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Lexington’s Sam “The Man” Taylor Traveled the World

Photo Submitted / Lexington Progress

Article by Steve Corlew-

He was born in Lexington, buried in Atlanta, and traveled the world playing his Saxophone.

As we explore Black History Month in Henderson County, we must mention the accomplishment of a local musician.

Taylor was born on July 12, 1916, in Lexington, TN. Before he formed his own band in 1960, he played for the orchestras of Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Cab Calloway, according to his obituary that appeared in The Atlanta Constitution.

He gave many concerts in Europe and Japan and he recorded for MGM, Columbia, Polydor, Decca and Cannon Pony Record.

According to information from Dian Brown, Taylor’s parents were Sam Taylor and Birdie Kizer.  He had at least one sibling who stayed in Henderson County.

Ray Odis Taylor (1911-1986) married Jessie Mae Williams (1907-1945) in Henderson County in 1933. According to Brown’s research, they had 3 children who lived to adulthood, so there should be some Taylor, Williams and Hart family members in Lexington who know…

For complete coverage, see the February 22nd edition of The Lexington Progress.

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