Little Johnny Taylor

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Little Johnny Taylor

Born Johnny Lamont Merrett on Feb. 11 1943 in Grgory, AR. This is the original "Johnny Taylor". Little Johnny came to Los Angeles in 1950 and did a stint with the Mighty Clouds Of Joy before going secular. He debuted as an R&B artist with a pair of 45s for the Swingin' logo, but his career took off with Fantasy's Galaxy subsidiary in 1963. His first hit "You'' Need Another Favor" hit #27 on R & B charts in 1963 but it was his next hit where he hit the big time. His cover of Clay Hammond's "Part Time Love" went straight to #1 on the R & B chart and even crossed over on pop charts to #19. After some more minor hits for Galaxy Taylor eventually signed with Stan Lewis' Ronn label and scored big again with the hits "Everybody Knows About My Good Thing" & "Open House At My House". LJT's chart success waned and it wasn't until the late 80s that he started recording often again with Ichiban Records. Although he never returned to the success of his glory days he remained active performing until his death in 2002

Album Discography

"Little Johnny Taylor" aka "Part Time Love" (Galaxy 1962) "Little Johnny Taylor" (Galaxy 1963)

1. Since I Found A New Love
2. Part Time Love
3. Darling, Believe In Me
4. Stay Sweet
5. You Got To Go On
6. She's Yours, She's Mine (She's Somebody Else's Too)
7. She Tried To Understand
8. Somewhere Down The Line
9. You're the One For Me
10. As Quick As I Can
11. You'll Need Another Favor
12. What You Need Is A Ball

"Everybody Knows About My Good Thing" (Ronn 1972)

1. Baby Get Hip To Yourself
2. How Are You Fixed For Love
3. How Can A Broke Man Survive
4. Keep On Keeping On
5. Everybody Knows About My Good Thing (Pt.1)
6. Everybody Knows About My Good Thing (Pt. 2)
7. There's Something On Your Mind
8. You've Got The Love I Need
9. It's My Fault Darling
10. Make Love To Me Baby
11. Sweet Soul Woman

****1/2 His earlier Galaxy material is superb, but this debut LP for Ronn is full of classic soulful, bluesy, passionate singing. The obvious high point is "Everybody Knows About My Good Thing" (#9 R&B) here in two parts. Perhaps THE cheating Blues song of the modern era. The album also boasts the emotive slow ballad "How Are You Fixed For Love", the southern soul in 6/8 time "How Can A Broke Man Survive" & the West Coast slow blues "It's My Fault Darling" (#41 R&B),

"Open House At My House" (Ronn 1973) "Open House At My House" (Ronn 1973)

1. Open House at My House, Pt.1
2. You're Not the Only One Baby (That's Got Someone Across Town)
3. My Special Rose
4. Thousand Miles Away, A
5. I Can't Stop Loving You
6. What Would I Do (Without You)
7. Open House at My House, Pt.2
8. You're Saving' Your Best Loving For Me
9. As Long as I Don't See You
10. Strange Bed With a Bad Head
11. I'll Make It Worth Your While

***** How do you follow up a smash like "Everybody Knows About My Good Thing"? With an equally good Blues like "Open House At My House" (#16 R & ) here in two parts. Bobby Patterson penned this classic with Kenny Strickland as well as the turnabout "You're Not The Only One (Who's Got Someone Across Town". The duo also wrote he mid-paced blues thumper "I'll Make It Worth Your While" (#39 R&B) and "You're Saving Your Best Love For Me" (#83 R & B). Meanwhile Taylor wrote and gives the vocal of his life on the gorgeous soul waltz "My Special Rose".

Little Johnny And Ted Taylor "The Super Taylors" Little Johnny And Ted Taylor "The Super Taylors" (Ronn 1974; Paula 1995)

1. Funky Ghetto
2. Make Love to Me Baby
3. Only the Lonely Knows
4. Walking the Floor
5. (I'm Just a Crumb in Your) Bread Box
6. When Are You Coming Home
7. Cry It Out Baby
8. Honey Lou
9. Everybody Knows About My Good Thing
10. Pretending Love
11. I Can't See Myself as a One Woman Man
12. Gonna Find Me a New Love

*** Compilation featuring four solo tracks each from Little Johnny Taylor & Ted Taylor plus four cuts with the soul singers together (including "Funky Ghetto", "Walking The Floor"). Fans of either will probably want this but it's a marketing tool to push one artists to fans of the other.

"L.J.T." (Ronn 1979)"L.J.T." (Ronn 1979)

1. L.J.T.
2. I Asked Myself a Question
3. I Need Some Lovin'
4. I Should Have Known
5. But You Do
6. A-Amen
7. A New Song
8. Just One More Chance to Be With You
9. Don't Do It
10. I'm So in Love

*** The tag line in "L.J.T." (from the album L.J.T.) goes: "My name is Little Johnny Taylor and I've been singing for a long long time. If you haven't heard about me it ain't no fault of mine.". Which was true, even though his fame was eclipsed by another great singer name Johnnie Taylor. Nevertheless, in 1977 with disco ruling the charts Little Johnny Taylor's record company updated his blues sound with a touch of funk; most evident on the title track, the great "Don't Do It" and a few others on the LJT album. It didn't sell. LJT was too good and too BLUES to appeal to the faddish Disco crowd

"I Should've Been A Preacher" (Red Lighnin' 1981) "I Should've Been A Preacher" (Red Lighnin' 1981)

1. Somebody's Got To Pay 2:52
2. Help Yourself 2:52
3. Things I Used To Do 2:51
4. Driving Wheel 2:33
5. True Love 2:34
6. I Smell Trouble 2:39
7. Double Or Nothing 3:26
8. Sometimey Woman 2:11
9. All I Want Is You 2:36
10. You'll Need Another Favour 2:37
11. First Class Love 3:43
12. If You Love Me 2:30
13. My Heart Is Filled With Pain 3:27
14. Since I Found A New Love 3:55
15. Please Come Home For Christmas 2:53

"Stuck In The Mud" (Ichiban 1988) "Stuck In The Mud" (Ichiban 1988)

1. Stuck In The Mud
2. Full Time Love
3. I Will Give It Back To You
4. First Class Love
5. There Is Something On Your Mind
6. Everybody Knows About My Good Thing
7. You Can Help Yourself
8. Your Fade Is Further Down The Road

*** Although Taylor's voice is not what it once was this is a competent modern soul blues LP produced by Gary B.B. Coleman. LJT redoes his standard "Everybody Knows About My Good Thing" and another blues classic ("First Class Love") and belts out some fine slow blues on "Stuck In The Mud", "Full Time Love" & "There's Something On Your Mind".

"Ugly Man" (Ichiban 1989) "Ugly Man" (Ichiban 1989)

1. Have You Ever Been to Kansas City
2. Never Be Lonely and Blue
3. L. J. T.
4. Ugly Man
5. It's My Fault Darlin'
6. I Enjoy You
7. How Can a Broke Man Survive
8. King-Size Souvenir
9. Have You Ever Been to Kansas City

** Disappointing followup from the legend is simply flat- Taylor's vocals and the accompaniment both sound lazy. Gary B.B. Coleman needed to punch things up on this session. The listener keeps waiting for LJT to wail but he never does; causing one to suspect the power is gone from his once powerful vocal chords. The title track is an okay slow blues and the update of the funky "L.J.T." is passable. Perhaps if you never heard his music before you'd be more pleased.

"Greatest Hits" (Fantasy 1991)

1. Part Time Love
2. I Smell Trouble - (bonus track)
3. Zig Zag Lightning
4. You'll Need Another Favor
5. Double or Nothing
6. Big Blue Diamonds
7. Somebody's Got to Pay
8. Darling, Believe in Me - (bonus track)
9. If You Love Me (Like You Say)
10. I Know You Hear Me Calling
11. Sometimey Woman
12. You Win, I Lose
13. My Heart Is Filled With Pain - (bonus track)
14. First Class Love - (bonus track)
15. Since I Found a New Love
16. Somewhere Down the Line
17. One More Chance - (bonus track)

****1/2 Excellent 17-track compilation of his Galaxy material featuring the hits "Part Time Love" (R & B #1; Pop #19), "You'll Need Another Favor" (R & B #27), "Zig Zag Lightning" (R & B #43), "Since I Found A New Love" (R & B #78 Pop #78) and other great tracks by the blues wailer.

"The Galaxy Years" (Ace 1999)"The Galaxy Years" (Ace 1999)

1. You'll Need Another Favor
2. What You Need Is a Ball
3. Part Time Love
4. Somewhere Down the Line
5. Since I Found a New Love
6. My Heart Is Filled With P
7. First Class Love
8. If You Love Me (Like You
9. You Win, I Lose
10. Nightingale Melody
11. I Smell Trouble
12. True Love
13. For Your Precious Love
14. I've Never Had a Woman Like You
15. Somebody's Got to Pay
16. Help Yourself
17. One More Chance
18. Please Come Home For Chri
19. All I Want Is You
20. Zig Zag Lightning
21. Things That I Used To, The
22. Big Blue Diamonds
23. I Know You Hear Me Callin
24. Driving Wheel
25. Sometimey Woman
26. Double or Nothing

***** Superior compilation of LJT's Galaxy material contains 26 tracks (9 more than "Greatest Hits" ).

 "You're Looking Good" (Nasha 1997) "You're Looking Good" (Nasha 1997)

1. You're Looking Good
2. Working Man
3. She Is No Good To Me
4. You Must Think I Am Crazy
5. Will You Be Home By Xmas
6. Golden Rule
7. When Things Go Wrong
8. When God Made You
9. Instrumental

**1/2 Very obscure final recording by Taylor features some low budget midtempo Southern Soul like the thoughtful "Golden Rule" and sweet, love paean "When God Made You". There's one strong blues that rises about the plastic production ("You Must Think I'm Crazy"). There's something bittersweet about this CD that, although nowhere near what he was capable of, sticks with you after listening.

"Part Time Love" (Ronn 1997) "Part Time Love" (Ronn 1997)

"Part Time Love" is mostly made up of singles released between 1974-1976. (The actual album was not officially released until 1997).

1. Part Time Love
2. You're Gonna Need Another Favor
3. True Lovin'
4. Future
5. I Can't See Myself As a One Woman Man
6. I Don't Want It All
7. Hard Head
8. Found a New Love
9. Junkie for Your Love
10. When Are You Coming Home

***1/2 "Part Time Love" was made up of mostly singles released between 1974-1976. (The actual album was not officially released until 1997). Included on this stellar set are remakes of two of his biggest hits: "Part Time Love" & "You'll Need Another Favor", plus a thumping cover of "Just A Little Bit" (spoiled a bit by the superfluous moaning and groaning by LJT and a female singer). Also included are the masterfully sung Soul Blues of "True Love" & "When Are You Coming Home". Don't sleep on this one. Taylor's aching blues wail of a voice was one of the best ever recorded and you can never have too much of this "good thing".

Various Artists "Diggin' Gold: A Galaxy Of West Coast Blues" (Ace 2004)

Various Artists compilation containing 8 rare LJT sides including three unreleased

1. On My Way Back Home - Little Johnny Taylor
2. Compact Baby - Rob Robinson
3. Just Wondering - Del Cunningham
4. My Baby Left Me Crying - Clay Hammond
5. Too Far Beyond Repair - Billy Keene
6. Looking At The Future - Little Johnny Taylor
7. Rattlesnake, Baby, Rattlesnake - Joe Johnson
8. I Don't Know Why - Bill Mcafee
9. It's All Over Now (No Use Crying) - Clay Hammond
10. Darling I Wonder - Little Johnny Taylor
11. Watch That Stuff - Good Time Charlie
12. Talk To You Baby - Rob Robinson
13. Sk Blues - Saunders King
14. You Gotta Go On - Little Johnny Taylor
15. My Love - Bill Mcafee
16. Baby It's Alright - Clay Hammond
17. My Love Is Real - Little Johnny Taylor
18. You're A Deserter - Billy Keene
19. Gold Diggin' Man - Joe Johnson
20. As Quick As I Can - Little Johnny Taylor
21. Lay Up In Bed & Read - Del Cunningham
22. Nobody But You - Rob Robinson
23. She's Yours, She's Mine - Little Johnny Taylor
24. There's Gonna Be Some Changes - Clay Hammond
25. Kiss Me Baby - Little Johnny Taylor

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