Johnnie Taylor — “Hold On This Time”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — March 21, 2022

390) Johnnie Taylor — “Hold On This Time”

As Ian McCann notes, while “Stax had dubbed Taylor The Philosopher Of Soul . . . his kind of philosophy was strictly down-home, barroom, over the back fence, and sometimes downright no good.” ( Well, this down-home guy has received a well-deserved honor — It was announced last week that Taylor is one of the Blues Foundation’s 2022 Blues Hall of Fame inductees. As his Hall of Fame essay by Jim O’Neal says:

While he once sounded much like Sam Cooke, Taylor developed a more identifiable style incorporating gospel-influenced blues, soul, and funk during his tenure with Stax from 1966 to 1974. The company touted his 1968 hit “Who’s Makin’ Love” as “the fastest-selling single in the history of Stax Records,” and Taylor kicked his touring activity into high gear displaying a mix of polish and grit while continuing to hit the charts with his Stax recordings.

This is my second dip into Taylor’s well (see #191). Mark Deming calls “Hold on This Time” “a remarkably successful emulation of the Motown production style.” I just call it a remarkable successful and instantly ingratiating expression of human emotion.

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