Hear my pal R. Dean Taylor on “The Lost 45s.”
Source: U.S. Day News
Canadian singer R Dean Taylor is dead. Dean Taylor has been reportedly died at the age of 82. Sadly, nothing has been reported clarifying R. Dean Taylor’s cause of death.
R. Dean Taylor was a Canadian vocalist best known for his work with Motown in the 1960s and 1970s as a recording artist, composer, and record producer. Taylor “remains one of the most undervalued bands ever to record under the Motown auspices,” according to Jason Ankeny.
Taylor was best known in the United States for his chart-topping single “Indiana Wants Me,” which reached No. 1 in Cash Box in the United States, No. 1 in Canada, No. 2 in the United Kingdom, and No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970. The song was included in the opening minutes of The Ninth Configuration, a 1980 American film. Other songs include “Gotta See Jane” and “There’s a Ghost in My House,” which made him a household name in the United Kingdom.
Richard Dean Taylor was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on May 11, 1939. In 1961 he started his career, as a pianist and singer with several music bands in Toronto.
In 1961, he recorded his debut recordings for the Audiomaster label. Taylor’s single “At The High School Dance,” released by Amy-Mala Records the following year, was a small hit. Following the success of his following song, “I’ll Remember,” on the Barry label, reached No. 23 on Toronto rock and roll radio station CHUM, the singer chose to travel to Detroit, Michigan, to advance his career.
The topical comedy “My Ladybug (Stay Away From That Beatle)” was Taylor’s planned debut single for V.I.P. in March 1964, but it was considered too weak for promotion and never released.
Taylor released the V.I.P. single “Let’s Go Somewhere” in November 1965. Taylor collaborated with Brian Holland on the song, which was produced by Holland and Lamont Dozier, who had previously produced five No. 1 hits for The Supremes.
“There’s A Ghost In My House,” written by Holland–Dozier–Holland, and Taylor, and produced by Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier, was released in 1967. It was a commercial flop in the United States, but it reached No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart in 1974. Taylor also became a songwriter for other artists, and his co-composed songs “I’ll Turn to Stone” by the Four Tops and “All I Need” by The Temptations were both charted in the United States in 1967.
Taylor’s self-produced single “Gotta See Jane,” which he co-wrote with Brian Holland, reached the UK Top 20 in 1968. His big breakthrough came as a member of “The Clan,” a Motown composition and producing team.
After the Holland / Dozier / Holland trio departed Motown, this production company was the primary source of material for Diana Ross & the Supremes for a short time. Diana Ross & the Supremes’ No.1 US smash “Love Child” and their Top 10 follow-up hit “I’m Livin’ In Shame” were among Taylor’s successful co-compositions and co-productions while a member of The Clan in 1968 and 1969.
In 1970, Taylor started his music career, becoming one of the first artists to be allocated to Motown’s new subsidiary, Rare Earth, which was devoted to white performers. In that year, his debut Rare Earth song, “Indiana Wants Me,” was a No. 1 smash in both Canada and the United States, according to Cash Box magazine. It charted at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 in the United Kingdom.
In 1971, “Gotta See Jane” was republished and became a Top 10 hit in Canada. His song “Taos New Mexico,” released in 1972, did not perform well in Canada, peaking at number 48.
Dean Taylor continued to record for Rare Earth and work as a writer/producer for other artists until 1976 when the band was disbanded. Though he never again reached the top of the charts as he had with “Indiana Wants Me,” his subsequent albums performed quite well, particularly in Canada. He may be aired on CKLW and other Canadian radio stations as a Canadian citizen and counted towards the stations’ Canadian content criteria.
Taylor tried a return in the early 1980s, but then took a break from the music business. Jane Records, his own record label, was founded by him in 1973.
Several fans, friends, and supporters reacted and stated their condolences on social media websites following this tragic news.
BBC Wales journalist, Sue Charles wrote on Twitter: “So sad to say goodbye to another Motown legend. #RIP R Dean Taylor. First heard ‘There’s A Ghost In My House,’ via a Fall cover version… then on to ‘Gotta See Jane,’ ‘Indiana Wants Me’ and so many Northern Soul classics. Thank you #RDeanTaylor.”
Gerry Braiden wrote: “Ach, just heard about R Dean Taylor. Ghost In My House has always been one of my ‘greatest records’. But this is feckin’ class too. Indiana Wants Me.”
Aaqil Ahmed tweeted: “RIP R Dean Taylor – every time I hear “there’s a ghost in my house” I’m transported to Mod nights as a teenager in Bolton and Manchester. Still one of my top ten favorite songs.”
Also, music consultant and online announcer Bill Smith shared his tribute on Twitter, writing: “Sad to hear, waiting for an official announcement. R. Dean Taylor was 82 and had the hits Indiana Wants Me and Gotta See Jane on the Rare Earth label, and a UK-only hit There’s A Ghost In My House. He also co-wrote songs like Love Child and I’m Living In Shame for Motown.”
One wrote: “Sad to hear R Dean Taylor has died, one of my favorite Northern Soul artists. ‘There’s a Ghost in My House’ is one of those tracks I regularly just stick on repeat, and ‘Gotta See Jane’ is a classic.”