Gloria Ann Taylor Love Is A Hurtin Thing
None of their '70s recordings ever became a national hit. On the flip side, soul music collectors took notice, eventually turning their sides into the stuff Blood Orange Freetown Sound record-obsessive legend.
Some of her recordings have sold for upwards of a thousand dollars. The most coveted is the album's title track, a privately-issued mid-tempo soul song that unfolds across seven and a half minutes.
For every single thrill there's another heartbreak. For all in love the going is tough. Yes, love is a hurtin' thing. But with its steady thump, dramatic strings and Taylor's piercing vocals, "Love Is A Hurtin' Thing" became embraced as a proto-disco classic.
That acknowledgment came too late for Gloria Ann Taylor, Various Alchemy. Inshe made her last recordings and then packed up to move back to Toledo. She's still there. And while she's traded in the nightclub for a church choir, she's still singing and likely still haunting people with that voice.
Even her Discogs page puts her birthplace as Alabama, saying that she formed gospel group Sweet Honey in the Rock and passed away 10 years ago no doubt conflating her with one Gloria Ann Taylor-James.
As these liner notes clarify, though, Taylor was actually born in a coal-mining town in West Virginia and is still very much with us.
That Gloria Ann Taylor didn't become a household name isn't of much Gloria Ann Taylor Love Is A Hurtin Thing now. It's difficult to become a star, much easier to be star-crossed, to find your music lost to time. So the fact that she never made it is not cosmic injustice so much as the actual indifference of the universe. It was in fact at the start of Taylor's career as a soul Gloria Ann Taylor Love Is A Hurtin Thing based in Toledo that she had her best shot at stardom.
Compared favorably to Aretha Franklinshe had a powerful, church-bred voice that caught the attention of one of James Brown 's arrangers and associates, Walt Whisenhunt, fresh off of working on Doris Troy's "Just One Look". They became both musical partners and a couple. But before allowing hard-knock biography to color the reception of Love Is a Hurtin' Thingjust listen to the opening seconds of the title track. A blistering psychedelic guitar solo, like something left off of Nuggetsflares across the opening 10 seconds, but 20 seconds Iron Wine Woman King, we're awash in opulent strings, piano, and Taylor's voice, a powerful instrument that seem to be echoing from a subterranean tunnel.
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