#372: Her Town Too by James Taylor and J.D. Souther
James Vernon Taylor was born in Boston in 1948. From the age of three, he lived with his family in North Carolina. Taylor would say later “Chapel Hill, the Piedmont, the outlying hills, were tranquil, rural, beautiful, but quiet. Thinking of the red soil, the seasons, the way things smelled down there, I feel as though my experience of coming of age there was more a matter of landscape and climate than people.” During his childhood he took cello lessons, and picked up guitar at the age of 12. James Taylor got to know people in the folk music scene on Martha’s Vineyard, where his family had a vacation home. In 1963 he was playing coffeehouses on the island as part of a duo named Jamie & Kootch. But in 1961 he was enrolled in a boarding school in Milton, Massachusetts. The pressures of the school were too much for the very sensitive James, even though he was doing well academically. Back in North Carolina he became depressed and by 1965 was sleeping for 20 hours a day.