Billy Taylor

William Taylor Sr. (April 3, 1906 – September 2, 1986) was an American jazz bassist. He was born Washington, D.C. and died in Fairfax, Virginia.

Taylor began playing tuba but later picked up bass alongside it. After moving to New York City in 1924, he played with Elmer Snowden (1925), Willie Gant and Arthur Gibbs (1926), Charlie Johnson (1927–29, 1932–33), Duke Ellington (1928), McKinney's Cotton Pickers (1929–31), Fats Waller (1934), and Fletcher Henderson. He recorded with Jelly-Roll Morton on three sessions in 1930. From 1935 to 1940 he again played with Ellington, and it is for this association that he is best known; he often played with a second bassist in the orchestra, at times Hayes Alvis or Jimmie Blanton. During that time he also recorded with Cootie Williams and Johnny Hodges. In the 1940s he played with Coleman Hawkins (1940), Red Allen (1940–41), Joe Sullivan (1942), Raymond Scott (1942–43), Cootie Williams (1944), Barney Bigard (1944–45), Benny Morton (1945), and Cozy Cole (1945). Later in the decade he played freelance in New York before moving back to Washington, D.C. in 1949. He led his own ensemble for Keynote Records in 1944.

Birth and Death Data: Born April 3rd, 1906 (Washington, D.C.), Died Fairfax

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1930 - 1954

Roles Represented in DAHR: piano, string bass, leader, tuba, composer

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 123 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-62182 10-in. 6/2/1930 Oil well Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tuba  
Victor BVE-62183 10-in. 6/2/1930 Load of coal Jelly Roll Morton ; Red Hot Peppers Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, tuba  
Victor BS-82526 10-in. 5/16/1934 A porter's love song to a chambermaid Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BS-82527 10-in. 5/16/1934 I wish I were twins Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BS-82528 10-in. 5/16/1934 Armful o' sweetness Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BS-82529 10-in. 5/16/1934 Do me a favor Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BS-037632 10-in. 6/13/1939 12th Street rag Lionel Hampton Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Columbia W152577 10-in. 11/24/1933 Do your duty Buck and his Band ; Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Columbia W152578 10-in. 11/24/1933 Gimme a pigfoot Buck and his Band ; Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Columbia W152579 10-in. 11/24/1933 Take me for a buggy ride Buck and his Band ; Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Columbia W152580 10-in. 11/24/1933 I'm down in the dumps Buck and his Band ; Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Columbia W152719 10-in. 2/23/1934 Tailor made Benny Morton Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Decca 39518 10-in. 5/7/1935 Corinne Corinna Bob Howard Orchestra instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 39519 10-in. 5/7/1935 Ev'ry day Bob Howard Orchestra instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 39520 10-in. 5/7/1935 A porter's love song Bob Howard Orchestra instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 39521 10-in. 5/7/1935 I can't dance Bob Howard Orchestra instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 68605 10-in. 1/21/1941 Wee baby blues Art Tatum and his Band instrumentalist, string bass  
Decca 68606 10-in. 1/21/1941 Stompin' at the Savoy Art Tatum and his Band instrumentalist, string bass  
Decca 68607 10-in. 1/21/1941 Last goodbye blues Art Tatum and his Band instrumentalist, string bass  
Decca 68608 10-in. 1/21/1941 Battery bounce Art Tatum and his Band instrumentalist, string bass  
Decca 69356 10-in. 6/13/1941 Lucille Art Tatum and his Band instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 69357 10-in. 6/13/1941 Rock me Mama Art Tatum and his Band instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 69358 10-in. 6/13/1941 Corrine, Corrina Art Tatum and his Band instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 69359 10-in. 6/13/1941 Lonesome graveyard blues Art Tatum and his Band instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 70029 10-in. 12/10/1941 Why don't you love me any more? Ruby Smith instrumentalist, piano  
(Results 1-25 of 123 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Taylor, Billy," accessed October 24, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/110259.

Taylor, Billy. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 24, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/110259.

"Taylor, Billy." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 24 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/110259

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