Shooby Taylor

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William "Shooby" Taylor
Born (1929-09-19)September 19, 1929
Indiana Township, Pennsylvania, U.S.[1]
Origin U.S.
Died June 4, 2003(2003-06-04) (aged 73)
Genres Scat, Outsider music
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocal
Years active c. 1975 - c. 1984[2]
Labels N/A
Website www.shooby.com

William "Shooby" Taylor (September 19, 1929 – June 4, 2003) was an African American jazz vocalist famous for scat singing over various records, including the Ink Spots, the Harmonicats and Cristy Lane in a baritone voice. Nicknamed "The Human Horn", he is noted for his highly idiosyncratic scat style, using sounds and syllables quite unlike those used by other scat singers.

Biography[edit]

Shooby Taylor was born in Indiana Township, Pennsylvania, on September 19, 1929.[1] Shortly thereafter he moved with his family to Harlem, where he spent the majority of his life. Besides Shooby's several decades of pursuing a career as a scat singer, he also worked 21 years as a New York City postal worker.

Shooby recorded as Shooby Taylor, the human instrument. There is at least one "arcade recording", a two sided 45 rpm record of the acapella scat Expressing Myself parts 1 & 2 from 1971. This was given as a gift to Beverly Anderson who worked at the veterans hospital in Staten Island where, according to Beverly, Mr. Taylor was an intermittent psyche ward patient.[citation needed][importance?]

Taylor was a participant on Amateur Night on the syndicated television program It's Showtime at the Apollo.[3][4]

In 1992, Shooby moved to a senior complex in Newark, New Jersey. Shooby experienced a stroke in 1994[5] that crippled his scat skill, also stopping him from recording and performing.

Shooby was "re-discovered" in spring 2002 by producer Rick Goetz. On August 28, 2002, Shooby appeared for his first and only radio interview on WFMU.[citation needed]

Taylor went missing soon after the interview. He died on June 4, 2003.[6] Plans for an official CD release of his work are still pending.

Discography[edit]

Shooby Taylor the Human Instrument "Expressing Myself" parts 1 & 2 January 1971 (on Shooby Records)

Legacy[edit]

In the song "Walk & Chew Gum" by the band Optiganally Yours, there's a mentioning of Shooby Taylor in the last line of their scat-like bridge.

The Adam and Joe Show, a UK TV series from the 1990s, used the first 4 seconds of Shooby Taylor's version of "Lift Every Voice and Sing", at the start of their theme tune.

In the Illumitoon film Sing, a recording of "Stout Hearted Man" is used for one of the auditions.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mardesich, Andy. "Shooby.com - Dedicated to the Talented Shooby Taylor The Human Horn". shooby.com. Retrieved March 6, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Shooby Taylor: The Human Horn | Journal by Irwin Chusid". Keyofz.com. Retrieved March 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Dedicated to the Talented Shooby Taylor The Human Horn". Shooby.com. Retrieved March 10, 2013. 
  4. ^ Austen, Jake (July 1, 2005). "TV-a-Go-Go: Rock on TV from American Bandstand to American Idol". Chicago Review Press. Retrieved March 6, 2017 – via Google Books. 
  5. ^ "Shooby Taylor: The Human Horn | Journal by Irwin Chusid". Keyofz.com. Retrieved March 10, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Shooby Taylor: 1929-2003". Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  7. ^ O'Sullivan, Michael; O'Sullivan, Michael (December 20, 2016). "As crooning animals, Hollywood heavyweights give 'Sing' the boost it needs". Retrieved March 6, 2017 – via washingtonpost.com. 

External links[edit]