As the tale is told, he was shipped in from another county, his mandolin case tucked under his coat. The mayor of Corbin, KY, was a fellow named John Walker, and he was pretty serious about his old-time music. Would he go to the trouble of securing a job, setting up a house, and so forth just to have a mandolin player for his group? As mayor, perhaps it wouldn't be too much trouble, after all. The history of old-time string bands is certainly full of tales of players being brought in from hither and yon, with the enticement of the jackpot at an upcoming fiddling contest was perhaps booty enough to bring a fellow over from several hollers distant, especially if all he had to carry was a mandolin.
Walker's Corbin Ramblers was officially formed as a band in the early '30s, yet another old-time music miracle from a town that was already perhaps over-populated by traditional musicians. The band consisted of Walker on fiddle, his brother Albert Walker on tenor guitar, and the talented pair of Taylor and Larry Hensley swapping back and forth on guitar an mandolin. Everyone sang. By 1934, the group had perfected its repertoire and was playing with an uncommon skill. Walker and associates cut 21 sides for the American Record Corporation, of which a total of eight 78 RPM records were released on the Vocalion label and hawked commercially, totaling 16 selections. The remaining five unreleased tracks are something of a buried treasure in the annals of Appalachian recording folklore. Many fans go to their graves still hoping that these sides will show up somewhere, perhaps in one of Captain Kidd's treasure hordes on the Outer Banks. Much information about this group was presented as part of a traveling exhibition entitled "The Awfulest Gang of Records You've Ever Seen: Ed Ward and the Golden Era in Country Music," produced by record collector Ed Ward in conjunction with the spring 2000 American Music program at Southeast Community College. According to this information, "the band never recorded any music again due to their occupations."
Hensley had undoubtedly the biggest impact on the music business, as his solo recording of "Matchbox Blues," cut during the same era when Walker's Corbin Ramblers were hot, is definitely the model for the Carl Perkins "Matchbox" tune that was eventually covered by the Beatles as well. A Mack Taylor showed up a few years later in country & Western and Texas swing music, and because of the many documented examples of historical old-time pickers rambling over into these styles of music, there are those that feel the obscure, regional recordings of this Taylor may also be part of the Corbin, KY, legacy. In the case of these songs such as "Can't Get Away With a Thing" and "Blame It on Jesus," one would have to agree with the former sentiment in terms of any attempt to permanently link the two; and take the course suggested by the latter song's title if a source of blame must be found for the public's desire for truth, even on the subject of another obscure Corbin picker. A set of liner notes on the Yazoo release entitled String Ragtime: To Do This You Got to Know How claims that in the mid-'70s, Taylor was supposed to be living in Aliquippa, PA.