Talk about a paeked house! This Saturday night the 20 Grand was packed.tp thé wallsand the line of people waiting to get in the Driftwood Lounge stretched tlir-o'ugh the foyer and soine 40 feet dowji the halt to the Bonfire Room. This had to squeeze in through a back door to get seat-but, like everybody else. we telt it was well w.orth the chance to see and hear ihê prinee of soul, Johnny Taylor. " Taylor is the kind of classic soulR & B singer exemplified by the Stax-Vdlt .greats of the sixties: Otis Redding', Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett. Since hij t'irst major hit sorne years back ("Who's Makin' ove"), Taylor has continued to enjoy sirccésï on Memphisbased Stax label thryugri.theseventies (although heil no doubt be switehing record companiesto CBS-since Stax was recently overeóme by a series of unfortunato ftfanciai setbácks). Taylor's got a string of trye R & B.hits and he sings almos every one. of them during his show, a masterful presentation of thémusic so many of us gtew up with, 4hrrvJBg'fun-powef toilay. AbJy backed á teii-piece' band' organixed by Detroiter Rudy Robinsotu Taylor ;gave tp what was probably a' perfect audience a stunning, fast-moving show., '"Wh6s Makin' Love," "Don't You Want To StealHim," "l've Got to Hold Somebody's Baby" segueing into Jimmy Reed's "Any Way You Wanna" (the rtnly borrowed tune ot' the set), "Don't Make Me Wait," "Careless With Our Love," "1 Believe In You," "Joni," "Sundown," and "Disto Lady." Little Johnny prancéd, danced, sang and shouted his-fiits in his smooth rasp of a voice, and, many times, most of the 700-plus crowd sang along with him. Maybe one of the reasons Taylor is so well received here is the tact thut Detroit has always had a big stake in his success-his producer is Groovesvüie Production's Don Davis (a Motor City Music mainstay), he cuts at Don's United Sound Studios, and Detroit musicians can be heard on most of his records. In any event, Johnny Taylor's appearance at the 20 Grand was yet another high point lor black music here, and we're grateful we were able to share the experience.
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