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Singer-songwriter Chip Taylor combined country with R&B to write songs, like Wild Thing, that remain a staple in the American music diet.
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Songwriter, singer. Born James Wesley Voight on January 1, 1944 and raised in Yonkers, New York, by Elmer, a golf professional, and Barbara. He has two older brothers, Barry and Jon. The eldest, Barry, is one of the foremost geologists in the world in the area of interpreting Volcanic activity, and is professor of geology at Penn State University. The middle brother is Academy Award-winning actor Jon Voight (Coming Home).
Taylor's love affair with music began early in life. At the age of eight, he convinced his parents to let him stay up late to hear a country radio station whose signal emanated from West Virginia. His penchant for the country genre found an outlet in his high school band, Town and Country Brothers (King Records). After the band broke up, Taylor tried his hand as a professional golfer. He met with some success but was soon sidelined with a wrist injury. It was then that he decided to give music his full attention. Subsequently, he signed a contract with Warner Brothers Records in 1961 and had his first top 100 hit single, "Here I Am".
Soon after, Chet Atkins heard a few of Taylor's country songs and said it was hard to believe that he was born and raised in New York. Chet started recording several of Taylor's compositions with artists he was producing and Taylor had his first big hit as a country songwriter with Bobby Bare's version of "Just A Little Bit Later On Down The Line".
In the mid 60's, Taylor signed a staff writers contract with CBS' Blackwood Music. He started combining his country feel with R&B (his other musical love) to write songs that, to this day, remain a staple in the American music diet. His ability to write in varied voices and styles is demonstrated in two of his best known songs, "Wild Thing" and "Angel of The Morning". The ubiquitous, "Wild Thing", (Jimi Hendrix, The Troggs, X) with its guitar driven, sexually charged theme is in direct contrast to the hauntingly romantic, "Angel Of The Morning", (Merilee Rush, Juice Newton, Chrissie Hynde). Other Chip Taylor songs that are ingrained in American music are "Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)"' a performance favorite of Janis Joplin, "I Can't Let Go"' (The Hollies, LindaRonstadt) and " Country Girl, City Man"' (Ike and Tina Turner).
Additionally, along with producing partner, Al Gorgoni, he discovered and produced James Taylor (James Taylor and The Flying Machine), and Evie Sands (her version of "Any Way That You Want Me" became a big hit in 1968). They also produced Neil Diamond's "Brooklyn Roads".
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