Share via Email Timothy White, who has died of a heart attack aged 50, was the author of one of the biggest-selling rock biographies of all time, the definitive Catch A Fire:
To some extent, it was true. And he did hail from an affluent, musically talented family that could afford to send its progeny to exclusive prep schools and expensive private mental hospitals. But now James Taylor in his fifties has the benefit of hindsight to moderate any lingering grudges against a press that persistently pigeonholed him — first as a sort of Kurt Cobain of his day, and much later as a sleepy crooner with his most creative years behind him.
To understand grown-up JT you need to delve into his past. Navy, spent much of the marriage away from the family. Music was, unsurprisingly, a part of everyday life for the Taylors while the children were growing up. At his early concerts, James told the story of his first memory of music: Kootch was two years older, but he and James struck up a life-long friendship that inspired James to spend time improving his guitar skills.
They made very little money playing fraternity parties and high school dances, but it was that live experience that gave James the push he needed with the Fender guitar that had replaced its blue predecessor.
The next summer he and Kootch entered a local hootenanny contest on the Vineyard and took home first prize.
Old friend Danny Kortchmar was in Manhattan looking to start up a new band, having just broken up his old band, The King Bees.
Things turned sour soon after. Unable to extricate himself from his dismal situation and increasing addiction, he finally called his father in desperation.
Ike drove all the way to New York to pick him up and take him back home to North Carolina. Two years later in James found himself living in the Notting Hill Gate section of London with the idea in his head that he was going to make a record on his own.
He bought some cheap recording time in a low-rent studio, laid down some tracks, and tried shopping it to London record companies. Asher was helping the Beatles launch a new record label, and he was willing to give young JT a shot.
Even Paul McCartney joined in to play bass on some tracks. Then things began to turn around for JT. A major debut at the Troubadour in Los Angeles in July marked the beginning of what would be a meteoric rise to fame in America.
Sometime that year JT managed to severely injure his hands — reportedly in a motorcycle accident. The album hit platinum status by October and garnered five Grammy nominations.
Fans hypothesized and argued about its sometimes literal, sometimes metaphorical meaning and seldom got it quite right.
Most commonly, stories are told of the girlfriend, Suzanne, who the band had arranged to fly to meet JT as a surprise while on tour. JT explains that the song is really about three separate times in his life — three hard times when he thought about giving up.
Verse two chronicles the Greenwich Village drug scene, and verse three refers to his escape to London and eventual recovery. JT says the song came to him during a long solo drive on the way to see his nephew for the first time.
The story was clearly as well rehearsed as the song, with only the slightest variation in wording at each telling. It used to be a McDougal and Third, but it might have moved since then. Anyhow, at that time there were a lot of so-called blues groups in New York City, you know?
And they were making a lot of noise with electric guitars and amplifiers that their parents had bought them for Christmas and birthdays and stuff.
Their idea of soul was volume. And the money kept coming. The album hit number one on the charts, gained platinum status by October of that year, and remained a bestseller for two solid years.Taylor Alison Swift is a multi-Grammy award-winning American singer/songwriter who, in at the age of 20, became the youngest artist in history to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
Music was, unsurprisingly, a part of everyday life for the Taylors while the children were growing up. At his early concerts, James told the story of his first memory of music: a Tuberose Snuff commercial that he’d heard on the radio. In , King made music history as the first woman to receive the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
President Barack Obama gave her this honor at a special ceremony held at the White House. James Taylor, (born March 12, , Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.), American singer, songwriter, and guitarist who defined the singer-songwriter movement of the s. Bob Dylan brought confessional poetry to folk rock, but Taylor became the epitome of the troubadour whose life was the subject of his songs.
Taylor, who will offer a special performance at the concert, is being honored for his contributions to music and commitments to philanthropic and humanitarian causes.
During their Troubadour Reunion Tour, Carole King released two albums, one with James Taylor. The first, released on April 27, , The Essential Carole King, is a two-disc compilation album. The first disc features many songs Carole King has recorded, mostly her hit singles.