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R Dean Taylor

Taylor began his career in 1961, as a pianist and singer with several music bands in Toronto. He also made his first recordings in 1961, for the Audiomaster record label. The next year, Taylor's "At The High School Dance", a single for Amy-Mala Records, was a minor success. His next single, "I'll Remember", on the Barry label, was a No. 23 success for Toronto rock and roll radio station CHUM, and the singer decided to relocate to Detroit, Michigan to further his career.

In Detroit, Taylor was hired by Motown Records in 1964 as a songwriter and recording artist for the Motown subsidiary V.I.P. label. Taylor's scheduled first single (March 1964) for V.I.P. was the topical satire "My Ladybug (Stay Away From That Beatle)", but it was deemed too weak for release and was never issued.

It was not until November 1965 that Taylor's debut V.I.P. single, "Let's Go Somewhere", was issued. It was written by Taylor in conjunction with Brian Holland, and produced by the team of Holland and Lamont Dozier, who had already produced five No. 1 scoring songs for The Supremes. However, the song was only a regional success in several U.S. cities and Toronto.

Taylor's next single (1967's "There's A Ghost In My House") was written by the team of Holland–Dozier–Holland along with Taylor, and again produced by Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier. It was also a commercial disappointment in the US—but later it was a #3 hit in the United Kingdom in 1974. Taylor was also beginning to become a songwriter for other acts, as "I'll Turn to Stone" by the Four Tops, and "All I Need" by The Temptations were both charting US singles in 1967, co-composed by him.

In 1968, Taylor's self-produced single "Gotta See Jane", (co-written with Brian Holland), became a Top 20 hit in the UK. However, his real success came as a member of the Motown writing and production team known as "The Clan". This production group were briefly the prime creators of material for Diana Ross & the Supremes after the Holland/Dozier/Holland team left Motown. Among Taylor's successful co-compositions and co-productions during 1968/69 as a member of The Clan were Diana Ross & the Supremes' #1 US hit "Love Child" and their Top 10 follow-up hit "I'm Livin' In Shame".

Taylor resumed his recording career in 1970, becoming one of the first artists assigned to Motown's new subsidiary Rare Earth, which was dedicated to Caucasian artists. In that year his first Rare Earth single, "Indiana Wants Me", became a #1 hit in his native Canada and in Cash Box magazine in the US. It peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and at No. 2 in the UK. "Gotta See Jane" was also reissued in 1971, and became a Top 10 success in Canada. His 1972 single "Taos, New Mexico" did not do well on the Canadian charts.

Taylor continued recording for Rare Earth, and working as a writer/producer for other artists until Rare Earth was ended in 1976. Though he never again scored the charts as he had done with "Indiana Wants Me", his releases did moderately well, especially in Canada. As a Canadian citizen, he could be played on CKLW and other Canadian radio stations and counted towards the stations Canadian content quotas.

Taylor attempted a comeback during the early 1980s, after which he had a hiatus from the music industry. He also established his own record company, Jane Records.


R. Dean Taylor (born Richard Dean Taylor, 1939, Toronto, Ontario, Canada) is a singer, most famous as an recording artist, songwriter, and record producer for Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s.
According to Jason Ankeny, Taylor "remains one of the most underrated acts ever to record under the Motown aegis".
After first proving his mettle as a chart-topping staff songwriter, his own single "Indiana Wants Me" was a Top Five smash in 1970, becoming one of the label's first major crossover hits performed by a white artist.

 

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Indiana Wants Me

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