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MusicNotes


Hal Leonard


Chip Taylor is responsible for one of the most famous songs to come out of the 1960s—The Troggs’ 1966 hit “Wild Thing,” which was famously covered in 1967 by Jimi Hendrix. His other big hits include Merrilee Rush’s 1968 “Angel InThe Morning” (also covered by Juice Newton), The Hollies “I Can’t Let Go” (1966, also notably covered by Evie Sands and Linda Ronstadt) and Janis Joplin’s “Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)” (1969). His songs have also been recorded by such luminaries as Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield and Frank Sinatra, with Norway’s premier folk singer Paal Flaata recording an entire album of Taylor songs, Wait by the Fire, and taking it to his country’s Top 10 and a Norwegian Grammy nomination.


Taylor was born James Wesley Voight in Yonkers, N.Y., on March 21, 1940. His older brother is the Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight (Voight’s Oscar-winning daughter Angelina Jolie is Taylor’s niece), and a second older brother, Barry Voight, is an award-winning volcanologist and engineer in his own right. After a failed attempt as a professional golfer, Taylor commenced a career in music, writing songs by himself and with others including Brill Building session player Al Gorgoni—with whom he recorded in the duo Just Us and notched a hit in 1966 with “I Can’t Grow Peaches on a Cherry TreeԗBilly Vera (they co-wrote “Storybook Children,” which Vera recorded with gospel singer Judy Clay in 1967 as the first major label interracial duo) and Jerry Ragovoy, with whom he wrote the Janis Joplin hit “Try (Just a Little Bit Harder).” Other artists covering Taylor songs have included Willie Nelson, Johnny Tillotson, Barbara Lewis, The…

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