Taylor was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised near Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Taylor’s father, Isaac Taylor, was the dean of the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill’s medical school. Taylor’s upbringing in North Carolina has influenced his music, which often has melodic elements of country and southern romanticism. His song “Carolina In My Mind” is practically an anthem to the Tarheel State, while the later song, “Copperline”, is all about growing up near Chapel Hill at a time when it was still a small, quiet, southern town.
James Taylor’s family is very musical. He was previously married to singer-songwriter Carly Simon, with whom he has two children, Sally and Ben Taylor. Ben and Sally Taylor are also musicians. His second marriage to actress Kathryn Walker did not produce any children. With third wife, Caroline “Kim” Smedvig, he has twin sons, Henry and Rufus. Taylor is the brother of Alex, Kate, Livingston, and Hugh Taylor, all of whom have been musicians. Livingston Taylor is still actively performing and has collaborated with James Taylor several times. Older brother Alex died in 1993, while Hugh Taylor owns and operates bed-and-breakfast. Kate Taylor released albums in the 1970s and made a comeback album in 2003.
James Taylor’s career declined somewhat in the 1980s, but rebounded in the 1990s when he released 1991’s New Moon Shine and 1997’s Hourglass. In the 2000s, he released One Man Band, an excellent CD-DVD of his best known songs coupled with anecdotes. In 2008 and 2009, he released a CD called Covers and a follow up EP called Other Covers consisting of country, soul, and R&B songs made famous by other singers. In 2010, he teamed up with Carole King for concerts Live at the Troubadour, the Los Angeles club they played in the early 1970s when their careers were just getting started. He continues to tour internationally and remains very popular.
James Taylor sings “You’ve Got A Friend”
James Taylor sings “Don’t Let Me Lonely Tonight”