This article is from the James Taylor FAQ, by Joel Risberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) with numerous contributions by others.
James Vernon Taylor was born in Boston, Massachusetts on March 12, 1948 in
Boston General Hospital at 5:06 p.m.
Adult JT stands 6'3" and weighs about 155 pounds.
His mother's name is Gertrude. His father's is Isaac.
Brothers: Alex (1947-1993), Livingston (born 1951), and Hugh (born 1952?)
Sister: Kate (born 1949)
All the siblings have recorded songs.
1951 - Family moves to Chapel Hill, NC
- His father, Dr. Isaac Taylor, was the dean of the University of North
Carolina-Chapel Hill medical school.
1953 - JT begins attending Milton Academy, a prep school outside Boston.
1958? - JT hears someone play guitar and decides he wants to learn how.
- JT had studied cello when he was younger.
1960 - JT's parents buy him his first guitar.
1963 - JT meets Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar on Martha's Vineyard.
- JT and Kootch win a hootenanny contest.
- JT and Kootch play folk gigs locally.
1964 - Drops out of Milton Academy during his junior year.
- JT joins a band, The Fabulous Corsairs, with brother Alex and Zach
Wiesner. Wiesner was replaced a few months later by Jerry Burnham.
1965 - Moves to to New York City
- 17-year-old JT admits himself and spends ten months in McLean
Psychiatric Hospital in Massachusetts as a result of depression.
His song "Knocking 'Round the Zoo" was inspired by his stay there.
- Goes on a trip to Russia.
1966 - Graduates from high school in the McLean Psychiatric Hospital.
- Kootch and Joel O' Brien join JT to form The Flying Machine.
- Release one single: "Night Owl" / "Brighten Your Night With My Day"
- The Flying Machine makes studio recordings. Album wasn't released
until 1971 under the title "James Taylor and the Original
1967 - The Flying Machine breaks up.
1968 - Begins using heroin.
- Moves to Notting Hill Gate section of London and records demos.
Auditions them for record companies.
- Introduced to Paul McCartney by Peter Asher and signed to the Beatles'
record label, Apple Records. JT was the first outside artist signed to
- November: "James Taylor" released in U.K. with little commercial
- Returns to U.S.
- Enters Austin Riggs, another mental hospital in Massachusetts, partly
due to his heroin addiction.
1969 - February: "James Taylor" released in U.S.
- March: Single "Carolina In My Mind" / "Taking It In" released.
- July: Single "Something's Wrong" released.
- July: JT debuts at The Troubadour in Los Angeles.
- Breaks both his hands in a motorcycle accident and is forced to stop
playing for several months.
- Signs to Warner Brothers label and moves to California with Asher.
1970 - March: "Sweet Baby James" released on Warner Brothers label. Album
goes to number one and is a best-seller for two years.
- April: Single "Sweet Baby James" / "Suite For 20G" released.
- April 24: Performs at Harvard College. Recorded and circulated among
- August: Single "Fire and Rain" / "Anywhere Like Heaven" released.
Eventually hits number one on the charts.
- October 16: "Sweet Baby James" album certified platinum.
- November: Single "Carolina In My Mind" / "Something's Wrong" released.
- Performs with Joni Mitchell on BBC radio show. Recordings of the show
are often bootlegged under the titles "In Perfect Harmony" or "You Can
Close Your Eyes." See section 4.6.
1971 - January: Single "Country Road" / "Sunny Skies" released.
- JT on the cover of "Time Magazine", touted as originator of the
"singer/songwriter era" (March 1 issue date).
- "James Taylor and the Original Flying Machine" released.
- March 23: Plays Anaheim Civic Center. Show recorded and used for
two early bootlegs: "Taylor Made" and "Isn't It Nice To Be Home
Again." See Section 4.6.
- March: Appears in film "Two Lane Blacktop."
- Parents separate.
- "Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon" released. Goes platinum.
- Plays to sold-out audiences in 27-city tour. Band includes Carole
King and Kootch's band, Jo Mama.
- May: Single "You've Got a Friend" / "You Can Close Your Eyes"
released. Single goes gold.
- September: Single "Long Ago and Far Away" / "Let Me Ride" released.
1972 - Wins Grammy, "Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male" for "You've Got A
Friend." Song also earns Carole King the "Song of the Year" Grammy.
- October: "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" single released.
- Nov. 3: Marries Carly Simon. Son Ben and daughter Sally from that
marriage. Sally is the subject of his song "Sarah Maria."
- "One Man Dog" released.
1973 - February: "One Man Parade" / "Hymn" single released.
- March: "Hymn" / "Fanfare" single released.
1974 - "Mockingbird" duet with C. Simon released as a single (million-seller)
and on Simon's "Hotcakes" album.
- April 30: Four-week U.S. tour to promote "Walking Man."
- June: "Walking Man" released.
- July: "Daddy's Baby" / "Let It All Fall Down" single (inspired by
Watergate) unsuccessful when Nixon resigns the day after its
- July 13: Three-week tour with the Manhattan Dirt Riders and Linda
- August: "Walking Man" / "Daddy's Baby" single released.
1975 - April 30: Four-week tour.
- May: "Gorilla" released.
- "How Sweet It Is" / "Sarah Maria" single released.
- May 30: Plays Carnegie Hall in NYC with guests Carole King and
David Crosby. "You've Got a Friend" duet with King released on her
"The Ode Years" collection in 1994.
- July 2: Four-week U.S. tour.
- August: "Mexico" / "Gorilla" single released.
- September: Solo tour of 8 cities.
1976 - April 21: Two-week tour.
- May: "In the Pocket" released.
- "Shower the People" / "I Can Dream of You" single released.
- July 3: Four-week tour with David Sanborn.
- October: "You Make It Easy" / Woman's Got To Have It" single
- November: "Greatest Hits" released (goes platinum).
- December: Leaves Warner Brothers for Columbia Records.
1977 - June 3: "Handyman" / "Bartender's Blues" single released.
- June 24: "JT" released on CBS label (goes platinum).
- June 26: One-month tour with 22 shows.
- August: Produces and performs for Kate Taylor's single "It's In His
- September 20: "Your Smiling Face" / "If I Keep My Heart Out of
Sight" single released.
- November: Tour of California followed by two shows in Honolulu.
1978 - January 31: "Honey Don't Leave L.A." single released.
- February: Wins "Best Pop Vocal Performance" Grammy for "Handyman."
- Peter Asher wins "Producer of the Year" Grammy.
- JT produces and performs on Kate Taylor's self-titled album. Also
composed the song "Happy Birthday Sweet Darling" on that album.
- Wrote "Millworker," "Brother Trucker," and the music for "Un Mejor
Dia Vendra" for the Broadway musical "Working." The show bombed.
- July 20: Original cast album for "Working" released (Columbia
- September: Duet of "Devoted To You" with Carly Simon on her "Boys In
the Trees" album.
1979 - April 26: "Flag" released. Includes recordings of "Millworker" and
"Brother Trucker" from the musical "Working."
- May 22: "Up On the Roof" / Chanson Francaise" single released.
- July 3: Six-week U.S. tour with 25 shows. 2 nights at Ohio's Blossom
Music Center taped for a Showtime special.
- September 19-23: Performs at a series of 5 antinuclear concerts called
"MUSE/No Nukes". See section 5.5 for more information on the album
- December: "No Nukes" 3-LP album released (Asylum). JT is heard on 6
1980 - May 12: Performs at nuclear disarmament rally in New York's Central
park attended by over 1 million people. Other performers include
Springsteen, Browne, Ronstadt, and Baez. Concert broadcast
nationally on radio and filmed for "In Our Own Hands."
- July 18: "No Nukes" feature-length movie opens in New York. JT's
studio recording of "Stand and Fight" is added.
- August 3: Four-week tour with 23 shows.
1981 - "In Harmony" Sesame Street album wins "Best Children's Recording"
Grammy. See section 4.3.1.
- February 11: Five-week tour.
- February 20: "Her Town Too" / "Believe It Or Not" single released.
- February 26: "Dad Loves His Work" released.
- April 25: Two and a half-month tour with 47 shows.
- May 12: "Hard Times" / "Summer's Here" single released.
- May 13: Live performance at Fox Theater in Atlanta broadcast
nationally on radio. Title: "James Taylor Live In Concert."
- September 4: Plays role of truck driver in PBS TV production of
- September 10: Month-long tour of Far East with 17 shows in Japan and
1982 - February 1: Six-week tour with 30 shows.
- July 14: Five-week tour with Karla Bonoff opening.
- Divorces Carly Simon.
1983 - August 1: Six-week tour.
1984 - April 4: Four-week tour.
- August 1: Six-week tour with Randy Newman.
1985 - January 12 and 14: Performs at Rock in Rio concert in Brazil.
Song "Only a Dream In Rio" inspired by this visit.
- September 12: Two-week tour of Italy.
- October 15: "Everyday" / "Limousine Driver" single released.
- October 17: "That's Why I'm Here" released.
- October 25: Three-week tour.
- "Live In Rio" released by Columbia Brasil.
- Performs at first Moscow Rock festival. Highlights shown on Showtime
- December 14: Marries Kathryn Walker at the Cathedral of St. John the
Divine in New York City.
1986 - January 24: Two-week tour of Australia.
- March 16: Five-week tour of Europe.
- July 23: Six-week U.S. tour.
- September 29: One-week U.S. tour.
- October 11: Two-week tour of Brazil.
1988 - "Never Die Young" released.
- Two-week Australian tour.
1991 - "James Taylor" (JT's 1969 Apple debut album) re-released by EMI.
- "New Moon Shine" released.
1993 - "James Taylor (LIVE)" released (more than 1 million copies sold).
1994 - "James Taylor (Best LIVE) released (contains subset of LIVE).
1995 - April 12: Performs at Rainforest Action Network benefit at New
York's Carnegie Hall with Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John,
Paul Simon, and others.
- May 7: Receives honorary doctorate of music at the Berklee College
of Music in Boston. Also gives commencement speech. More info on
- Tours U.S. playing with major symphony orchestras.
- August 30: Performs rare joint concert with Carly Simon on Martha's
Vineyard. Dubbed "Livestock 95" since it was a behefit for the
Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Society.