“Love bones” is a Stax label classic and one of my personal favourites of that label. The song is about a man working long hours – too long – and he doesn’t have enough time to be with the woman he loves. But they are both waiting for time he finishes work so they can be together.
Johnny Taylor was born in 1934 in Arkansas although he grew up in Memphis – not too far away from the place of his birth. He began singing in church as a child and moved to Kansas City to perform with a gospel group called the Melody Kings. During this time he met and became good friends with the late, great Sam Cooke.
He moved from home in 1953 and ended up in Chicago to perform in various doo-wop and gospel groups before he replaced Sam Cooke as lead singer of the Soul Stirrers.
1965 saw Taylor return to Memphis and he signed with the iconic Stax label – finding decent success with a handful of recordings. He scored big in 1968 with the funky “Who’s Makin’ love”……other good size hits followed and Taylor was established as a premier soul star.
The seventies were good for Taylor as his style morphed from a gritty soul singers to a smooth soulful style. He had big r’n’b hits in the early 70’s and even crossed into the disco arena with a massive hit called “Disco Lady”, this was after he moved to the huge CBS/Columbia set up.
During the eighties and nineties he continued recording but returned to his southern soul roots – with moderate success.
Johnnie Taylor suffered a heart attack in May 2000 and sadly died in hospital.
Soul fans will know all about Johnnie Taylor but his career deserves further inspection by those interested in learning more about the “greats” of soul music.