Eve Taylor

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Eve Taylor is notable as one of the early female music managers. She is particularly notable for her management of singers Val Doonican, Sandie Shaw and Adam Faith, and of composer John Barry.

History[edit]

Eve Taylor, along with Marion Massey, who managed singer Lulu, is one of the first notable female music managers. Also known as Evelyn Taylor, she initially managed composer John Barry[1] and, later, Adam Faith, following Barry's introduction of her to him. From 1959 to 1961, she managed The Lana Sisters, which included Mary O'Brien, prior to her adoption of the stage name Dusty Springfield. Known as the "Queen Bee of Show Business", she also managed Jackie Trent, Val Doonican,[2] Jackie Dennis[3] and Patrick Kerr.[4]

Taylor's father had been a well-known show business impresario. Prior to commencing her management of artists, Eve Taylor had been part of a comedy and tap-dancing act, during the 1930s.[1]

Taylor's management of Adam Faith commenced following Faith's introduction to her by John Barry. Taylor immediately changed Faith's image and appearance, and initially believed that Faith should concentrate on acting, rather than singing. When she appreciated that his records were becoming popular, Taylor enhanced popular interest by intimating that Faith would be issuing no more recordings, in favour of concentrating on his acting career.[1] Taylor's initial relationship with John Barry was used to the benefit of Faith. With the encouragement of Eve Taylor, Adam Faith's successful early records were compositions by John Barry and lyricist Johnny Worth.[1] When Faith began to perform regularly onstage, backed by John Barry's group, The John Barry Seven, he also heeded Eve Taylor's advice that he make separate, solo appearances, so that his musical career was not perceived to be tied to that of Barry.[1]

In 1961, at the age of twenty-one, Adam Faith signed a ten-year management contract with Eve Taylor, renegotiating previous contracts that had been signed by his parents. The term of the contract was at Taylor's suggestion; Faith had originally wanted a longer contract.[1]

Adam Faith discovered singer Sandie Shaw in 1964 when, at the age of sixteen, Shaw performed with Faith at a charity concert. Faith then introduced Shaw to his manager, Eve Taylor[5] Within two weeks, Taylor had obtained a contract for Shaw with Pye Records, and had also made an agreement with songwriter Chris Andrews to write for Shaw.[6] Sandie Shaw's singles were produced by Eve Taylor, Chris Andrews and Sandie Shaw (uncredited), with help from Pye Records arranger Ken Woodman.[6]

It was Taylor who persuaded Shaw to enter the Eurovision Song Contest, where she won for Great Britain in 1967, with the song "Puppet on a String".[5] Taylor also disclosed to Shaw that, despite Taylor being the manager of both Sandie Shaw and Adam Faith, Adam Faith had been taking a percentage of most of Shaw's earnings and had an interest in most of the publishing rights to her songs.[5] Taylor was also responsible for rejecting "It's Not Unusual" to be sung by Sandie Shaw, which instead became the first international hit for Tom Jones. The song was written for Sandie Shaw by Les Reed and Gordon Mills, and was rejected by Eve Taylor, based on hearing the demo version, as sung by Tom Jones.[7]

Both Shaw and Faith have often criticised Taylor openly in TV interviews and in their respective biographies. Both eventually ended their professional relationships acrimoniously. In the 1997 UK Channel 4 series "BritGirls", during the episode focussing on Shaw, Faith described Taylor as "emotionally violent" and said she would threaten to end her client's careers if they did not accept her demands. Shaw does concede in her autobiography "The World At My Feet" that she was saddened when she learned of Taylor's death after many years without contact.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Geoff Leonard and Pete Walker, Adam Faith: A Biography. Faith: This is it! Retrieved 2011-09-17.
  2. ^ Keith Altham, Eve Taylor: Queen Bee of Show Business. New Musical Express, July 16, 1965, as reprinted by rock'sbackpages. Retrieved 2011-09-25.
  3. ^ Internet Movie Database, Jackie Dennis Trivia. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
  4. ^ Kerr was primarily known as a choreographer on the television program Ready Steady Go!. Taylor managed him during a brief singing career, which included one single, "Magic Potion", a Bacharach-David composition. Kerr also toured the United Kingdom in a performance package with Adam Faith, Sandie Shaw, The Barron Knights and The Paramounts, who later became Procol Harum. See Andy Neill, Patrick Kerr: Dancer and choreographer who got the nation's teenagers moving on 'Ready Steady Go!. Obituary, The Independent, August 28, 2009. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
  5. ^ a b c Tim Auld, Interview with 1960s icon Sandie Shaw. The Telegraph, September 13, 2010. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  6. ^ a b Uncredited, British Music Experience, Biography of Sandie Shaw. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
  7. ^ Tom Jones Interview, The Mail on Sunday, February 6, 2011. As reprinted by Songfacts. Retrieved 2011-09-29. Jones asserts that, once Sandie Shaw heard his demo version, she considered the song to be his.