Bobby Taylor is a prominent golden voice Motown recording star. His voice is distinct, but with such a huge range that he can sing the popular tunes of his Motown era colleagues with precision & soul. Listening to Bobby Taylor is enjoying the “real thing”; a truly special experience.
Bobby is a showman and vocalist. His Hong Kong band covers his own hits, and the hits of his friends, colleagues, and teachers. Bobby the entertainer delivers stories, giving the music that extra zest.
Bobby earned his Masters degree in music from University of California in Berkeley (Bachelor degree from San Jose State). After graduating from Berkeley, he did a tour in the US Army.
Bobby’s music career started at the age of 3. He was surrounded by his grandfather’s musical
teachers and colleagues including many great artists such as Billy Holliday, Louis (Satchmo) Armstrong, Miles Davies, Charlie Parker, Illinois Jaquet (tenor sax), Fats Waller, Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole .
The Fabulous 60s’
Bobby’s group “Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers” was signed by Motown Records in 1967 with players Tommy Chong of “Cheech and Chong”, West Henderson, Robby King, Duris Maxwell, and Eddie Patterson. Jimi Hendrix played with them!
Bobby Taylor & Michael Jackson; 1968
At Chicago’s Regal Theater, the opening act for Motown group Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers was Jackson 5. Taylor was very impressed with the boys, and he arranged for the Jackson 5 to audition for Motown Records who signed them on. Bobby Taylor produced the first seven Jackson 5 albums including “Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5”, “ABC” and the third album called “The Third Album”.
Bobby’s Touring & Working Colleagues
The Temptations, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Smokey Robinson and the
Miracles, Stevie Wonder, Edwin Starr, The Velvelets, The Marvelets, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Funk Brothers, Shorty Long, The Beatles, Elvis, and The Everly Brothers.
Bobby worked for Hugh Heffner at Playboy records and recorded with Hal David and Burt Bacharach. He continued touring; his last major tour was with childhood friend Marvin Gaye.
Bobby has recently been teaching children in Beijing; he is now based in Hong Kong.
Bobby Taylors’ TV Show Appearances
• Ed Sullivan Show
• The Dick Clark Show
• Soul Train
• Joey Bishop Show
• CBC Cavalcade of Stars
• The Red Robinson Show
• Joan Rivers
• The Far out Man (Cheech and Chong) Co star
• Once a Thief (with Alain Delon, Anne Margaret, Van Heflin)
Hong Kong 2010 / 2014
Bobby Taylor has made Hong Kong his home; he was based at Skylark Lounge, with The Bobby Taylor Band, playing soul, R&B, jazz, and blues.
The Short Story of Jackson 5 and Bobby Taylor
In 1968, Bobby Taylor and The Vancouvers were headlining a ten day stint at Chicago’s Regal
Theatre. The opening act was introduced to Bobby by Marshall Thompson (leader of the group called The Chilites) and show promoter Pervis Spann. After seeing the kids perform, Bobby Taylor asked them to be brought to the dressing room. At the end of the ten day stint, Bobby’s partner took the Jackson 5 to Detroit Mich. That partner was guitarist Tommy Chong who is the Chong of Cheech and Chong. Bobby Taylor put the entire family consisting of seven kids, Joe and the driver in his one bedroom apartment.
The next day Bobby took the Father and Michael to meet with Ralph Seltzer who was the attorney for the company. From his Detroit office, Bobby talked to Berry Gordy Jr. in L.A who asked Bobby to get his nephew Johnny Bristol to video tape the Jackson 5 group. They did that afternoon, and J.B. hand carried it via the red eye flight to L.A.
The following day, the kids were signed at Motown. Michael was 8 years old. Diana Ross was mentioned after the Album was finished; they were shown to the public as a Motown act at the Daisy Club in Beverly Hills. The name on all of the records was The Corporation, and that was Berry’s way of letting Bobby Taylor know that he owned Motown and to play it his way. The first Jackson 5 show under Motown was at the 20 Grand with a Bobby Taylor and The Vancouvers show on the Sunday matinee; kids were allowed at that time. Following that the kids played at Berry’s mansion in Detroit for the Lucy Gordy Wakefield Benefit which to this day is on-going. She was Berry’s sister, and passed from cancer at a very young age.
The kids and Bobby Taylor had started recording at Crystal Sound Studio’s straight away. They were tutored at the studio every day. If their school work was not done correctly they couldn’t work with Bobby. They worked at least 20 hours a day. All of the songs were done at Crystal, and not one song was done at Mowest Studio. At the introduction of the J-5, Diana Ross did not appear as she was on tour… “this is the real deal” according to Bobby.
Michael Jackson was Bobby Taylor’s friend until Michael’s passing. Bobby Taylors’ recent composition written for the Michael Jackson “This Is It” tour was in rehearsal with the Bobby Taylor Band in Hong Kong. Bobby’s base is Hong Kong.
Listen to Bobby Taylor on iTunes and Spotify – Bobby Taylor – The Motown Anthology.