Born Edward Taylor in Benoit, Mississippi, as a boy Taylor taught himself to play the guitar. He spent his early years playing at venues around Leland, Mississippi, where he taught his friend Jimmy Reed to play guitar. With a guitar style deeply rooted in the Mississippi Delta tradition, in 1949 Taylor moved to Chicago.While Taylor never achieved the stardom of some of his compatriots in the Chicago Blues scene, he nevertheless was an integral part of that era and is especially noted as a main accompanist for Jimmy Reed as well as working with John Lee Hooker, Big Walter Horton and others. Taylor's own records "Big Town Playboy" and "Bad Boy" on Vee Jay Records became local hits in the 1950s.Taylor's son Eddie Taylor Jr. is a blues guitarist in Chicago, his stepson Larry Taylor is a blues drummer and vocalist, and his daughter Demetria is a blues vocalist in Chicago. . Taylor's wife Vera was the niece of bluesmen Eddie "Guitar" Burns and Jimmy Burns.
Our selection here from the legendary Vocalion label spans the period from 1926 to 1940, the year before the United States went to war. Though this includes the period of the Great Depression, significant numbers of blues records were sold and Vocalion showcased a piano-based style the music business dubbed urban blues , distinguishing it from the Mississippi Delta country blues . With gems from the likes of Leroy Carr, Robert Johnson and Memphis Minnie, there s no doubt the classic Vocalion repertoire on this 2 disc set was, and still is, the cream of the blues crop.