Jeremy Taylor

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Jeremy Taylor (1937- ) [1] is an English-born folk singer and songwriter who has spent much of his life in South Africa.

Co-author, with Andrew Tracey and Paul Tracey, of Wait a Minim

(19*-) Teacher, guitarist, singer and actor. ** Was one of the performers in Leon Gluckman’s revue, Wait a Minim! at the Intimate Theatre in 1962. TAYLOR, Jeremy. Teacher, guitarist, singer and actor. ** He starred in Leon Gluckman’s revue, Wait a Minim! at the Intimate Theatre in 1962 with musicians Andrew and Paul Tracey, and Kendrew Lascelles. Anthony Farmer was the set designer. They toured the country for eleven months, visiting Durban’s Alhambra, Rhodesia, Cape Town, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth before returning to Johannesburg to play at the Alexander Theatre and the Colony in Hyde Park Hotel. Pieter Toerien and Basil Rubin brought him, together with Russ Conway and the American crooner Dick Haymes back to the Civic in 1967. Des and Dawn Lindberg presented his Back in Town at the Arena in 1979. He staged his one-man show Stuff at the Arena in March 1983. Roger Leclercq presented his Stuff at the Siegfried Mynhardt Theatre in 1984 until a fire destroyed the venue and the show was moved to a restaurant next door and then the Intimate. He starred in Robert Hewett’s Gulls which Keith Grenville directed in 1987/1988. He starred in Harold Brooke and Kay Bannerman’s The Earl and the Pussycat at the Leonard Rayne in 1992.

Quoted from the programme notes of Go For the Gap (a solo show of Taylor in 19**): 'Humorist, satirist, social and political commentator, composer/singer of songs and writer of monologues and poems, Jeremy Taylor is all of these. He has achieved world-wide recognition in a variety of guises ranging from becoming one of South Africa's most popular solo performers to successful concert partnerships with Spike Milligan. Born in Newbury over 40 years ago, Taylor was educated at Newbury Grammar School from which he attained an open scholarship to Trinity College, Oxford, reading French and Italian. When he left England in 1959 to take up a teaching post in Johannesburg, his evenings were spent singing in coffee bars and writing short stories and plays. At the suggestion of painter Harold Rubin, Jeremy began to write songs and went on to compose Wait A Minim. The show's success escalated following his debut record release 'Ag Pleez Daddy', which became a South African No. 1. When the review went on tour, he left his teaching job and for two years toured South Africa and Rhodesia and, when time permitted, undertook numerous late-night cabaret appearances. In 1961, he released a solo album 'Jeremy Taylor', which proved an outright success in spite of being banned by the South African Broadcasting Corporation. 1962 saw Jeremy appearing in a second show Minim Bili (Zulu for Minim the second), and in 1963, the best items from the two shows were combined and brought to London under the original title of Wait a Minim. The cast album was released by Decca, during which time Jeremy, together with co-stars Paul and Andrew Tracy, made an album Always Something New Out of South Africa, a variety of musical styles intermingled with unusual African musical instruments. Jeremy left Wait a Minim before it embarked on an American tour and for a short period taught English Language and Literature at Eton. His parting gesture for the pupils of Eton was a folk concert with Sydney Carter, which was recorded and released under the title of Live at Eton. He took to the folk circuit full time, released an album Jeremy Taylor, His Songs and in 1968 made regular appearances on BBC 2's late night line-up. His songs and humour prompted Granada Television to feature him in At Last It's Friday, a weekly show based on topical news items. The shows were successful enough for ITV to commission a networked second series Psst. The best items from the two series were later combined and released on an album Jeremy Taylor, More Of His Songs. More television work followed; Anglia requested songs for their Survival documentary series; the BBC used songs for the Birds Eye View series and Granada used a composition called Campaign as a theme for a number of social investigatory programmes. Jeremy then secured his own ITV series Songs From The Two Brewers, regarded as a shop window for Britain's folk artists. Together with John Wells, he also wrote the theme to Joan Littlewood's long-running production Mrs Wilson's Diary. Jeremy has made frequent return concert trips to South Africa but, on arrival in 1970, was refused entry and turned away at Johannesburg airport. Since then, however, he has kept his foot in Africa by touring Nairobi once a year where audiences, comments Jeremy, "are very sharp and always keep me on the boil". He released an album, - Piece of Ground, in 1972, a gentle and introspective folk album, and, in 1974, teamed up with Spike Milligan to release a hilarious double album titled An Adult Entertainment - Spike Milligan And Jeremy Taylor Live At Cambridge. Much of 74/75 was spent touring with Milligan in a show which was described "an intimate communication between the audience, two lunatics and a rag doll". Following their partnership, he recorded two albums Jobsworth and Come to Blackpool. The latter was a reflection on the "old timers" of Blackpool and featured recordings of residents' conversations, linking songs and backed by a full orchestra. His other albums included "Done at a Flash", "Live at the Vic", "Live at the Festival of Perth" and two new albums just released in South Africa. Jeremy's late night TV show for the BBC was enthusiastically received in London, and he has a variety series up for SABC TV. Jeremy appears to have found new roots in South Africa - and is busy with recording contracts, new stage shows and movie ideas.'

Sources

Programme notes of Taylor's show Go for the Gap in 19**.

Tucker, 1997


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