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James Taylor, 1969

Boston-born singer-songwriter James Taylor spent his early years in the college town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where his father was dean of the U.N.C. Medical School. His was a musical family and Taylor chose the guitar. In 1966, at the urging of childhood Martha’s Vineyard friend Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar, Taylor moved to New York and they started a band together, The Flying Machine. In 1967, Taylor moved to London and using Kortchmar’s friendship with Peter Asher, found himself the first non-British act signed to Apple Records. When Jack Robinson photographed the twenty-one year old Taylor on May 20, 1969, his first album had just been released. Peter Asher would later resign from Apple and manage Taylor’s career, recording him with a simple, straightforward style. Less than a year after these photographs were taken, Taylor would release a definitive album, Sweet Baby James (1969).