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.” (https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/johnnie-taylor-whos-making-love/) 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.https://blues.org/hall/
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.
“How many times have you walked away, leaving me on bended knee pleading “darling, won’t you stay”? Each time you leave you come back again. If I take you back this time, will you stay until the end? Hold on. Hold on this time. Hold on. Hold on girl and don’t let go. Hold on. Hold on this time. Hold on (chorus: Just hold on girl and don’t let go.) I’ve been patient, girl. I’ve been romantic. Your place is here by my side. One day I hope I make you see those other guys, they can’t match my love. They only want you for a day. They’ll take your love and run away. Hold on. Hold on this time. Hold on. Hold on girl and don’t let go. Hold on. Hold on this time. Hold on. (Just hold on girl and don’t let go) . . . . Too many times, I stood in line. I’d watch you play your little games. You’ll wind up losing every time. Forgive me girl and settle down. Don’t wait until it gets too late and my love is not around. Hold on. Hold on this time. . . . Hold on, baby, to the one who loves you. Hold to the one that needs ya. Hold to the one that wants you so much by my side. . . .”
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