B. E. Taylor
|B. E. Taylor|
|Birth name||William Edward Taylor|
|Also known as||Billy Eddie, B.E.|
|Born||March 18, 1951
Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Died|| (aged 65)
Wheeling, West Virginia, U.S.
|Instruments||Acoustic guitar, vocals|
|Labels||MCA, Epic, First String Records (B. E. Taylor Group)
|Associated acts||B. E. Taylor Group
William Edward "B. E." Taylor (March 18, 1951 – August 7, 2016) was the lead singer of the pop rock band B. E. Taylor Group and a solo artist. The group's 1983 single, "Vitamin L", reached No. 66 on the Billboard 100 singles chart.
Life and career
Hailing from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, he was the eldest of three sons of Bill and Betty Taylor. Born William Edward, he was called 'Billy Eddie' by his mother, which he eventually shortened to B. E. While in high school, he formed B.E. Taylor and The Establishment.
In 1991, Taylor, a dedicated Christian, contributed a reworking of “Silent Night” to a local station’s Christmas compilation, launching his second career as a holiday performer.
Taylor went on to record five solo albums and developed a following in the adult contemporary market with his annual Christmas tours. He had also performed for many popular television programs in the 1990s, including the award-winning LightMusic, for which he was the music director, Nickelodeon, and its night-time programming block, Nick At Nite. In 1984, the B. E. Taylor Group scored MTV video rotation and a Billboard regional No. 1 hit with the song "Vitamin L."
Taylor's longtime guitarist and collaborator, Rick Witkowski, is also a member of the progressive rock band, Crack the Sky. In 2008, Taylor was awarded the Duquesne University Lifetime Achievement Award.
Later years and death
In March 2007, Taylor was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. During the years of treatment, he released the album B. E. Taylor Christmas 3 and a concert DVD, completed eight Christmas tours, took part in Valentine and summer concerts.
With B. E. Taylor Group
- "Never Hold Back" (1982) - #54 Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks
- "Love Won the Fight" (1983)
- "Just A Beat Away" (1983)
- "Vitamin L" (1984) - #66 Billboard Hot 100
- "Dangerous Rhythm" (1986)
- "Reggae Rock & Roll" (1986)
- "Karen" (1986) - #94 Billboard Hot 100
As a solo artist
- B. E. Taylor Christmas (1994)
- Try Love (1997)
- B. E. Taylor Christmas 2 (2000)
- One Nation Under God (2004)
- Love Never Fails (2006)
- B. E. Taylor Christmas 3
- "This Time" (1997) - #29 Gavin Adult Contemporary
- "Love You All Over Again" (1997) - #28 Gavin Adult Contemporary
- "Let There Be Peace On Earth" (2002)
- Mervis, Scott (August 8, 2016). "Singer B.E. Taylor, of 'Vitamin L' and Christmas Tour fame, dies at 65". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
- Tri-state area loses music legend B.E. Taylor, WTOV 9. August 8, 2016. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
- Bethel, Betsy (August 9, 2016). "B.E. Taylor Leaves A Legacy of Love in the Ohio Valley". The Intelligencer and Wheeling News Register. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
- Passing of Tom Green, Pioneer Contemporary Christian Broadcaster Christian Connection. Retrieved 2006-12-03
- Who the "L" are we? Studio L website. Retrieved 2006-12-03
- Bethel, Betsy (August 8, 2016). "B.E. Taylor, 65, Dies". The Intelligencer and Wheeling News Register. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
- Pittsburgh musician B.E. Taylor dies WTAE.com. August 8, 2016. Retrieved August 8, 2016.