Though it’s absolutely unconfirmed, various soul sites (some more reliable than others) are reporting the death at age 82 of singer/songwriter R DEAN TAYLOR – best known, of course, for his Motown hits ‘There’s A Ghost In My House’, ‘Indiana Wants Me’ and ‘Gotta See Jane’. Motown buffs will know there was more to Taylor than those three songs.
Taylor was born in Ontario, Canada in 1939 (the “R” stood for Richard, by the way) and he began recording in the early 60s for local labels. In 1964 he moved to Detroit and landed a job at Motown as a writer. He was then signed as an artist to the VIP subsidiary and recorded the novelty ‘My Ladybug (Stay Away From That Beatle)’ – which was never released … no wonder with a title like that!
His first Motown/VIP release was ‘Let’s Go Somewhere’ – a song he penned alongside Holland-Dozier-Holland. It meant little as too did the follow up, ‘There’s A Ghost In My House’ However that song, when espoused by the more popular end of the UK Northern soul scene, became a hit in 1974.
During this period Taylor was also a prolific songwriter – his credits and co-credits include ‘I’ll Turn To Stone’, ‘All I Need’, ‘Love Child’ and ‘I’m Living in Shame’.
In 1970 Taylor (as an artist) switched from VIP to Rare Earth – the rockier/poppier end of Gordy’s empire. That label was the source of his ‘Indiana Wants Me’ hit.
By the late 70s, the hits and the opportunities started to dry up and he fell off the soul radar. Latterly we believe that Taylor lived in Los Angeles and was preparing a book about his days at Motown.