Wednesday, August 09, 2017

BOBBY TAYLOR (of the Vancouvers and Tommy Chong)

Bobby Taylor?

It's a bit odd, but when Bobby Taylor died, the news was more about his connection to Tommy Chong and to Michael Jackson. 

Before he became half of the famous drug-comedy team, Chong was part of Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers, and co-wrote the only song most people even vaguely heard of from the group.

"Does Your Mama Know About Me" (a co-write from Tommy Chong and Tom Baird) grazed the Top 40 with its tantalizing suggestion that the singer was a bad dude, a lousy influence, a stoned hippie, or black or Chinese or of some other forbidden race. The band began as four Blacks and Chong, which led him to suggest that they call themselves "Four Niggers and a Chink." This was the era of Lenny Bruce bluntness, but there doesn't seem to be any documentation of that amusing monicker appearing on any poster for an early club date. They did work as the Calgary Shades, alluding to their Canadian location and the darkness of most band members. The band became more racially mixed as they moved along.

The 1968 single and album was the beginning and end for the group. "Taylor Made Soul" was Bobby's solo album the following year, but over the decades, he made a living from producing music and appearing in various oldies bands. He found a lot of work in the Far East, and died in Hong Kong.

When Bobby died, Jermaine Jackson offered a Tweet about Bobby being the Jackson 5's "mentor." Indeed, Bobby worked on the first two albums before Berry Gordy, the 5's father and others stepped in. Bobby was 78.

Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers
  DOES YOUR MAMA KNOW ABOUT ME?    Instant download or listen on line. No Zinfart passwords,  malware or spyware anywhere.

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