Vernon Taylor was born on November 9, 1937 into a Baptist farming family. He was the youngest of four children. Music was always present in his home while he was growing up. His fondest memories as a young lad were family get togethers when his parents, brothers, aunts, uncles and cousins would sit around singing hymns.
Some nights he'd listen to the radio while playing his guitar. Hillbilly artists like Roy Acuff, Ernest Tubb and Hank Williams were a great influence on him as were cowboy singers like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. In the 50's he would listen to a small radio under the bedclothes. "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" by Elvis was a song that really inspired him.
At fifteen he hooked up with two high school friends and they formed a group called "The Nighthawks." They practiced hard three nights a week for a year and got occasional bookings at local sock hops which kept their enthusiasm going. By the time Vernon was a senior in high school, they worked shows throughout Maryland and Virginia. This led to their own 5:30 a.m. radio show.
Curley Smith and his Blue Mountain Boys were playing a local dance. Vernon asked Curley if he would mind if "The Nighthawks" performed a few numbers during one of the breaks. They went over real big with the crowd which led to Curley hiring "The Nighthawks" and letting his band go. The crowds increased as they became popular with the younger set. On his nights off Vernon would go where Jimmy Dean and the Texas Wildcats were performing and Jimmy would have him do a few tunes. Curley had a job offer in Arkansas, but Vernon and the guys decided they wanted to stay local. They continued to play the same gig until early 1957.
Vernon was just starting his professional music career playing USO shows for the experience when rock 'n' roll was breaking out all over the United States. While in high school he began playing dances and an early morning radio show. In 1957 everything started happening at once. He was offered the starring spot on an hour long Saturday night TV show out of Washington, DC. This show ran for 3 1/2 years.
This led to a recording contract with Dot Records and an appearance on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. Vernon got frequent spots on most of the TV sock hops up and down the East Coast, the Mid-West and the South. While doing shows with many big names in country and rockabilly music, Vernon was signed by Sam Phillips to Sun Records. Wanting to get the rich Memphis sound in his music, Vernon's recording sessions were produced by Jack Clement and Sam Phillips.
A few years later Vernon retired from a full time music career but continued performing on weekends throughout the 60's. In 1989 he was asked to do a benefit show for Charlie Feathers. This led to more shows and occasional guest appearances.
After a long retirement from the music business, Vernon Taylor is back performing. In May of 1995 he was the headliner for Friday Night at The Great "Hemsby Rock 'N' Roll Festival" in the U.K. In the fall of "95" a CD was released with all Vernon's original cuts from Sun and Dot on the famous "Eagle" label in Germany.
Over the past three years he has appeared on shows with Narvel Felts, Dickey Lee, Ray Peterson, Sleepy LaBeef, Vicki Bird and Ronnie Dove. The fall of "97" was spent with Taylor concentrating on a promo video and frequent guest appearances in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
DISCOGRAPHY - VERNON TAYLOR
SESSION JULY 5, 1957 NASHVILLE
15632 - Dot - Losing Game by J.O'Gwynn. I've Got The Blues by C. Snow. Vernon Taylor: vocals and guitar; Floyd Cramer: piano; Roy Husky: bass; Charlie McCoy: vibes; Hank Garland: guitar; unknown: drums; Jordonaires: chorus. Produced by Mac Wiseman, released August 1957.
15697 - Dot - Why Must You Leave Me, by Vernon Taylor. Satisfaction Guaranteed by D. Owens. Vernon Taylor: vocals and guitar; Floyd Cramer: piano; Roy Husky: bass; Charlie McCoy: vibes; Hank Garland: guitar, unknown: drums; Jordonaires: chorus. Produced by Mac Wiseman, released January 1958.
SESSION OCTOBER 27, 1958 MEMPHIS
310 - Sun - Breeze by MacDonald-Goodwin-Hanley. Today Is A Blue Day by Jack Clement. Vernon Taylor: vocals and guitar; Cliff Acred: bass; Jimmy Van Eaton: drums; Jimmy Wilson: piano; Anita Kerr Singers: chorus. Produced by Jack Clement.
SESSION AUGUST 15, 1959 MEMPHIS
601 - Sun - This Kind of Love by Roy Orbison. 325 - Sun - Sweet and Easy To Love by Roy Orbison. 325 - Sun - Mystery Train by Junior Parker. Vernon Taylor: vocals and guitar; Brad Suggs: guitar; Billy Riley: bass; Jimmy Van Eaton: drums; Charlie Rich: piano; Martin Willis: tenor sax. Produced by Sam Phillips.
Charly Records (UK) - Sun Recordings, LP 1031 Country Rock Sides, 1985. Mystery Train/ Your Lovin' Man/ This Kind Of Love/ and other artists.
Charly Records (UK) CR 30253 - Let's Flat Get It, 1986. Satisfaction Guaranteed and other artists.
Charly Records (France) - original Sun recordings, LP 36 The Best of Sun Rockabilly 1986, Vol 2; Your Lovin' Man and other artists.
Charly Records - Sun Box 106, The Sun Rocking Years, 1987. Album 11 titled "Your Lovin' Man." Your Lovin' Man/Today Is A Blue Day/Breeze/Hey Little Girl/Mystery Train/This Kind Of Love/Sweet And Easy To Love/ Mystery Train.
Buffalo Bop (Germany), CD 55012, Hobo Bop, 1993. Mystery Train and other artists.
Eagle Records (Germany), EA-R 90120, There's Only One, 1995. Your Lovin' Man/Breeze/Today Is A Blue Day/Why Must You Leave Me/Losing Game/I've Got The Blues/Satisfaction Guaranteed/ This Kind Of Love/ What Would I Do Without You/All They Wanna Do Is Stroll/Dinah Lee/Sweet And Easy To Love/Mystery Train, Don Owens - Radio Show.
VERNON AT HEMSBY 14, MAY 12, 1995
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