James Taylor

James Taylor was a member of the fine Texas funk band the TSU Toronadoes (sometimes “Toronados”) and had one 45 on Skippy Lee Frazier’s Houston based Ovide label, on which the Toronadoes had most of their releases. The backing track to his funky “Love With Hope” was also released by the band as “Play The Music Toronados” (Volt 4038) as an instrumental with some girl singers and a party atmosphere. I prefer the slower flip ListenEverything About You which features his soulful light tenor, full of gospel touches.

Taylor's second, and last (?) 45 is a real rarity. Both sides were written and produced by the late George Jackson in Memphis, and its’ possible that the mention of Houston as well as the River City on the label might be a clue as to how the recording came about. Jackson had already recorded the strutting funk of “You Can’t Run Away From Love” himself (MGM 14680) but Taylor does a bang up job on the track. Once again I prefer the gentler ListenIs It Love. This has a very pronounced Al Green feel both on the chord changes of the song and the way that Taylor goes about singing it. A really nice laid back feel to this one. The label design looks very like the Casino label which also produced some high quality sides on Shelbra Deane and may be the first attempt for the owners Carl Friend and Harry Winfield.


ListenEverything about you / Love without hope ~ OVIDE 242 (1968/9?)
You can’t run away from love / ListenIs it love ~ CASINO 101 (mid 70s?)

Special thanks to my great friend Greg Burgess for extra info.

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