Saturday, June 01, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers

Artist:Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers
Song:Does Your Mama Know About Me
Album:The Motown Anthology

Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers had their biggest success with the 1968 Motown classic Does Your Mama Know About Me. By the late 60s, Motown was signing acts from outside Detroit. Bobby Taylor grew up in Washington, DC. But by the early 60s, he lived in San Francisco and joined Little Daddy and the Bachelors. The key figure was guitarist Tommy Chong who would go on to be one half of the comedy duo Cheech & Chong. The band moved to Calgary and then Vancouver and opened a club. They brought in name acts and Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers would back them up and play Motown covers. In 1965, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard of The Supremes saw them and told Motown owner Berry Gordy about them. Gordy signed them and brought them to Detroit. The band was Bobby Taylor, Tommy Chong and bassist Wes Henderson. They added guitarist Eddie Patterson, organist Robbie King and drummer Ted Lewis from the Vancouver band The Good Shepherds. Supposedly Jimi Hendrix was a one time member of The Vancouvers. Taylor says he fired Hendrix because his solos were too long. Chong says Hendrix was never in the band. Chong wrote Does Your Mama Know About Me as a Chinese guy hanging around with blacks. Johnny Bristol produced the record and it reached #29 on the Billboard Hot 100. Meanwhile, Taylor brought The Jackson 5 to Motown after they opened for him in Chicago. Of course they signed with Motown and Taylor left The Vancouvers to work with them. The rest of the band was sent on the road to back up white soul singer Chris Clark. They were fired after Chong and Henderson missed a gig while trying to get Green Cards so they could work in the US. Taylor produced some early Jackson 5 recordings but a lot of them were never released. He also signed with Motown as a solo artist but they dumped him after his 1969 solo album Taylor Made Soul didn't sell. You can get all of Taylor's recordings on this Motown UK 2CD comp. Taylor successfully sued Motown for royalties. He moved to England and worked with Ian Levine's Motor City Records in the 90s. Despite bouts with throat cancer, Bobby Taylor still performs occasionally and currently lives in Hong Kong. Here's Bobby Taylor performing Does Your Mama Know About Me for Ian Levine 1994.

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