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James Taylor Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (19) | Personal Quotes (81)

Overview (4)

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Birth NameJames Vernon Taylor
Nicknames Stringbean
JT
Height 6' 3" (1.91 m)

Mini Bio (1)

James Taylor was born on March 12, 1948 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA as James Vernon Taylor. He has been married to Caroline "Kim" Smedvig since February 18, 2001. They have two children. He was previously married to Kathryn Walker and Carly Simon.

Spouse (3)

Caroline "Kim" Smedvig (18 February 2001 - present) (2 children)
Kathryn Walker (14 December 1985 - 1995) (divorced)
Carly Simon (3 November 1972 - 1983) (divorced) (2 children)

Trade Mark (2)

Smooth and distinctive singing voice
Acoustic romantic ballads

Trivia (19)

Children with Carly Simon: Ben Taylor and Sally Taylor. Both are involved in music.
2000: Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
His late brother, Alex Taylor, and (still-living) sister Kate Taylor were both singer-songwriters; younger brother Livingston Taylor is still an active folk-pop-jazz performer.
3/30/04: Performed in Beverly Hills, CA, at a fund-raiser for John Kerry's Democratic presidential campaign.
Has twin sons, Henry and Rufus, with his 3rd wife, born via a surrogate mother.
2004: In the fall he participated in the Vote for Change concert tour organized to encourage the defeat of George W. Bush in the U.S. presidential election.
October 2004: Performed the Star Spangled Banner at Fenway Park in Boston for Game 2 of the World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox.
Was nominated for Broadway's 1978 Tony Award, for both music and lyrics, as one of several people sharing a nomination as Best Score for "Working."
He was voted the 84th Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Artist of all time by Rolling Stone.
Was once signed by The Beatles' Apple label in the late 1960s.
10/4/07: Grandchild Bodhi Taylor Bragonier born.
Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2000.
Ex-brother-in-law of Lucy Simon, Joanne Simon and Peter Simon.
He was awarded the 2010 National Medal of Arts for his contributions to American music. His voice and guitar playing are among the most recognized in popular music and his expansive list of songs has had a profound influence on songwriters and music lovers from all walks of life.
Is a staunch Democrat.
Performed in Beverly Hills, California, USA, at a fund-raiser for John Kerry's Democratic presidential campaign on 30 March 2004. [March 2004]
When Taylor was still an unknown singer-songwriter starting out in the sixties, British producer Peter Asher, then head of A&R at The Beatles's Apple Records, signed him and produced his first album in London titled, "James Taylor" (1968) featuring tracks "Something in the Way She Moves", "Rainy Day Man", "Carolina in My Mind", etc.
Longtime friend of legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
Was in a band called the Flying Machine during the late sixties. The band had been signed to a recording contract, but broke up before they could make any records. However, the label they were signed to owned the name and had another band use the name. That group recorded the top ten single "Smile a Little Smile For Me". Interestingly, the sleeve on the 45 used a photo of the original group members including Taylor.

Personal Quotes (81)

Music is like a huge release of tension.
The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
I find it a lot healthier for me to be someplace where I can go outside in my bare feet.
Being on a boat that's moving through the water, it's so clear. Everything falls into place in terms of what's important and what's not.
People should watch out for three things: avoid a major addiction, don't get so deeply into debt that it controls your life, and don't start a family before you're ready to settle down.
I don't read music. I don't write it. So I wander around on the guitar until something starts to present itself.
Certain things in life are more important than the usual crap that everyone strives for.
You have to choose whether to love yourself or not.
I believe musicians have a duty, a responsibility to reach out, to share your love or pain with others.
I don't take compliments very easily. I think most musicians suffer from low self-esteem to some extent.
I'm trying to look at my blessings and how amazingly well against all odds things have turned out for me.
We all have to face pain, and pain makes us grow.
It is the most delightful thing that ever happens to me, when I hear something coming out of my guitar and out of my mouth that wasn't there before.
I collect hats. That's what you do when you're bald.
What I've always done as an entertainer is try to come up with things that people will find interesting, or compelling, or humorous.
Sobering up was responsible for breaking up my marriage. That's what it couldn't stand.
To me, very much of what is artistic is people's very creative and inventive ways out of impossible situations.
Ireland, Italy and Brazil are the most musical places for me. They're extremely musical cultures and anything you pitch they basically catch.
That's the motivation of an artist - to seek attention of some kind.
Somehow it helps just to take something that's internal and externalize it, to see it in front of you.
I'm glad that I still have the ability to tour in Europe. I do love it.
I don't think anyone really says anything new.
I am myself for a living. I don't animate a character.
I don't play the kind of music that works in a football stadium.
It is a process of discovery. It's being quiet enough and undisturbed enough for a period of time so that the songs can begin to sort of peek out, and you begin to have emotional experiences in a musical way.
If you think my music is sentimental and self-absorbed, I agree with you.
I think it surprises a lot of people that I'm still around, you know, still - that I'm not pushing up daisies, as they say.
Fortunately, it doesn't seem to have made a lot of difference to my audience that I'm as bald as a billiard ball!
Bruce Springsteen's a rock star. Elton John is a rock star. I'm a folk musician. Honestly, I think that's true.
Songwriting is too mysterious and uncontrolled a process for me to direct it towards any one thing.
I sometimes wonder how many of these lifetime achievement awards you can accept before you have to do the decent thing and die.
I enjoy selling my music. I don't enjoy selling myself.
A concert is always like a feast day to me.
If you're an addict, it controls your life and your life becomes uncontrollable. It's boring and painful, filling your system with something that makes you stare at your shoes for six hours.
I think people are isolated because of the nature of human consciousness, and they like it when they feel the connection between themselves and someone else.
It's hard to find a way forward. When you're 18 it happens in huge chunks every day, but after 20 years, growth is much more costly.
It's a real wrenching thing to go from being a private person to being a public person, especially when you're being autobiographical.
I'm looking forward to being able to retire from being a public figure and being able to afford to be myself!
I was in chemical jail.
I tend to write out the first iteration of a lyric here and then go over here and make variations on it, on the page opposite.
I don't get into heavy political numbers because I don't find them lyrical.
I can take criticisms but not compliments.
I believe 100 percent in the power and importance of music.
I'm glad about what's happening to the music business. This last crop of people we had in the 90s, who are going away now, they didn't like music. They didn't trust musicians. They wanted something else from it.
Music is my living. I enjoy selling my music.
I started being a songwriter pretending I could do it, and it turned out I could.
I have a love-hate relationship with the Grammys because I don't see the music world as a competitive sport.
I had a very moral upbringing, and spiritual in a sort of not very specific way.
I don't read music. I don't write or read music.
I don't know much about God. But if everything does originate with God, then certainly songs do as well.
If you feel like singing along, don't.
If the gig's going really well, I'm incredibly happy on stage and really feel good about my life and things.
If I were to try to identify a turning point I'd say that was it - getting clean.
I was a functional addict.
I think that we're all totally isolated beings and always will be.
Performing is a profound experience, at least for me.
People have used my songs and guitar style to teach guitar for a long time.
Once you get that two-way energy thing going, everyone benefits hugely.
Knowing when to quit is probably a very important thing, but I just am not ready.
It's probably foolish to expect relationships to go on forever and to say that because something only lasts 10 years, it's a failure.
Things started to get out of control when I began reading that I was a superstar.
There'll come a writing phase where you have to defend the time, unplug the phone and put in the hours to get it done.
The best thing is when you hear somebody take your song and make something great of it.
The Beatles were a phenomenon, but they were also ordinary blokes like anyone else. I was lucky enough to see that side.
Television news is now entertainment, and the stories are being written by the people that have a special interest in them.
Photographers and reporters are mostly after me. They want to know what I read and what I'm like and I don't really know myself, so how can I tell them?
It's a real wrenching thing to go from being a private person to being a public person, especially when you're being autobiographical. But it's what everyone wants - to get everyone's attention, to have your music make a living for you, to be validated in that way.
I think that American music, for me, it's a synthesis of a lot of different things. But for me growing up in North Carolina, the stuff that I was listening to, the things that I was hearing, it was all about black music, about soul music.
I played the cello from when I was ten, and then I bought a guitar from the father of some friends of mine and played that for a while. And then when I was fourteen or so, I bought a guitar - a real nice one - in Durham, North Carolina, that I worked with up until I was about twenty-five.
Time will take your money, but money won't buy time.
When I cleaned up some 17 odd years ago, I felt terrible for about six months. The only thing that gave me any real relief was strenuous physical activity.
Though 'Fire and Rain' is very personal, for other people it resonates as a sort of commonly held experience... And that's what happens with me. I write things for personal reasons, and then in some cases it... can be a shared experience.
Performing is a profound experience, at least for me. It's not as if I sit down and play 'Fire and Rain' by myself, just to hear it again. But to offer it up... the energy that it somehow summons live takes me right back, and I do get a reconnection to the emotions.
I know there are people who don't like their audience or like the experience of being recognized or celebrated, but my audience has been very good - they don't bother me and when they do contact me it's usually on the nicest possible terms.
I don't reinvent myself in any major way. It seems to be a slow evolution. I go back and visit certain themes that I feel strongly about and resonate with me emotionally.
One of my earliest memories was me singing 'Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin' at the top of my voice when I was seven. I got totally carried away. My grandmother, Sarah, was in the next room. I didn't even realise she was there. I was terribly embarrassed.
I'm very unstable; there's no stability in a musician's life at all. You live on a bus or on the road hand to mouth and you don't know where your money's coming from.
I was a huge Beatles fan. We could talk about who I listened to growing up and what my sources were, but certainly the Beatles were a late, important resource for me, and I just took my guitar and a handful of songs, and I decided, well, I'll just go over and travel around Europe and see what comes of it.
I have a studio in a barn at home - we rehearse there, we film there and we record there. It's fun to hang out with my guys and see what comes out next.
Americans work a long away ahead of themselves because of the size of the place. To make any impact at all you have to promote yourself with live performances ages before a release.
When you write a song, it may come from a personal space, but it very seldom actually represents you. It comes out of a sort of mood of melancholy, somehow. It's almost theatrical.

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