Vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Sam Taylor is the son of the late saxophonist Sam "the Man" Taylor. The younger Taylor didn't really grow up with his father, though, as Sam Sr. left the family to find a better career in New York. Taylor's family eventually moved to Brooklyn, and the young Sam was influenced by his mother, who also came from a performing background in vaudeville shows. He began singing in church at age five and later trained to become a boxer. He eventually fought as a pro boxer for 86 bouts and then found a more peaceful pursuit with his guitar. But through it all, he kept up his gospel singing and songwriting efforts.
Taylor has been recording since 1959. His discography and sessionography credits include Atlantic, Colpix, Capitol, Roulette, Stax and Road Show Records. As a songwriter, he's written songs recorded by Sam and Dave, Elvis Presley, Freddie King, Jackie Wilson, Jimmy Witherspoon, Esther Phillips, Brook Benton, the Beach Boys, Maxine Brown and Joey Dee and the Starlighters. As a guitarist and singer, he's accompanied the likes of Otis Redding, the Isley Brothers, Albert Collins, T-Bone Walker, Tracy Nelson and Mother Earth, Big Joe Turner and the Drifters.
Taylor recorded two albums for the Tucson-based Trope Records in 1995, Desert Soul and Bluz Man. On both his records for Trope, Taylor is accompanied by Heather "Lil Mama" Hardy on violin, Ed DeLucia on guitar, Mike Nordberg on bass and Jerome Kimsey on drums. Taylor continues to tour regionally around the Southwest. Trope Records had plans to release two more recordings of Taylor's in 1996 or 1997. In the meantime, Taylor is a regular at B.B. King's in Los Angeles and remains active on the southern California and Southwest festival circuit. ~ Richard Skelly