Favorite Obscure Records: Alex Taylor Dinnertime

Alex Taylor Dinnertime

I discovered this obscure gem while searching through a record store bargain bin back in the early 1980s. At the time, I was unaware of who Alex Taylor was and I had no idea about his lineage.(More on that later) However, the album’s cover photography and the Capricorn record label were enough to persuade me to drop a few bucks and take a chance on this record. Looking back, Dinnertime was one of my best all-time bargain bin scores.

Who is Alex Taylor? Imagine a more bluesy and funkier version of his younger brother, James Taylor. From Wikipedia:

Alexander “Alex” Taylor (February 28, 1947 – March 12, 1993) was an American singer. Alexander Taylor was the eldest child of Dr. Isaac M. Taylor and Gertrude Taylor. He was a member of a family which produced a number of musicians, the most famous of whom is James Taylor, but also includes Livingston, Hugh and Kate Taylor.

Dnnertime is an excellent vehicle that demonstrates Alex’s soulful blues chops and heartfelt crooning. For this record, all the right elements came together: The talent of Alex Taylor, coupled with a fine cast of supporting musicians, working in the legendary Muscle Shoals studio. Add it all up and you get a classic recording.

From the first track, ” Change Your Sexy Ways” to the final song, a cover of Bob Dylan’s “From a Buick Six,” there is not a weak track on this record. Some standout tracks to look for are covers of Randy Newman’s “Let’s Burn Down the Cornfield, Jessie Winchester’s “Payday” and Charlie Rich’s “Who Will The Next Fool Be.”

Here’s an example

I can’t for the life of me understand why Dinnertime is “obscure.” In my opinion, it’s criminal that more people aren’t aware of this classic record. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find examples of songs from Dinnertime on the web to share with you.

Allmusic.com has some short clips from each song and if you’re a member of Spotify you can find Dinnertime streaming. Dinnertime was also re-released as a CD and Mp3s a few years back. You can find it at places like Amazon.

Here’s one more track I found on Youtube:


Detailed information from Wikipedia:

Track listing

“Change Your Sexy Ways” (Alex Taylor, Chuck Leavell, Jim Nalls) – 7:07
“Let’s Burn Down the Cornfield” (Randy Newman) – 4:25
“Comin’ Back to You” (Scott Boyer) – 4:15
“Four Days Gone” (Stephen Stills) – 3:56
“Payday” (Jesse Winchester) – 4:53
“Who’s Been Talking?” (Howlin’ Wolf) – 4:45
“Who Will the Next Fool Be?” (Charlie Rich) – 4:50
“From a Buick Six” (Bob Dylan) – 4:54

Personnel

Alex Taylor – vocals
Scott Boyer – guitar, background vocals
Chuck Leavell – piano, keyboards, vibaphone
Paul Hornsby – organ, keyboards
Johnny Sandlin – bass, moog synthesizer
Wayne Perkins – bass, guitar, slide guitar
John Hughey – steel guitar
Jim Nalls – guitar
Charlie Hayward – bass
Jaimoe – percussion, conga, timbales
Bill Stewart – drums
Roger Hawkins – percussion, conga, tambourine
Lou Mullenix – percussion, timbales
Earl Sims – percussion
Charles Chalmers – background vocals
Sandra Chalmers – background vocals
Ginger Holladay – background vocals
Mary Holladay – background vocals
Donna Rhodes – background vocals
Sandra Rhodes – background vocals
Temple Riser – background vocals
Steve Smith – background vocals

Production

Producer: Johnny Sandlin
Recording Engineer: Steve Smith/Johnny Sandlin
Remixing: Johnny Sandlin/Jeff Willens/Richard Rosebrough/Danny Tuberville
Photography: Barry Feinstein/Tom Wilkes
Executive Supervisor: Phil Wald

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