R. Dean Taylor, who gave Motown one of its top hits by a white artist, dies at 82


Published January 20, 2022 at 6:00 am

TORONTO — R. Dean Taylor, the Canadian singer-songwriter on Motown Records who hit No. 1 in 1970 with “Indiana Wants Me,” has died at 82.

His widow Janee says her husband died at their Los Angeles home on Jan. 7, more than a year after he contracted COVID-19 and was placed in hospice care.

Taylor is considered one of the most successful white musicians on the Black-owned Motown label, but he often worked in the shadows of his contemporaries.

The Toronto-born musician first built his name behind the scenes as a songwriter, co-writing the smash “Love Child” for the Supremes, “All I Need” for the Temptations and “I’ll Turn to Stone,” recorded by the Four Tops.

Taylor brought his vocals to Motown in 1965 with the release of his solo single “Let’s Go Somewhere,” which led to his biggest hits “Indiana Wants Me,” “Gotta See Jane” and “Ain’t It A Sad Thing.”

His 1967 single “There’s A Ghost In My House” flopped on its initial release in North America but years later found a second life overseas as part of Britain’s northern soul movement.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2022.

David Friend, The Canadian Press

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