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Johnnie Taylor’s Soulful Stax Sequence

‘Love Bones’ hit the R&B chart on 13 December 1969 and became the fifth of eight consecutive top tenners for the Arkansas soul man.

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Johnnie Taylor was on a roll at Stax Records in the late 1960s. In 1968, ‘Who’s Making Love’ had gone to the top of the US R&B chart, hit the pop top five and gone gold in the process. It was to be the first of no fewer than eight top ten R&B singles in a row for the great soul man from Crawfordsville, Arkansas. The fifth of those, ‘Love Bones,’ made its debut on the R&B survey on 13 December 1969.

Taylor’s first chart appearance had come as far back as the summer of 1964 when he was signed to the Derby label and made the R&B top 40 with ‘I Need Lots Of Love.’ But it was as part of the Stax family that Johnnie’s gruff but supple vocal skills were truly nurtured.

After ‘Who’s Making Love’ made him one of the big names of the day, Taylor followed up with the No. 2 hit ‘Take Care Of Your Homework,’ then the funky George Clinton co-write ‘Testify (I Wonna)’ and ‘I Could Never Be President,’ which was then covered by David Ruffin, on the former Temptation’s Doin’ His Thing album.

‘Love Bones’ was the next single in that great Stax sequence, a typical example of Taylor’s recording persona as an ordinary man in a working-class job, telling the foreman that he can’t do much overtime because he’s got to get home to his woman. The song was written by Alvertis Isbell, Billy Davis Jr (best known as a member of the Fifth Dimension) and Stax producer Don Davis.

‘Love Bones’ was part of an album that also included his versions of the Isley Brothers ‘It’s Your Thing’ and Joe South’s ‘Games People Play.’ It was an LP whose very title displayed the artist’s growing confidence and reputation: The Johnnie Taylor Philosophy Continues.

‘Love Bones’ is on The Very Best of Johnnie Taylor, which can be bought here.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Ira Strickland

    December 13, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Johnnie Taylor was my kind of music even in high school I would stop doing my work when I heard him singing.I really do miss him.But I still listen to him.Trying to collect all of his cds. MISS u Johnnie Taylor.

    • JJ

      January 24, 2016 at 12:30 am

      Heeey Strickland check out the site cd universe.com you will find almost everything you need by Johnnie Taylor.

  2. Terry Reilly

    November 15, 2015 at 5:31 am

    I still miss Johnnie today. He was truly one of the greatest soul singers and both his records and concerts can testify to this. He sang with conviction.

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