R. Dean Taylor

R. Dean Taylor

R. Dean Taylor (born Richard Dean Taylor, 1939, Toronto, Ontario, Canada [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&searchlink=R|DEAN|TAYLOR&sql=11:0pfrxq95ldte~T1 Allmusic.com - Biography by Jason Ankeny] ] ) is a singer, most famous as an recording artist, songwriter, and record producer for Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s. Taylor remains one of the most underrated acts ever to record under the Motown aegis. After first proving his mettle as a chart-topping staff songwriter, his own single "Indiana Wants Me" was a Top Five smash in 1970, becoming one of the label's first major crossover hits performed by a white artist.


Taylor began his career in 1961, as a pianist and singer with several bands in Toronto. He also made his first recordings in 1961, for the Audiomaster record label. The following year, Taylor's "At The High School Dance", a single for Amy-Mala Records, was a minor success. A follow-up on the Barry label, "I'll Remember", was a #23 hit on Toronto rock and roll radio station, CHUM-AM, and the singer decided to move to Detroit, Michigan to further his career.

In Detroit, Taylor was hired by Motown Records in 1964 as a songwriter and recording artist on the Motown subsidiary V.I.P. 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 #1 hits for The Supremes. However, the song was only a regional hit 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 U.S. - but later it was a #3 hit in the UK in 1974. Taylor was also beginning to blossom as 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 U.S. singles in 1967, co-penned by Taylor.

In 1968, Taylor hit the UK Singles Chart when his self-produced single "Gotta See Jane", (co-written with Brian Holland), became a Top 20 hit.cite book
first= David
last= Roberts
year= 2006
title= British Hit Singles & Albums
edition= 19th
publisher= Guinness World Records Limited
location= London
pages= p. 550
id= ISBN 1-904994-10-5
] However, his real success came as a member of the Motown writing and production team known as "The Clan". This production group briefly took over as the prime creators of material for Diana Ross & the Supremes after the Holland/Dozier/Holland team left Motown. Among Taylor's hit co-compositions and co-productions in 1968/69 as a member of The Clan were Diana Ross & the Supremes' #1 U.S. hit "Love Child" and their #10 hit "I'm Livin' in Shame".

Taylor resumed his recording career in 1970, becoming one of the first artists assigned to Motown's new Rare Earth subsidiary, which was dedicated to white artists. His first Rare Earth single, "Indiana Wants Me" in 1970, became a #1 hit in his native Canada. It peaked in the United States 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 hit in Canada. His 1972 single "Taos, New Mexico" did not carry his momentum forward on the Canadian charts.

Taylor continued recording for Rare Earth, and working as a writer/producer for other artists until Rare Earth closed down in 1976. Though he never again scaled 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 in the early 1980s, after which he took a hiatus from the music industry. He resurfaced in the late 1990s as the headliner at several overseas Northern soul showcases. He has more recently set up his own record label, the appropriately dubbed 'Jane Records'.



Early singles

*1962: "At The High School Dance" (Amy-Mala)
*1962: "I'll Remember" (Barry) (Toronto (CHUM) #23)

V.I.P. releases

*1965: "Let's Go Somewhere" (Toronto (CHUM) #39)
*1967: "There's A Ghost In My House"
*1967: "Gotta See Jane" (UK #17)

Rare Earth releases

*1970: "Indiana Wants Me" (Canada #1, U.S. Billboard #5, U.S. Cashbox #1, UK #2)
*1971: "Ain't It A Sad Thing" (Canada #35, U.S. #66)
*1971: "Gotta See Jane" [re-issue] (Canada #12, U.S. #67)
*1971: "Candy Apple Red" (U.S. #104)
*1972: "Taos, New Mexico" (U.S. #83)
*1973: "Shadow"
*1974: "There's A Ghost In My House" [re-issue] (UK #3)
*1974: "Window Shopping" (UK #36)
*1974: "Gotta See Jane" [re-issue] (UK #41)
*1974: "Wipe My Tears Away" (duet with Mandy)
*1976: "We'll Show Them All"

Later singles

*1983: "Let's Talk It Over" (U.S. C&W #90)


*1970: "I Think, Therefore I Am" (Rare Earth) (U.S. #198) [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&searchlink=R|DEAN|TAYLOR&sql=11:0pfrxq95ldte~T5 Allmusic.com - Charts & Awards] ]
*1971: "Indiana Wants Me" (Motown)
*1975: "LA Sunset " (Polydor)

ongwriting credits

*"A Little Bit for Sandy" - Paul Petersen
*"Ain't It a Sad Thing" - Taylor
*"All I Need" - The Temptations
*"At The High School Dance" - Taylor
*"Baster Baby Blues" - The Kinsey Sicks
*"Dance Hall Rock" - Barrington Levy
*"Don't Fool Around" - Taylor
*"Ghost In My House" - Taylor, Graham Parker
*"Go on and Cry" - The Mynah Birds, Bloodstone
*"Gotta See Jane" - Taylor, The Fall, Golden Earring
*"I Don't Want to Own You (I Just Want to Love You)" - The Supremes
*"I Know Better" - Gladys Knight & the Pips
*"I'll Turn to Stone" - Four Tops, Jackie DeShannon
*"I'm Living in Shame" - Diana Ross & The Supremes
*"Indiana Wants Me" - Taylor, Joe Simon
*"It Must Be Love Baby" - Chris Clark
*"It's My Time" - The Mynah Birds
*"Just Look What You've Done" - Brenda Holloway
*"Let's Go Somewhere" - Taylor, David Garrick
*"Love Child" - Diana Ross & The Supremes, La Toya Jackson
*"Love's Your Name" - Taylor
*"Mother You Smother Me" - Diana Ross & The Supremes
*"Offering" - Fred Wesley
*"Shadow" - Taylor, Tindersticks
*"So Long" - Marvin Gaye
*"The Beginning of the End of Love" - The Supremes
*"There's A Ghost in My House" - Taylor, The Fall, Graham Parker, The Fog Band
*"Turn To Stone" - Rick Danko
*"Window Shopping" - Taylor [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:0pfrxq95ldte~1~T32C Allmusic.com - Songs] ]

ee also

*List of Motown Records artists
*Cashbox Top 100 number-one singles of 1970
*List of 1970s one-hit wonders in the United States
*List of people with surname Taylor


External links

* [http://www.rdeantaylor.com Official site]
* [http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/Pop_Encyclopedia/T/Taylor_RDean.html Biography at Canoe -- Jam! Music - Canadian pop encyclopedia]
* [http://www.1050chum.com/index_chumcharts.aspx?artist=7376 Artist page] from the CHUM Chart
* [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&searchlink=R|DEAN|TAYLOR&sql=11:0pfrxq95ldte~T51 Allmusic biography]

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