Johnnie Taylor | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Johnnie Taylor


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


Johnnie Taylor is probably best remembered as the steamy soul stylist who set the R & B world afire with "Who's Making Love" back in 1968. According to today's relaxed genre boundaries, his deep-soul track record makes Taylor a bluesman; his Saturday appearance is being promoted as a "Battle of the Blues" between him and Bobby "Blue" Bland. Bland's easygoing warmth may win the hearts of his audience, especially when juxtaposed against Taylor's somewhat wooden stage presence. But Taylor's voice--supple and muscular, still capable of seductive tenderness on ballads and the sensual ecstasy that that drenched 60s-era soul--should ultimately win out. "Disco Lady," for instance, may have offended purists when it hit the charts in 1976, but it married the passion of Taylor's Stax days to the slickness of disco. His ability to bring soul-baring honesty to blues, R & B, and urban-contemporary stylings makes his shows both rich in history and up-to-date. Chicago vocalist Artie "Blues Boy" White is also on the bill. Saturday, 8 PM, Saber Room, 8900 W. 95th, Hickory Hills; 247-6514.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/James Fraher.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment