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James Taylor 'Covers' Wide Musical Ground on Latest Release


Singer James Taylor has been known to search high and low for just the right "cover" song. His knack for reinventing the classics has earned him some of his biggest hits dating back almost four decades. As VOA's Doug Levine tells us, Taylor's latest search has paid off with a brand new collection of "Covers."

This is not your typical album of cover songs, but on it, James Taylor covers a lot of musical ground, from Leiber and Stoller's "Hound Dog" to "Why Baby Why" by country star George Jones.

James Taylor, who turned 60 this year, admits that he has been doing cover songs since the beginning of his career, and probably for years even before he signed his first recording contract in 1968.

He says, "This is not uncharted water for me."

One of Taylor's most famous covers, from his 1975 release "Gorilla," is "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)," written by legendary Motown songwriters Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland and his brother Eddie Holland. Now, more than 30 years after recording it, Taylor tackles another Holland-Dozier-Holland hit, "(I'm A) Road Runner."

Taylor gives us a second Motown favorite, "It's Growing" by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, as well as new versions of songs by Leonard Cohen, Jimmy Webb, Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran and The Dixie Chicks.

A special edition of Covers offered by a cable television shopping channel includes four bonus tracks, featuring James Taylor singing Wilson Pickett's "In The Midnight Hour," Eddie Floyd's "Knock On Wood," The Silhouettes' "Get A Job," and "Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'" by Rogers and Hammerstein.

Also included is Taylor's pop-jazz update of "On Broadway," a Top 10 hit for The Drifters in 1963.

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