Johnnie Taylor

Wanted: One Soul Singer

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Johnnie Taylor set the tone for his recording career at Stax with Wanted: One Soul Singer, a consistently gritty collection of blues and raw, hard-hitting Memphis soul. In addition to his appealing medium-sized hits "Just the One I've Been Lookin' For" and "I Had a Dream," Wanted boasts pleasant surprises ranging from the addictive "Toe-Hold" to gutsy versions of Merle Travis' "Sixteen Tons" and the standard "Blues in the Night." Adding lyrics to Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man," Taylor removes the song's jazz elements and turns it into pure Southern R&B. When Wanted was released, Taylor (who has occasionally been confused with bluesman Little Johnny Taylor) had yet to become the soul-radio fixture that "Who's Making Love" would make him, but these solid performances show that he was definitely on the right track.

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