US soul sites are reporting the death of singer GLORIA TAYLOR, best known for her vocal rendition of Al Kent’s ‘You Gotta Pay The Price’. Few details are being made available save that Ms Taylor died on December 8th at her South Toledo home. She was 73 and, sadly, her daughter, Laretta Martin, had died aged 56 in November.
Gloria Ann Taylor was born in 1944, in Dehue, West Virginia but the family moved to Toledo when she was just 2. Suffering from rheumatic fever, she attended several special schools but gained her musical training in the church. To help pay bills she sung in night clubs where she was discovered by Walter Whisenhunt (whom Gloria was to marry). He took her to Detroit to look for a record deal. She cut sides for the King label but her biggest hit was her version of the Al Kent tune ‘You Gotta Pay The Price’. The record was nominated for a Grammy; Gloria lost out to someone called Aretha Franklin!
After a stint in California working with Columbia, Gloria returned to Toledo. Then, after her marriage failed she quit show business to concentrate on her family and singing gospel. Ms. Taylor became a featured soloist at River of Life Church on Upton Avenue, founded by a nephew, Bishop John Williams. He said: “Her voice was melodic, and she could sing out as the material required. There was none like her voice.”
Gloria Taylor is survived by her sons, Glenn and Edward Taylor and Walter Whisenhunt; sisters, Doris Williams Johnson and Daisy Birchfield; brothers, George and Leonard Taylor, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.