33,602 days ago, Creed Taylor was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, Happy 92nd birthday Creed.

Note: This post originally included a detailed post about Creed’s early, “specialty years” at ABC Paramount. This post includes early details of Mr Taylor’s career, including as far as I’m aware, for the first time, a picture of Mr Taylor in the Duke Cavaliers from 1949. The ABC Specialty Recording has been moved to it’s own post, which can be found here.[1]https://www.ctproduced.com/the-abc-of-specialty-recording/

Creed Taylor’s Early Years

Since I’m not writing an autobiography, or a film script about Creed, I feel free to dip in and out of both his personal, professional and music life at will. Researching his personal life, without intruding on Creed or his family can be hit and miss, but always interesting from a American cultural background. Wikipedia[2]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creed_Taylor tells us that Creed was born on May 13th, 1929. It provides some detail in the of his early years, but that is all.

Most of what we know about Creed early years comes from two interviews, a series of interviews that Jazzwax Marc Myers did with Creed some 13-years ago.[3]https://www.jazzwax.com/2008/05/interview-creed.html Also an All About Jazz interview by Chris M. Slawecki in 2004.[4]https://www.allaboutjazz.com/creed-taylor-incorporated-the-aaj-interview-part-1-3-creed-taylor-by-chris-m-slawecki.php I’ve been looking for other significant recorded audio or video interviews with Creed, partly as a favor to Creed’s son, John. I’ve been able to find nothing in the BBC, Getty, or other archives. If anyone reading is aware of anything, please leave a comment or contact me. I’m happy to do the research and outreach, and within limits even pay for licensing.

In the pre-social media days, in this case, almost a hundred years ago, the socialite or diary columns were the place to go to find out what is going on. I’ve found everything from Creed’s grandfather return from World War 1 and retirement due to injury, to family travel details.

I couldn’t find a formal birth announcement for Creed, but I did find this press cutting, it announces that a 4-month old Creed Taylor was taken by his mother, to see her parents, Creed’s maternal grandparents. Other columns for the next few years host a number of similar reports, including a group of women driving ala caravan style on visits.

Richmond Times Dispatch – Sunday Sept. 29th, 1929

Having been in the high school marching band, and played trumpet in the “Five Dukes” and “Duke Ambassadors” between 1948 and 1951 at Duke University. Creed was drafted into the Marines in September 1951; he spent the first year at Parris Island, teaching illiterate Marine recruits how to read and write. In 1952, Creed was shipped out to Korea, he spent a year in the combat zone as a forward observer. Two years after Creed was drafted, in September 1953, the Korean war truce was announced and Creed’s time was done. At least as far as I’m aware this is the first time this picture, showing Creed, dark suit, 2nd row, far right seated, is the first time this has been published online.

Duke Chronicle – Friday October 7th, 1949 – Courtesy of the Duke University Archives

As he told Jazzwax Marc Myers, in 2008, “before I left [for Korea], I was stationed for a few weeks at Camp Pendleton, about a half hour north of San Diego. On leave, every weekend I used to go up to The Lighthouse at Hermosa Beach. I heard the original Gerry Mulligan-Chet Baker Quartet, Art Pepper, Red Norvo, Tal Farlow, Charles Mingus and many others.”[5]Interview: Creed Taylor (Part 1) via https://www.jazzwax.com/2008/05/interview-creed.html

After discharge from the Marines, much to his families disappointment, who wanted Creed to pursue a medical career, Creed moved to New York in 1954, age 25, to play in jazz bands and produce music. I’ve written about his brief, but amazing entry into the music business at Bethlehem with Gus Wildi in 1954, producing Chris Connor.[6]Remembering Chris Connor – Creed Taylor Produced (ctproduced.com) Marc Myers jazzwax interview with Creed from 2008 has a great post about his Bethlehem years.[7]Interview: Creed Taylor (Part 4)|https://www.jazzwax.com/2008/05/interview-cre-3.html

The rest as they say “is history” or in this case, will eventually be documented in posts on ctproduced.com, starting with “The ABC of Specialty Recording“.

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