Taylor was a Washington, D.C. native and childhood friend of Marvin Gaye who relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia, for his music career. At the behest of Supremes Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard, Taylor and his group were signed to Motown, where, assigned to the Gordy imprint—and produced by Berry Gordy himself—they had a hit out of the box. Taylor was a talent scout himself: at Motown he discovered the Jackson 5 and produced most of their first album.


  • First Hit: “Does Your Mother Know About Me”
  • Biggest Hit: “Malinda” (as Bobby Taylor solo)
  • Top Album: Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers
  • Career Highlight: Bobby’s solo debut for the Gordy imprint, Taylor Made Soul
  • This American/Canadian outfit comprised lead vocalist Taylor, future comic superstar Tommy Chong (guitar), Wes Henderson (bass), Robbie King (keyboards), Eddie Patterson (guitar) and Ted Lewis (drums).
  • bobby taylor and the vancouvers albumTheir debut album, Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers landed in 1968 and included a version of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” as well as Gordy’s “Day By Day Or Never” and the Ashford and Simpson ballad “I Am Your Man.”
  • Taylor brought the Jackson 5 to Motown, literally, driving them from an appearance in Chicago directly to Hitsville. Taylor groomed them, taught them the ways of the studio, and produced their earliest recordings, including Michael Jackson’s astonishingly soulful take of Smokey Robinson’s “Who’s Lovin’ You,” as well as three-fourths of their debut album, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5.
  • bobby taylor anthologySoul fans still swear by Taylor’s solo work, specifically the single “Blackmail”/”Oh I’ve Been Blessed”. His most stellar moments are compiled on Bobby Taylor – The Motown Anthology, a U.K.-originated package with 46 fine cuts featuring an underrated soul voice from a golden era.
  • He had that voice until his recent death, at age 83, July 22, 2017, in Hong Kong, where he had found a home recording himself as well as local acts.

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