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Friday, June 20, 2008

Taylors Hicks ...A Declaration of Independant Soul

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Taylor Hicks will be releasing a CD of his early works in August. The CD will be produced on his own label Modern Whomp Records and distributed by Vanguard Records. Vanguard Records has a rich history in jazz and blues artists, proving to be a perfect match for Taylor.

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In 1953, under the direction of John Hammond, the company began the 'Jazz Showcase' series that concentrated on the mainstream jazz idiom, producing about two dozen recordings before it was wound down about 1958.[1] Recordings made at the Spirituals to Swing concerts in 1938 and 1939 were finally released by Vanguard in 1959. The company only intermittently pursued recording Jazz and Blues thereafter.

Vanguard diversified in the mid-1950s by challenging the blacklist and signing blacklisted performers Paul Robeson and The Weavers. The company continued to issue folk music with newly-signed artists Joan Baez, Hedy West, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Country Joe and the Fish, Ian and Sylvia, Mimi and Richard FariƱa.

In the summer of 1965 Maynard Solomon hired Samuel Charters to edit the tapes of the 1964 Newport Folk Festival. Following that project, the company sent Charters to Chicago to capture the broad range of blues musicians there. Those sessions resulted in the classic 1966 three album series titled Chicago/The Blues/Today!, which introduced a new generation to the blues. The albums included sets by Junior Wells with Buddy Guy, Muddy Water's bandmates Otis Spann and James Cotton, Otis Rush, Homesick James, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, and Charlie Musselwhite.

Vanguard released a number of important classical recordings, both domestically-produced and imported. Many of the latter came from the United Kingdom's Pye Records label, featuring performances by the Halle Orchestra conducted by Sir John Barbirolli. The recordings were so exceptional in their stereo sound and overall quality that many classical radio stations programmed them. Vanguard even released some quadraphonic classical recordings in the early 1970s, including a performance of Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony with the American Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski. The label also released many performances by the Utah Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maurice Abravanel, as well as the earlier P.D.Q. Bach recordings, from 1965 to 1983. Vanguard was the first American label to release the complete 1944 high fidelity recordings of composer Richard Strauss conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in most of his tone poems; the recordings were made on the Magnetophon tape recording equipment in the Vienna Opera House.

By the early 1970s, Vanguard released albums by Michigan-based rock groups such as Dick Wagner and The Frost and was inspired by an off the wall novelty hit they released, "Shaving Cream" by Benny Bell, to release albums of humorous music inspired by Dr. Demento. Tom Paxton recorded two albums, New Songs from the Briarpatch and Heroes, on Vanguard Records near the end of the 1970s.

The label stayed dormant for most of the mid- to late-seventies, re-emerged briefly with some disco releases in the eighties, and was finally sold to the Welk Music Group in 1985. The Welk Group sold the classical music catalog back to Seymour Solomon. Welk Music Group revitalized the label, reissuing much of its extensive folk and popular music back catalogue (a good deal of which had been out of print for several years) on CD, as well as signing a number of new artists (such as Mindy Smith), along with established musicians (such as Edwin McCain, Hootie & the Blowfish, Blues Traveler, Shawn Mullins and more).

Vanguard Classics was sold after Seymour Solomon's death to Artemis Records which reactivated the company with new releases by Leon Fleisher and Gil Shaham. When Artemis folded in 2004 the Vanguard Classics catalogue was sold to Sheridan Square Entertainment which is licensing the Vanguard Classics material with no apparent plans to relaunch or reactivate the label. ~ Wikipedia

Current artist : Blues Traveler, Carbon Leaf, Deana Carter, Edwin McCain, Greg Laswell, Hootie and the Blowfish, Indigenous, Joan Osborne, The Boxmasters, The Robert Cray Band, Shawn Mullins, Patty Larkin, The Watson Twins and more.

Taylor's earlier releases:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic Released in 1997

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Released in 2005

Here is a sample of some of his earlier music.

Taylor Hicks

Taylor will also be releasing a new CD and DVD this fall. We can also look forward to seeing him on tour again !
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published by: Cydter and Taylor's Angels
photo: DNET

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Chrissy said...

I'm glad to see there's another Greg Laswell fan out there! His music is so sad yet so pretty. I can't wait for his new album on July 8 and if you haven't heard "How the Day Sounds", his newest song, check it out at or his Myspace page. Spread the word!

Anonymous said...

This is a fantastic entry! Thanks so much for this :)