Eddie Taylor

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Eddie Taylor
Taylor in 1970
Background information
Birth nameEdward Taylor
Also known as"Playboy" Taylor[1]
Born(1923-01-29)January 29, 1923
Benoit, Mississippi, U.S.
DiedDecember 25, 1985(1985-12-25) (aged 62)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
GenresElectric blues
  • Guitar
  • vocals

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 1948.[5]

While Taylor never achieved the stardom of some of his contemporaries in the post-World War II Chicago blues scene, he was nevertheless an integral part of that era. He is especially noted as a main accompanist for Jimmy Reed;[6] he also worked for John Lee Hooker, Big Walter Horton, Sam Lay,[7] and others. Earwig Music Company recorded him with Kansas City Red and Big John Wrencher for the album Original Chicago Blues.[8] 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".[9] 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.[10]

In the 1970s, Taylor participated in the American Blues Legends '74 tour of Europe organised by Big Bear Records, appearing on the album of the same name as well as solo long-player, Ready For Eddie.[11]

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 wife, Vera, was a singer and songwriter,[12] and was the niece of the bluesmen Eddie "Guitar" Burns and Jimmy Burns. 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 died on Christmas Day in 1985 in Chicago,[2] at the age of 62, and was interred in 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)

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)


  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 October 7, 2015.
  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. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (1995). The Guinness Who's Who of Blues (Second ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 340. ISBN 0-85112-673-1.
  6. ^ Giles Oakley (1997). The Devil's Music. Da Capo Press. p. 226. ISBN 978-0-306-80743-5.
  7. ^ Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. p. 174. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.
  8. ^ "Original Chicago Blues". AllMusic.com. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  9. ^ "Elmore James, Eddie Taylor (2), Jimmy Reed, South Side Blues (vinyl, LP)". discogs. November 13, 1971. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
  10. ^ "An Overdose of Fingal Cocoa: J. B. Hutto". Overdoseoffingalcocoa.blogspot.com. April 26, 1926. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
  11. ^ Simpson, Jim (2019). Don't Worry 'Bout The Bear. Brewin Books. ISBN 978-1-85858-700-4.
  12. ^ Russell, Tony; Smith, Chris (2006). The Penguin Guide to Blues Recordings. Penguin. p. 635. ISBN 978-0-140-51384-4.

External links[edit]