Eddie Taylor

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Eddie Taylor
Birth nameEdward Taylor
Also known as"Playboy" Taylor[1]
Born(1923-01-29)January 29, 1923
Benoit, Mississippi, United States
DiedDecember 25, 1985(1985-12-25) (aged 62)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
GenresElectric blues
Occupation(s)Guitarist, singer
Associated actsJimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker, Big Walter Horton, Earring George Mayweather, Floyd Jones, Sunnyland Slim, Snooky Pryor

Eddie Taylor (January 29, 1923 – December 25, 1985)[2] was an American electric blues guitarist and singer.[3]


Born Edward Taylor in Benoit, Mississippi, as a boy Taylor taught himself to play the guitar. He spent his early years playing at venues around Leland, Mississippi, where he taught his friend Jimmy Reed to play the guitar.[4] With a guitar style deeply rooted in the Mississippi Delta tradition, Taylor moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1949.

Taylor never achieved the stardom of some of his contemporaries in the Chicago blues scene, he was nevertheless an integral part of that era. He is especially noted as a main accompanist for Jimmy Reed; he also worked for John Lee Hooker, Big Walter Horton, Sam Lay,[5] and others. Earwig Music Company recorded him with Kansas City Red and Big John Wrencher for the album Original Chicago Blues.[6] He later teamed up with Earring George Mayweather, and they jointly recorded several tracks, including "You'll Always Have a Home" and "Don't Knock at My Door".[7] Several of these were released as singles, of which "Big Town Playboy" and "Bad Boy", issued by Vee Jay Records, were local hits in the 1950s, but Taylor's singles generally were not commercially successful.[8] Later, in "semi-retirement", Taylor was the regular lead guitarist with Peter Dames and the Chicago River Blues Band, later known as Peter Dames and the Rhythm Flames.

Taylor played lead guitar on several songs (including the title track) on the album "Be Careful How You Vote" by Sunnyland Slim, and played live with Sunnyland Slim on some tour dates in the 1980s.

Taylor's late son Eddie Taylor Jr. was a blues guitarist in Chicago, his stepson Larry Taylor is a blues drummer and vocalist, and his daughter Demetria is a blues vocalist in Chicago. Taylor's wife, Vera, was the niece of the bluesmen Eddie "Guitar" Burns and Jimmy Burns.

Taylor died on Christmas Day in 1985 in Chicago,[2] at the age of 62, and was interred in an unmarked grave in the Restvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois. He was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1987.


Albums recorded as leader[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Album Album details
I Feel So Bad

Recorded June 1972, Hollywood, California; released 1972 (Advent Records, LP, CD)

Ready for Eddie

Recorded February–April 1974, London, England; released 1975 (Big Bear Records, LP, CD)

My Heart Is Bleeding

Recorded January 21, 1980, Chicago, Illinois; released 1980 (L+R Records, LP)

Still Not Ready for Eddie

Released 1987 (Antone's Records, LP)

Live album[edit]

Album Album details
Bad Boy a Long Way from Chicago

Recorded 1978, Kyoto, Japan; released 1978 (P-Vine Records LP, CD)

Collaboration albums[edit]

Album Album details
Masters of Modern Blues Volume 3

Recorded June 1966, Chicago, Illinois; released 1966 (Testament Records, LP, CD)

Goin' to Chicago

Recorded 196?, Chicago, Illinois; released 196? (Testament Records, LP, CD)

The American Blues Legends '74

Recorded February–March 1974, London, England; released 1974 (Big Bear Records, LP, CD)

Albums recorded as sideman[edit]

Album Album details
Original Chicago Blues

Recordings by Joe Carter and Kansas City Red; released 1982 (JSP Records, LP, CD)

  • 1975: Street Talkin' (Muse 5087, French label), compilation of Vee Jay recordings with seven tracks by Elmore James tracks and seven by Taylor
  • 1981: Big Town Playboy (Charly 1015, English label), compilation of Vee Jay recordings under Taylor's name, except "Good Hearted"


  1. ^ Harris, S. (1981). Blues Who's Who. New York: Da Capo Press. p. 493.
  2. ^ a b Doc Rock. "The 1980s". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  3. ^ Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music. Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 1-904041-96-5.
  4. ^ Jimmy Reed interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
  5. ^ Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. p. 174. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.
  6. ^ "Original Chicago Blues". AllMusic.com. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  7. ^ "Elmore James, Eddie Taylor (2), Jimmy Reed, South Side Blues (vinyl, LP)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  8. ^ "An Overdose of Fingal Cocoa: J. B. Hutto". Overdoseoffingalcocoa.blogspot.com. 1926-04-26. Retrieved 2016-10-09.

External links[edit]