We recently found out that Emanuel Taylor passed away. He was always a very kind and gentle soul. We will miss him dearly. Here is an interview he did for us back in June of 2013.
Emanuel was kind enough to answer some of our burning questions about his musical career. Also we still have a handful of copies left of the limited pressing 7 inch we put out last year. You can grip a copy at our shop at Bigcartel.
How did you get into singing and making music?
I began singing at a very young age. My father was a guitarist. He and I were singing together. I became a professional at the age of 13.
Who were some of your biggest influences musically growing up?
Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, James Cleveland and Donny Hathaway were among my biggest influences musically.
What was the music scene that you grew up with like?
It was a wonderful and exciting time in my life. In those days, we were playing live music in the local clubs.
What kind of clubs were these and can you remember the names of any of them? Do have any stories or anecdotes about any experiences in the local clubs you may have had?
The kind of clubs that I played were called entertainment night clubs. The following names were: Twenty Grand, Orchestra Hall, Latin Quarters, Swans, Olympia, Mauls, and Henry’s Lounge. I was young and motivated. I always felt grateful to be able to give my talents to an audience that enjoyed my music.
What were some of your first recordings?
“The Pride of a Man”, “It Aint Right”, “Pick up the Pieces” and “Not as beautiful as you”
What were some of the musicians you first worked with?
David Hamilton, Ray Parker Jr., Billy Smith and a host of many others.
How did you come to record the two tracks “You Really Got A Hold on Me” and “Society”?
I was given the opportunity to sign with a local recording label. I was both songwriter and vocalist.
What inspired you to write these two songs?
“You Really Got A Hold on Me” expressed the love that man should have for a woman. However, sometimes love isn’t always in our favor! “Society” addressed the urgency to warn the world about the immoral acts that are done against humanity.
Can you tell what the recording sessions were like?
I was given the gift to enter a recording session and complete a song with only one or two takes. Music is the essence of my soul. I co-produced and arranged each selection. It was recorded at Music Now Studio which was an eight track studio. We did not have the kind of technology that musicians have today. For example, special effects were created with wax paper to make it sound like it was raining.
Who played on the tracks and what was their role in the local scene?
The musicians were close friends of mine. Each musician was great in their own right. A few I can remember were; Billy Smith, Robin Kyle, and Pistol Pete.
Did you ever get a chance to play this material live?
Yes I had the chance to play the material live. I appeared on different TV dance shows. There was a famous local TV dance show called “The Scene.” I played there several times. The TV show was located in Detroit, Michigan.
What happened after it was released?
The songs did receive some air play on the local scene. WCHB was the main R&B Radio Station. However due to not belonging to a major record company, they did not give it too much air play. The name of the DJ was Tiger Dan. I do not know if he is still alive.
What have you been up to since this time?
I continue to make music. I never gave up! I believe that one day before I leave this earth plane, my music will receive the recognition it deserves.
Tell us about the music you have been working on since?
I am presently writing and singing inspirational music.