Nicknamed the Philosopher of Soul, Johnnie Taylor’s career spanned 46 years and covered gospel, blues, rhythm & blues and soul. Born Johnnie Harrison Taylor on May 3, 1934, in Crawfordsville AR, he began his career singing gospel. Taylor moved with his grandmother to Kansas City MO at age ten and later joined the gospel quartet the Melody Kings as a teenager. The group occasionally opened for gospel group the Soul Stirrers, whose lead singer Sam Cooke befriended Taylor. In 1953, Taylor moved to Chicago where he joined the Five Echoes, with whom he made his first recordings for the Veejay label. Shortly afterward, he began singing with the Highway QCs, a long running, popular gospel group that included singers Sam Cooke and Lou Rawls. The QCs made their recording debut with the single “Somewhere To Lay My Head”, which made the group a top gospel attraction. In 1957, Taylor was chosen to replace Sam Cooke in the Soul Stirrers. He later left the group after a car accident that killed a young girl in 1960. In 1966, Taylor signed with Stax Records in Memphis TN. Among his early singles for the label are “Somebody’s Sleeping In My Bed” and “I Had A Dream”. In 1968, Taylor had his first major pop crossover success with the single “Who’s Making Love”, a funk/soul song that eventually went number one R&B and number five pop. Subsequent hits with Stax include “Take Care Of Your Homework”, “Jody’s Got Your Girl And Gone”, “Cheaper To Keep Her” and “I Believe In You (You Believe In Me)”. After Stax filed for bankruptcy, Taylor signed with CBS/Columbia Records. His first album for the label, “Eargasm”, contained the hit single “Disco Lady”, which went number one on both the pop and R&B charts and became the first single to ever be certified platinum, selling over two million copies. In 1982, Taylor signed with Beverly Glen Records where he released the album “What About My Love”. In 1984, he signed with Malaco Records, becoming the label’s most popular artist. He released several albums for the label with “Gotta Get The Groove Back” being his final for the label in 1999. While living in Duncanville TX, a suburb of Dallas, Taylor suffered a heart attack at his home. He died at Charleton Methodist Hospital on May 31,2001.