R. Dean Taylor

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R. Dean Taylor
Birth nameRichard Dean Taylor
Born (1939-05-11) 11 May 1939 (age 82)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
GenresPop, rockabilly, soul
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, record producer, musician
Years active1961–present
LabelsRare Earth/Motown Records

Richard Dean Taylor (born 11 May 1939),[1] known professionally as R. Dean Taylor, is a Canadian singer, most notable as a recording artist, songwriter, and record producer for Motown during the 1960s and 1970s. According to Jason Ankeny, Taylor "remains one of the most underrated acts ever to record under the Motown aegis."[1]

As a singer, American audiences know Taylor best for his chart-topping 1970 hit "Indiana Wants Me",[2] which hit No. 1 in Cash Box in the United States and was also No. 1 in Canada and No. 2 in the UK. It peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was featured in the opening minutes of the 1980 American movie, The Ninth Configuration. He is well known in the United Kingdom for other hits, including "Gotta See Jane" and "There's a Ghost in My House".


Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Taylor began his career in 1961, as a pianist and singer with several music bands in Toronto. He also made his first recordings in 1961, for the Audiomaster record label. The next year, Taylor's "At The High School Dance", a single for Amy-Mala Records, was a minor success. His next single, "I'll Remember", on the Barry label, was a No. 23 success for Toronto rock and roll radio station CHUM, and the singer decided to relocate to Detroit, Michigan, to further his career.

In Detroit, Taylor was hired by Motown Records in 1964 as a songwriter and recording artist for the Motown subsidiary V.I.P. label. Taylor's scheduled first single (March 1964) for V.I.P. was the topical satire "My Ladybug (Stay Away From That Beatle)", but it was deemed too weak for release and was never issued.

It was not until November 1965 that Taylor's debut V.I.P. single, "Let's Go Somewhere", was issued. It was written by Taylor in conjunction with Brian Holland, and produced by the team of Holland and Lamont Dozier, who had already produced five No. 1 scoring songs for The Supremes. However, the song was only a regional success in several U.S. cities and Toronto.

Taylor's next single (1967's "There's A Ghost In My House") was written by the team of Holland–Dozier–Holland along with Taylor, and again produced by Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier. It was also a commercial disappointment in the US – but it was a No. 3 hit in the UK Singles Chart in 1974. Taylor was also beginning to become a songwriter for other acts, as "I'll Turn to Stone" by the Four Tops, and "All I Need" by The Temptations were both charting US singles in 1967, co-composed by him.

In 1968, Taylor's self-produced single "Gotta See Jane", (co-written with Brian Holland), became a Top 20 hit in the UK.[3] However, his real success came as a member of the Motown writing and production team known as "The Clan". This production group was briefly the prime creator of material for Diana Ross & the Supremes after the Holland / Dozier / Holland team left Motown. Among Taylor's successful co-compositions and co-productions during 1968 and 1969 as a member of The Clan were Diana Ross & the Supremes' No. 1 US hit "Love Child" and their Top 10 follow-up hit "I'm Livin' In Shame".

Taylor resumed his recording career in 1970, becoming one of the first artists assigned to Motown's new subsidiary Rare Earth, which was dedicated to white artists. In that year his first Rare Earth single, "Indiana Wants Me", became a No. 1 hit in his native Canada and in Cash Box magazine in the US. It peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and at No. 2 in the UK. "Gotta See Jane" was also reissued in 1971, and became a Top 10 success in Canada. His 1972 single "Taos New Mexico" did not do well on the Canadian charts, reaching number 48.

Taylor continued recording for Rare Earth, and working as a writer / producer for other artists until Rare Earth was ended in 1976. Though he never again scored the charts as he had done with "Indiana Wants Me", his releases did moderately well, especially in Canada. As a Canadian citizen, he could be played on CKLW and other Canadian radio stations and counted towards the stations' Canadian content quotas.

Taylor attempted a comeback during the early 1980s, after which he had a hiatus from the music industry. He also established his own record company, Jane Records, in 1973.



Audio Master releases[edit]

  • 1961: "At The High School Dance"

Barry releases[edit]

  • 1962: "At The High School Dance"
  • 1962: "We Fell In Love As We Tangoed"
  • 1962: "I'll Remember" (Toronto (CHUM) No. 23)

Mala releases[edit]

  • 1963: "It's A Long Way To St. Louis"

V.I.P. releases[edit]

  • 1965: "Let's Go Somewhere" (Toronto (CHUM) No. 39)
  • 1967: "There's a Ghost in My House" (UK No. 3, May 1974)
  • 1967: "Gotta See Jane" (UK No. 17, June 1968, NL No. 32)

Rare Earth releases[edit]

  • 1970: "Indiana Wants Me" (Canada No. 1, US Billboard No. 5, US Cashbox No. 1, UK No. 2, South Africa No. 3, Australia No. 30) (RE 5013)
  • 1971: "Ain't It A Sad Thing" (Canada No. 35, US No. 66) (RE 5023)
  • 1971: "Gotta See Jane" [re-issue] (Canada No. 12, US No. 67, Australia No. 89) (RE 5004)
  • 1971: "Candy Apple Red" (Canada No. 69, US No. 104) (RE 5030)
  • 1972: "Taos, New Mexico" (Canada No. 48, US No. 83, US Adult Contemporary No. 28, NL No. 22, Australia No. 98) (RE 5041)
  • 1973: "Shadow" (Canada No. 75) (RE 5041)

Polydor releases[edit]

  • 1974: "Window Shopping" (UK No. 36)
  • 1974: "Walkin' In The Sun"
  • 1976: "We'll Show Them All" (Can. No. 77)(Polydor 2065288)

Tamla – Rare Earth – Motown releases[edit]

  • 1967: "There's A Ghost In My House"
  • 1968: "Gotta See Jane" (UK No. 17)
  • 1971: "Indiana Wants Me" (UK No. 2; US No. 5)
  • 1974: "Don't Fool Around"
  • 1974: "There's A Ghost In My House" [re-issue] (UK No. 3, NL No. 29)
  • 1974: "Gotta See Jane" [re-issue] (UK No. 41)
  • 2004: "There's A Ghost In My House/Gotta See Jane" [re-issue]

Jane releases[edit]

  • 1973: "Sweet Flowers"
  • 1973: "Bonnie"
  • 1974: "Wipe My Tears Away"
  • 1974: "Walkin' In The Sun"
  • 1975: "Let's Talk It Over"
  • 1976: "We'll Show Them All"
  • 1976: "Bonnie"
  • 1976: "Closer My Love"
  • 1977: "Dixie's Hands"

Farr releases[edit]

  • 1976: "We'll Show Them All"

Ragamuffin releases[edit]

  • 1979: "I'll Name The Baby After You"

Strummer releases[edit]

  • 1982: "Out In The Alley"
  • 1982: "Let's Talk It Over"(No. 90 on U.S. Country charts)

20th Century Fox releases[edit]


  • 1970: I Think, Therefore I Am (Rare Earth) (Canada No. 50)[5] (U.S. No. 198)[4]
  • 1971: Indiana Wants Me (Motown / Sounds Superb)
  • 1975: LA Sunset (Polydor)
  • 2001: The Essential Collection (Spectrum)

Songwriting credits[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Jason Ankeny. "R. Dean Taylor | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Top 50 Canadian Chart". RPM Magazine, Canadian Content, – Volume 13, No. 23 July 25, 1970
  3. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 550. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ a b "R. Dean Taylor | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  5. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums – February 13, 1971" (PDF).
  6. ^ "R. Dean Taylor | Songs". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 January 2014.

External links[edit]