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Mississippi Writers and Musicians
MISSISSIPPI MUSICIANS: Eddie "Playboy" Taylor


Eddie "Playboy" Taylor 1923-1985

Major Works

  • 1972  Ready for Eddie  Big Bear
  • 1972  I Feel So Bad          Hightone
  • 1978  Bad Boy a Long Way from Chicago   P-Vine
  • 1981   Big Town Playboy    Charly
  • 1988    Still Not Ready for Eddie   Antone's
  • 1994    Stormy Monday   Blues Beacon
  • 1994    My Heart Is Bleeding    Evidence
  • 1995   Long Way from Home  (re-released) Blind Pig
    Bad Boy (Taylor)
    Baby Please Don't Go (Morganfield)
    My Sometimes Baby
    There'll Be a Day (Taylor)
    Crossroads (Johnson)
    Hoy Hoy (Jones)
    Goin' Down Slow (Oden)I Feel So Bad, Eddie Taylor
    I Don't Know (Mabon/Thomas
    You're Gonna Look for Me (And I'll Be Hard
    Signals of Love (Abner/Reed)
    Blow Wind Blow
  • 1995    Eddie "Big Town Playboy" Taylor

I'm a Country Boy

    Seems Like A Million Years
    Gamblin' Man
    After Hours
    Sloppy Drunk
    Ready For Eddie
    You Don't Love Me
    Too Late To Cry
    You'll Always Have A Home
    Playboy Boogie

  • Live in Japan, 1977

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Eddie Taylor: A Biography
By Christopher Miles (SHS)

Mississippi is known for its many blues musicians, and  Eddie Taylor is one if these artists.  Although he often found himself in Jimmy Reed’s shadow, he was a great guitar player. Eddie Taylor was born to Joseph Taylor and Mamie Gaston iJanuary 29, 1923.  His mother and father separated when he was young, and Taylor had to stay home from school and work on his mother's farm in Benoit, Mississippi.  In 1936 he got his first guitar and taught himself how to play it.  His son, Eddie Taylor, Jr, said in a recent interview that his father was a natural guitar player.

Taylor's playing style became that of the delta tradition (All Music Guides). Listening to the music of his favorite musicians, Charley Palton and Robert Pelway, pushed Taylor  to try harder.  Little did Eddie Taylor known that he would eventually grow into a great blues guitarist. In 1949, Eddie Taylor moved to Chicago where he began working with Jimmy Lee Robinson in Jake's Tavern. Club Jumboree was another club Taylor played.  According to one source, a blues man named  Freddie King moved north to Chicago in his mid-teens., and in 1950  became influenced by local blues guitarists Eddie 'Playboy' Taylor and Robert Lockwood.  King absorbed elements from both of these blues men's styles before he added elements of Magic Sam and Otis Rush.  Taylor himself  began playing  behind Jimmy Reed in 1953.  This fact is interesting because Eddie Taylor taught Jimmy Reed to play guitar back in Leland, Mississippi.  Eddie Taylor primarily became known for playing with Jimmy Reed.

 Eddie TaylorDuring the 1970s Big Bear Records steadily built a worldwide reputation with its  now-legendary recordings of important
American blues men like Doctor Ross, Homesick  James, Lightnin’ Slim, Big John Wrencher, Snooky Prior, Tommy Tucker, Eddie Playboy Taylor, Eddie Guitar Burns and others. Even though  Eddie Taylor is known for playing with Jimmy Reed, he did make solo albums.He got a chance to show his vocal skills through songs like “Ready for Eddie,” “I Feel So Bad,” and “Big Town Play Boy” (All Music Guides).His best-known solo album is I Feel So Bad. Eddie Taylor was underrated while he was alive, and Chaos Music states, "Eddie Taylor was never a self-promoter, and he has probably sold more records since his death in 1985 than while he was alive. His son Edward released a tribute album in 1998.

Eddie Taylor had eight children. His first child, Brenda Taylor, was born in 1963. In the interview Eddie Taylor Jr. said about his sister, "She likes to joke around." Vera's first son, Larry Taylor, was born in 1955 and was taught to play drums by Howlin' Wolf's drummer Cassell Burrows. Eddie Taylor's first son, Timothy Taylor, was born in 1965, and he also plays drums. Edna Taylor, who was born in 1967, likes to sing. Valicia Taylor was born in 1969. Edward Taylor, Jr., a guitarist like his father, was born in 1972. Born in 1975 was Demetria Taylor, who enjoys playing the drums. Milton Taylor was the last born in 1975. He plays the drums also.

In conclusion, Eddie Taylor was  a great guitarist and father. Eddie Taylor died on Christmas day, December 25, 1985, in Chicago.

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Interview with Edward Taylor, Jr.Christopher Miles, SHS Researcher
by Christopher Miles (SHS),  April, 2002

Where did Eddie Taylor attend school?
“He didn’t go to school.  He stayed home and worked on the farm.”

What year did your mother and father get married?
“They got married in 1972.”

How many children does Eddie Taylor have?
“Eight”

What are there names and some of the things they like to do?
“Larry Taylor was born in 1955. He plays drums and sings.
Brenda Taylor was born in 1963. She likes to joke around.
Timothy Taylor was born in 1965. He plays the drums.
Edna Taylor was born in 1967. She likes to sing.
Valicia Taylor was born in 1969. She didn’t play or sing.  I (Edward Taylor Jr.) was born in 1972. I play guitar. Demetria Taylor was born in 1973. She plays the drums. Milton Taylor was born 1975. He plays drums.

Does Eddie Taylor have any brothers and sister?
“Yes, but he did not know any of them.”

Is there anything else I need to know?
“He helped invent post war blues.” 

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Timeline

1923- Eddie Taylor was born in Benoit, Mississippi.
1936- Eddie Taylor got his first guitar.
1949- Eddie Taylor moved to Chicago, Illinois
1953 -Began playing behind Jimmy Reed
1954- Eddie Taylor signed with VeeJay Records.
1955- Eddie Taylor toured with Jimmy Reed. Vera's son, Larry Taylor, was born.
1957- Eddie Taylor started working at Pepper's Lounge. Met Vera, later his wife
1963- Eddie Taylor's daughter, Brenda Taylor, was born.
1964- Eddie Taylor begins working with Paul Butterfield.
1966- Eddie Taylor's son, Timothy Taylor, was born.
1966- Eddie Taylor made a song with Jimmy Reed on Blues Day Label.
1967- Eddie Taylor's second daughter, Edna Taylor,was born.
1969- Valicia Taylor, Eddy Taylor's daughter, was born.
1972- Ready for Eddie released by Big Bear, Edward Taylor Jr. was born, Eddie Taylor married Vera
           I Feel So Bad released by Hightone
1973- Eddie Taylor's daughter, Demetria Taylor, was born.
1974 --I'm A Country Boy recorded by  Eddie "Playboy" Taylor & The Blueshounds and included these songs:
1975- Milton Taylor was born.
1978--Bad Boy a Long Way from Chicago   P-Vine.
1981--Big Town Playboy    Charly
1985- Eddie Taylor died on December 25, Christmas DVera Taylor, You Better Be Carefulay.
1988-  Still Not Ready for Eddie by  Antone's
1994--Stormy Monday  released by Blues Beacon
        --My Heart Is Bleeding   Evidence
1995   Long Way from Home [live]  Blind Pig
           Eddie "Big Town Playboy" Taylor
1998--Edward Taylor: A Tribute To Eddie Taylor: Lookin' For Trouble (Wolf 1998).
1999--You Better Be Careful  recorded by Eddie's wife Vera Taylor, her sons back her.  She died before she could really enjoy her success as a singer.

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Related WebsitesLong Way from Home, Eddie Taylor

his site speaks of Vera Taylor.

Read a biography of Eddie Taylor.

Additional information about Taylor and audio clips at All Music Guides.

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Bibliography

“Eddie Taylor.” All Music Guides. 3 pages. March 15, 2002.
    http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=Bhxkvikl6bbo9

“Eddie Taylor.” Big Hollow Twang. Geocities. March 19, 2002. <http://www.geocites.com/bighollowtwang/EddieTaylor.html>.

“Eddie Taylor.” Blind Pig Artists. March 19, 2002 <http://www.blindpigrecords.com/artists/Taylor,+Eddie.html>.

“Eddie Taylor.” Center Stage. March 19, 2002 <http://centerstage.net/musicwhoswho/EddieTaylor.Html>.

Eddie Taylor.  Telephone interview by Chris Miles.  April, 2002.

Harris, Shelden. “Eddie ‘Playboy’ Taylor.” Blues Who’s Who: A Biographical Dictionary of Blues Singers. ADA Capo Paper Book, 1979. 493-494.

Santelli, Rodert. “Eddie Taylor.” Big Book of Blues. New York: Penguin Book USA, 1993. 388-389. 

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2002, Updated February 28, 2008
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