James Taylor Pops Up With New Book Depicting ‘Sweet Baby James’

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James Taylor
Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for for J/P HRO Gala

A pop-up book depicting James Taylor’s classic 1970 song ‘Sweet Baby James’ is newly available exclusively via the world-famous singer-songwriter’s website.

The ten-page Sweet Baby James: A Pop-Up Lullaby is published by Penguin, and illustrates the song with each spread of three-dimensional scenes dedicated to a single stanza. Taylor talks about the book in this video clip.

James Taylor on his new pop-up book, "Sweet Baby James."

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‘Sweet Baby James’ was the title song from Taylor’s breakthrough album, and although it didn’t chart as a single, it’s gone on to be one of his most enduring compositions. He continues to perform it live to this day.

Taylor told Rolling Stone the history of the song in a 2015 interview, recalling his return to the US after being signed to The Beatles’ Apple label. “I came back to the States and found out my brother Alex had had a kid,” he said. “I decided to write a song for the baby boy, who was named after me. A little cowboy song.

“It starts as a lullaby, then the second half of the song —  ‘the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston…’  — talks about what music means to me. It gets pretty spiritual by the end. I think it’s my best song.”

The artist returns to the road for a new US tour from 8 May, when he and his band open in Jacksonville, Florida. Taylor will then cross the Atlantic for European dates starting on 9 July in Manchester, England, and the UK and Irish visit will also incorporate two shows as special guest (along with Bonnie Raitt) on Paul Simon’s Homeward Bound: The Farewell Performance tour, at the RDS Arena in Dublin on 13 July and London’s Hyde Park on 15 July.

James is also featured on ‘Change,’ the new, opening single from chart star Charlie Puth’s forthcoming second album Voicenotes, which will also feature contributions from Boyz II Men and Californian pop artist Kehlani.

Explore our James Taylor Artist Page.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ann Marie Martin

    March 31, 2018 at 12:31 am

    Hi James,

    I am a 59 year old forever fan of yours. I grew up in Western MA and had the pleasure of seeing you at Tanglewood on multiple occasions…LUCKY ME! I also saw you at the Springfield Civic Canter, Synphony Hall in Spfld., On the Cape and at Fenway a couple summers back. Additionally, I am a long time friend of Bill’s. My first sober concert was to see you in 1987. I have actually never written this kind of fan letter before but I am compelled. I recently purchased a copy of the “Sweet Baby James” book. It is a gift for my son James. He is 32 and is getting married in November. We will be dancing the Mother son dance to that song. I have been singing him that tune for 32 years. Even as an adult I would always call him from the concert when you would perform this song and put it on speaker! YUP I am that Mom. I am really writing to thank you for providing the sound track to my life. He is getting married on November 3, 2018 in Leicester MA, just north of Worcester, at the Leicester Country Club…If you find yourself on the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston, stop by! I was hoping you could send the couple a note or a card or something that would bring this full circle. I am sure you get more requests for things than you can reasonably respond to so I really don’t expect a reply. The MOST important thing was I wanted to thank you for a million memories and on November 3 we will be adding another one!

    Best regards,

    Ann Martin
    3709 Mulberry Lane
    High Point, NC 27265

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