Since his first television performance at age four, it was clear that Leigh Taylor was headed for a life in music. That’s when he sang Sixteen Tons in the Los Angeles talent show, Rocket to Stardom. To no one’s surprise, he won first place.
But for Leigh, that rocket took some strange twists and turns.
He was born with a life-threatening health condition. Leigh’s mother vowed to “raise him in church” if the Lord allowed him to live. God kept His part of the bargain, so Leigh was exposed to a strong Christian influence throughout his formative years. That heritage caught up with him in 1971, when he became a real, born-again believer.
Leigh lived briefly as a novice monk—a choice that ended permanently when he married Susan Nichols in 1986. Since then, he has divided his time between performing and raising their two children, Caleb and Kya.
In the 1970’s, Leigh’s musical gifts led to a role in Lonesome Stone, a Christian rock musical that toured throughout Europe and the U.S. As an African-American performer, he was something of a curiosity in places like Scotland, where the ethnic makeup is decidedly homogeneous. He nevertheless won the eternal admiration of his Scottish hosts when he fearlessly downed a plate of haggis—the national dish made of ingredients too disgusting to mention.
Through the next several decades, Leigh developed his distinctive voice as a Christian singer/songwriter, working solo and with various backing ensembles—including his popular band of the 1990’s, Moon Cookies, and the later Watermark Tribe.
Leigh’s original material is brilliant as burnished gold, but that hasn’t stopped him from lending his talent to other artists’ projects. Indeed, the most striking feature of Leigh’s career is its diversity.
Start with the multiple vocal personas that Leigh demonstrates in his songs. Blessed with an astonishing range, Leigh’s voice veers from a thundering bass to the pure falsetto of a child—sometimes within the same song. It was only natural that he would find a niche as a voiceover artist. So, along with his music, Leigh’s voice has been heard in a variety of commercials and audio productions.
With his strong musical vision, Leigh could have been very successful simply performing his own material. But his interests took him down some unusual paths. In 2005 he played the role of Jim in the Lamb’s Players Theater production of Pump Boys & Dinettes. He sang with several groups in various genres, and produced albums for other artists.
For those familiar with Leigh Taylor’s music, no new direction is surprising. Throughout his decades of performing, he has demonstrated the restless versatility that characterizes true creative genius. And he shows no signs of letting up.