Photo credits: Stax Records
On May 31, 2000, soul and R&B singer Johnnie Taylor, whose 1976 song “Disco Lady” was a dance floor and pop chart smash, died after suffering a heart attack. He was 62 years of age.
According to authorities, Taylor was afflicted at his estate in the Texas suburb of Duncanville. At the Charleton Methodist Medical Center, he passed away. Memphis, Tennessee’s Stax Records dubbed the Crawfordsville, Arkansas native “The Philosopher of Soul.”
Taylor served as one of Sam Cooke’s backup singers. In the 1950s, he took over the Soul Stirrers when Cooke abandoned gospel music for rhythm & blues. After performing a concert in Dallas during the mid-1960s, he chose to remain there. Taylor resided in Dallas for 30 consecutive annual periods.
The 1968 song “Who’s Making Love” was Taylor’s first number-one hit on the U.S. R&B charts. This was his second million-selling single. It was followed by a string of subsequent hits. When Stax Records failed in 1975, Taylor signed with Columbia Records.
There, Taylor earned the greatest music-related victories in sales and on Billboard charts that he ever experienced.