including the Ink Spots, the Harmonicats and Cristy Lane in a baritone voice. He is noted for his highly idiosyncratic scat style, using sounds and syllables quite unlike those used by other scat singers.

Biography[edit]

Shooby Taylor was born in Indiana Township, Pennsylvania, on September 19, 1929. Shortly thereafter he moved with his family to Harlem, where he spent the majority of his life. Besides Shooby's several decades of pursuing a career as a scat singer, he also worked 21 years as a New York City postal worker.

He is most famously known for the 14 tracks he recorded in the early 1980s, at the now nonexistent Angel Sound Studios in Manhattan. These recordings began circulating among tape and file-swappers and are now available at the official Shooby Taylor website.

Video of a 1983[2] appearance at the Apollo Theater has also surfaced, and is the only known footage of Shooby performing. Taylor was booed off the stage moments after beginning his act.

In 1992, Shooby moved to a senior complex in Newark, New Jersey. Shooby experienced a stroke in 1994[3] that crippled his scat skill, also stopping him from recording and performing.

Shooby was "re-discovered" in spring 2002 by producer Rick Goetz. On August 28, 2002, Shooby appeared for his first and only radio interview on WFMU.

Taylor died on June 4, 2003, at the age of 74. Plans for an official CD release of his work are still pending.

Discography[edit]

Pop-Culture References[edit]

In the song "Walk & Chew Gum" by the band Optiganally Yours, there's a mentioning of Shooby Taylor in the last line of their scat-like bridge.

The Adam and Joe Show, a UK TV series from the 1990s, used the first 4 seconds of Shooby Taylor's version of "Lift Every Voice and Sing", at the start of their theme tune.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Shooby Taylor: The Human Horn | Journal by Irwin Chusid". Keyofz.com. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  2. ^ "Dedicated to the Talented Shooby Taylor The Human Horn". Shooby.com. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  3. ^ "Shooby Taylor: The Human Horn | Journal by Irwin Chusid". Keyofz.com. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 

External links[edit]