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Wanted: One Soul Singer

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Album Review

Johnnie Taylor set the tone for his recording career at Stax with Wanted: One Soul Singer, a consistently gritty collection of blues and raw, hard-hitting Memphis soul. In addition to his appealing medium-sized hits "Just The One I've Been Lookin' For" and "I Had A Dream," Wanted (reissued on CD in 1991) boasts pleasant surprises ranging from the addictive "Toe-Hold" to gutsy versions of Merle Travis' "Sixteen Tons" and the standard "Blues In The Night." Adding lyrics to Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man," Taylor removes the song's jazz elements and turns it into pure Southern R&B. When Wanted was released, Taylor (who has occasionally been confused with bluesman Little Johnny Taylor) had yet to become the soul-radio fixture that "Who's Making Love" would make him, but these solid performances show that he was definitely on the right track.


Born: 05 May 1938 in Crawfordsville, AR

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Young gospel phenom, gritty Stax/Volt soulster, lady-killing balladeer, chart-topping disco king, Southern soul-blues stalwart -- Johnnie Taylor somehow always managed to adapt to the times, and he parlayed that versatility into a recording career that lasted nearly four decades. Nicknamed the "Philosopher of Soul" during his Stax days, that version of Taylor is best remembered for his 1968 R&B chart-topping smash "Who's Making Love," but far and away his biggest success was 1976's across-the-board...
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Wanted: One Soul Singer, Johnnie Taylor
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