1. He was actually born in Massachusetts, but raised in North Carolina.
2. His mother, Gertrude, was an aspiring opera singer before she married Taylor’s father, She even studied at the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music!
3. Taylor first learned to play the cello as a child, then the guitar in 1960 (at 12 ). Taylor wrote his first song on guitar at age 14.
4. He became the first non-British act signed to Apple Records.
5. Paul McCartney and George Harrison are “guest vocals” on the song “Carolina In My Mind.”
The line “holy host of others standing around me” makes reference to them.
6. The line “something in the way she moves” in the George Harrison song, “Something”, came from the title of the James Taylor song “Something In The Way She Moves”.
Taylor didn’t know about it until Harrison’s song was recorded and released.
7. His actual debut album was “James Taylor” released in Dec. 1968 in the U.K. and Feb. 1969 in the U.S. It wasn’t a hit.
8. Ingénue, a leading teen magazine at the time, once held a contest as to who was the better of two of 1970’s hottest singers: Elton John or James Taylor? (One thing’s for sure: They both have staying power!).
9. “You’ve Got A Friend” has backup vocals by Joni Mitchell (I thought it was Carole King!).
10. The “Walking Man” album featured “appearances” by Paul and Linda McCartney.
11. On Dec. 7, 1980, Taylor had a brief encounter with Mark David Chapman, who would go on to kill John Lennon the next day. Taylor lived in the next building from Lennon; he heard the assassination.
12. He once thought of retiring in early 1985, but changed his mind upon accepting an offer to play at an event in Rio de Janiero. The audience response was so positive that it moved Taylor to write “Only A Dream In Rio”.
13. Taylor is the second of five children-Alex was the oldest, then James, Kate, Livingston and Hugh.
14. His first band,The Flying Machine, is not the same group that had the 1969 hit, “Smile A Little Smile For Me”. A British studio band with the same name were the hit makers.
15. He did some acoustic guitar work on Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” album (1971).
16. Taylor sang backup for “Back In The High Life Again” by Steve Winwood (1986).
17. He and Linda Ronstadt did backup on Neil Young’s “Old Man” and “Heart of Gold” from the “Harvest” album. Twenty years later, the three reunited for Young’s “Harvest Moon” album; Taylor and Ronstadt sang backup on “War of Man’, the title track and “From Hank to Hendrix.”
For more info, go to www.jamestaylor.com and www.jamestaylor.net.