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  1. #1

    Gloria [[Ann) Taylor

    This woman had a fantastic voice, bearing more than a passing remeblance to that of a certain country superstar, but there's not much written about her. I've heard a couple of songs that she recorded, of which two is of particular interest to Motown fans. Does anyone have any information on Gloria, her background, her experiences during the 1960's and the 1970's when she seem to have been most active, who she worked with, where she worked, etc., and know of any more recordings by her?

    Here's the eight songs I've come across, linked here via Youtube [[apparently the last two feature on one of the rarest and most sought-after records in the disco collection community):

    You've Got To Pay The Price: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6LTouzZwO4
    Poor Unfortunate Me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz6d_ZN606w

    Grounded: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CS2B4TMKXDY

    Total Disaster: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4YRK4b_sXo

    Born A Woman b/w Do Your Duty: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4t-zVutluI

    Love Is A Hurting Thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqprictNQW8
    Deep Inside Of You: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF2Y4boaV8A

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    I know very little about her. I only knew of her as Gloria Taylor, who recorded on the small, Detroit King Soul label, with Herman Griffin, and Don Davis/Herman Griffin [[in Detroit) on Mercury Records in 1966, and on her husband/producer's [[Walter "Whiz" Whisenhunt) label, Glo-Whiz, and with Shelby Singleton [[I presume, in Nashville) in 1967 on Silver Fox Records.

    I know of the following releases in the 1960s [[I don't know anything about her '70s disco career:

    1. King Soul AR 493-"You Might Need Me Another Day" [[AKA "Think")/"Poor Unfortunate Me"-J.J. Barnes-Joe Hunter-Fred Brown/Steve Mancha-produced by Herman Griffin-clearly Detroit AR code for Archer pressing plant in Detroit

    2. King Soul AR 865-"Born A Woman"/"Do Your Duty"-latter written by Ronnie Shannon, who wrote for Detroit's Dynamics and for some other Detroit artists-produced by Whisenhunt
    I think there was one more King Soul release [[but not sure)-I have just the two I've listed.

    3. Glow Whiz 1-"You've Got To Pay The Price"/"Loving You and Being Loved By You"-A side written by Al Kent [[Ric Tic-Detroit) and published by Golden World/Ric Tic publisher. It was Whisenhunt's label, distributed by Shelby Singleton [[Nashville). I believe it was recorded in Nashville, but Whisenhunt's Detroit connection with Herman Griffin/Don Davis/Steve Mancha got him the song.

    4. That record was later issued on Singleton's nationally-distributed Silver Fox Records, as were follow ups [[re-make of "Poor Unfortunate Me", and "Grounded" and "Total Disaster"

    5. Mercury 73137-"Unyielding"/"Yesterday Will Never Come Again"-Don Davis/Steve Mancha[[Clyde Wilson)-Produced by Whisenhunt [[and probably Herman Griffin [[he had the deal with Mercury)and it was published by Griffin's partner, Don Davis' Groovesville Music. Probably recorded in Detroit. I think I've seen one more Mercury release, but I don't have it. I believe it was also related to Griffin and Don Davis. The Mercury cuts have 1966-67 pressing plant numbers. I have the feeling those cuts were recorded before all the Silver Fox cuts [[except the Glow-Whiz cuts picked up by Singleton).

    I don't know where Whiz Whisenhunt and Gloria lived, but I think her King Soul and Mercury songs were recorded in Detroit. Her Silver Fox cuts were probably recorded in Nashville. The two Glo-Whiz cuts may have also been recorded in Nashville, also by Singleton's people, Singleton's distributor pressed and distributed Whisenhunt's label. Recording may have been part of the deal. Although "You've Got To Pay The Price sounds very true to Al Kent's Ric Tic instrumental, I don't recognise the Detroit session players in the sound. I think they used mostly Nashville session players, but tried to re-create the Detroit Sound.

    I can't listen to my records, as I don't have a proper stylus, and my stereo equipment isn't set up. I don't have time to look through my 100,000 taped songs to try to find my Gloria Taylor's "Poor Unfortunate Me" on King Soul, to play next to her Silver Fox release of that song. But, if I remember correctly, the King Soul version was arranged by Joe Hunter and sounds very Detroitish, and was a different recording from that song by Gloria later released on Silver Fox. It seems Singleton and Whisenhunt re-recorded that song in Nashville [[although they kept fairly true to "The Detroit Sound".

    Unfortunately, the short Bio I found on Gloria Ann Taylor had nothing more than I've told here. No Wikipedia entry came up.

  3. #3
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    I was hoping that someone else here has more information on Gloria's Silver Fox recordings, as well as her biography -where she lived, and where she recorded, as well as her '70s material [[labels, etc.)

  4. #4
    Absolutely amazing info, Robb! Thanks so very, very much. I'll note all the songs and the info down immediately. There was a whole load of songs there that I'm not familiar with. As far as I know, she's been awfully treated by the CD era.

    "Grounded [[Part 1)" and "You've Got To Pay The Price" appears on a CD called My Goodness, Yes! The Silver Fox Collection, link: http://allmusic.com/album/my-goodnes...ection-r784810

    The latter as well as "Poor Unfortunate me" appear on various Northern Soul styled compilations as well.

    I would be most intrigued to hear the King Soul, Joe Hunter arranged version of "Poor Unfortunate Me". I think Gloria's performance on the Silver Fox version blows J.J. Barnes' and The Charmaines' respective versions out of the water. What a voice. It's Dolly Parton all over. The arrangement is very reminiscent of Cincinnati trio The Charmaines' 1967 version on Columbia.

  5. #5
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    The Charmaines being from Cincinnati is no surprise, as Herman Griffin [[AKA Herman Lewis) was originally his home town. Gigi [[lead of The Charmaines) was his girlfriend[[thus, The Charmaines entre into the Detroit music scene Griffin took them to Don Davis [[Groovesville/Groove City). I think the other two versions are better. But I like the older sound. The arrangements sound similar because Don Davis, Herman Griffin, and, maybe Mike Terry, were involved in both.

  6. #6
    Think Pay The Price was recorded in Detroit because I remember reading somewhere that the Funks were involved in the session.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by mike_s View Post
    Think Pay The Price was recorded in Detroit because I remember reading somewhere that the Funks were involved in the session.

    I 've heard that, too. But, I have also heard the opposite. If Whisenhunt had that recorded in Detroit, and Shelby Singleton only distributed the Glo-Whiz label, once Whisenhunt had it off the ground, then that leads me to believe that Gloria Taylor and Whisenhunt worked out of Detroit [[at least until they started recording with Silver Fox. It makes sense, given that they got their product released on local Detroit label, King Soul, and worked mainly with Detroit's Herman Griffin and Don Davis [[and, possibly, Joe Hunter), and they pick up an obscure Ric Tic song from Al Kent.

  8. #8
    I had the 45 You Got To Pay The Price on Silver Fox.

  9. #9
    Hi All - I stumbled across this thread while researching liner notes I was writing on Gloria Taylor. The company I used to work for is releasing a box set of all the singles she released on Selector Sounds. Selector was the label she owned with her husband Walter Whisenhunt and brother Leonard Taylor. Her story is really interesting, and more than a little sad. I'm happy to email you the full story if you want to shoot me a quick message and might be able to answer a few questions. But the super short version is that after a rough start on life, Gloria was holding down a few nights a week as the featured singer at the Green Door in Toledo when Prentiss Anderson introduced her to Whisenhunt. Whisenhunt was a right-hand man to James Brown at the time and had enjoyed success working on the Doris Troy hit "Just One Look." Gloria and Whisenhunt got married pretty quickly after meeting and cranked out the tunes listed by Robb above with Whisenhunt pulling together his industry contacts at labels and for backing musicians. Details on who played what are scant, but Thelma Hopkins and Joyce Wilson [[who also made appearances in Shaft, and in the Tony Orlando and Dawn band,) Janice Taylor, Jackie Moore, Linda Martin, and Rita Rickman were all involved. After that Whisenhunt wanted to launch his own label but Glo Whiz and Whizenglo were shortlived, as was House Guests - a label he started with Bootsy Collins that soured after a few releases. Selector Sounds started off in Toledo, they were recording in a studio outside of Detroit [[nobody can recall the name!), but then Gloria and Whisenhunt moved to Maryland and finally to LA before they broke-up and Gloria returned home. They managed to release 5 singles on Selector and a 3-track EP.

  10. #10
    I have a 45 Do Your Duty/Freedom by her.

  11. #11
    Andrew, thank you very much for reviving this old thread. Much appreciated. I would welcome all information you're willing and able to give me. My e-mail adress is: perham_snabela@hotmail.com

    Again, thank you and good luck with the project. I'm most certainly interested in learning more about that and eventually purchasing it when it's ready. Gloria was one heck of a singer.

  12. AndrewJervis, mr_postman, may I also have more information on Gloria Ann Taylor. This woman is amazing and I want to know all there is to know. My email address is: mdexNOnySPAM@gmail.com [[pls remove letters in uppercase).

    many thanks!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewJervis View Post
    But the super short version is that after a rough start on life, Gloria was holding down a few nights a week as the featured singer at the Green Door in Toledo when Prentiss Anderson introduced her to Whisenhunt.

    I think you mean the former "Green Light" club in Toledo.

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Ralph Terrana

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