New Clip Comes on the Heels of the Legendary Musician’s 19th GRAMMY Nomination Earlier This Week
Over The Rainbow – The American Standard EP Available Now
Today, legendary singer-songwriter James Taylor shared the official music video for his version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught,” a track from his now GRAMMY nominated album, American Standard. The intimate performance video, which also features the renowned guitarist John Pizzarelli and Nashville fiddler Stuart Duncan, serves as the perfect accompaniment to the song’s piercing, all too relevant anti-racist social commentary which was written for the Broadway musical South Pacific in 1949. Watch it HERE.
Taylor’s latest album, American Standard was nominated earlier this week for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, the 19th GRAMMY nomination of his illustrious career spanning 50+ years. The Songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has won five GRAMMY Awards to-date. The album debuted at #4 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album chart and #1 on its Top Album Sales, Top Rock, and Top Americana/Folk charts. It’s Taylor’s 13th Top 10 album overall and with it, he became the first artist ever with Top 10 albums in each of the last six decades.
Producers Dave O’Donnell, John Pizzarelli and James Taylor approached American Standard as beautifully simple, stripped-down guitar arrangements based on Taylor’s and Pizzarelli’s skillful guitar work rather than the more traditional piano. The album infuses new sounds and fresh meaning into some of the most beloved songs of the 20th century.
“I’ve always had songs I grew up with that I remember really well, that were part of the family record collection – and I had a sense of how to approach, so it was a natural to put American Standard together,” explains Taylor. “I know most of these songs from the original cast recordings of the famous Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, including My Fair Lady, Oklahoma, Carousel, Showboat and others.” He adds, “In terms of how they were performed and recorded before, we paid attention to the chords and melody, but we were interested in doing something new, and in bringing something new to it, we’ve reinterpreted the songs, that’s what makes it worth doing.”
Watch the Making of American Standard HERE
Listen/Purchase American Standard HERE
Last week, Taylor surprised his fans with Over The Rainbow – The American Standard EP. The new three track collection, which serves as a companion to American Standard, includes the previously unreleased Wizard of Oz classic, “Over The Rainbow,” along with “I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face,” from the musical My Fair Lady, and “Never Never Land,” from the musical Peter Pan. Watch the “Over The Rainbow” visualizer HERE. Taylor commented “I’m so glad these three songs are getting a general release. We cut more songs than would fit on the album, American Standard, which made the promotional department happy. They find uses for the extra tracks, usually as “exclusive” material for the big box retailers. But I’ve regretted not giving these three pieces the exposure I think they deserve.”
ABOUT JAMES TAYLOR:
As a recording and touring artist, James Taylor has touched people with his warm baritone voice and distinctive style of guitar-playing for more than 50 years, while setting a precedent to which countless young musicians have aspired. Over the course of his celebrated songwriting and performing career, Taylor has sold more than 100 million albums, earning gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards since the release of his self-titled debut album in 1968. In 2015, Taylor released Before This World, the first-ever #1 album of his illustrious career. Taylor has won multiple GRAMMY Awards, has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll and the prestigious Songwriters Halls of Fame and in February 2006, The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences selected him its MUSICARES Person of the Year. Taylor was also awarded the distinguished Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government and the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama in 2012. In November of 2015, Taylor was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation’s highest civilian honor and in December of 2016 he received the Kennedy Center Honors, which are presented annually to individuals who have enriched American culture by distinguished achievement in the performing arts.