RIP: Bobby Taylor, who discovered The Jackson 5, is dead at age 83

Bobby Taylor Jackson 5

Music legend Bobby Taylor has died following a long battle with cancer. He was 83.

Taylor passed away in Hong Kong, where he had been living for the past several years. He was undergoing treatment for leukemia and tumors in his spine when he died.

Taylor was a member of Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers, who were signed to Motown boss Berry Gordy‘s Gordy Records label. Tommy Chong was also a member of the Vancouvers. He would go on to find fame with the comedy duo Cheech & Chong.

Taylor is credited with discovering local Gary, Indiana talent The Jackson 5, whom he chose to open for the Vancouvers at a club concert in 1968. He brought them to Motown Records in Chicago in 1968, where they auditioned for Motown executives.

Gordy wasn’t present in the Motown studios that day — he was away in Los Angeles on business. He wasn’t fond of kiddie acts, but Gordy signed the group to Motown on the strength of 10-year-old Michael Jackson‘s talent that shined through on the audition tape.

Initially Gordy assigned Taylor to work with brothers Michael, Jermaine and Jackie Jackson in the Motown recording studios in Chicago (Marlon and Tito stayed back home in Gary, Indiana).

Taylor supervised the boys’ early recordings which were mainly covers of 1960s hits, such as Smokey Robinson & The Miracles’ “Who’s Loving You”.

Taylor is credited with urging young Michael to step out of his brother Jermaine’s shadow and develop his own sound.

“Bobby was a producer, creator and mentor to all of the greats in the early Motown days,” Suzy Michelson, a longtime family friend and fellow producer, told Rolling Stone.

  • Ms..N

    Rip.

  • Peter Piper ATL

    Wow. Sad. I heard he fell out with Papa Joe a long time ago and they never really were cool again after that.

    Supposedly, Joe thought Bobby made a pass at Katherine way back in the 1800s or something. These old people and their grudges, my goodness.

  • Lorenzo Chaps

    The story of who founded them and mentored them changes time and time again. We do know they were signed to Motown and the rest is history. I remember them trying to give Diana Ross credit for discovering the Jacksons.

  • Karen Brady

    Which she didn’t but she was so established already that they had her play the role like she did.

  • Karen Brady

    RIP brother Taylor and thank you for all your contributions. I looveeesssss me some Motown.

  • Guess Who

    Supposedly, Joe thought Bobby made a pass at Katherine way back in the 1800s or something. These old people and their grudges, my goodness.

    *DEAD* Are you for serious?!

  • KcoolMuziq

    Glady’s Knight is also in there as saying she is the one that actually discovered The Jackson 5 mainly Michael. Life is something Bobby FAR out lived Mj. R.I.P. Bobby & Mj

  • Renee26

    RIP

    Can somebody name the Jackson brothers in this pic from left to right…they all look very different now?

  • Renee26

    LMAO….Bobby slid in and whispered in her ear that she deserved better that an abusive controlling husband

  • MsPam

    Tito, Jackie,Marlon, Michael and Jermaine.

  • chris

    Rip thanks man for your contribution

  • Miami8981

    Yep.

  • Justlooknout

    You getting ready for this Holiday giveaway.

  • Kilroy

    RIP

  • https://twitter.com/Chicagowise Chicagowise

    He died in Hong Kong?!!! Maybe his “cancer” was made in Japan. Why would a black person want to live among Asians? They probably poisoned his beef fried rice.

  • Nessa

    Asia is actually pretty nice. Have some of the worlds best medication and organic food!!

  • https://twitter.com/Chicagowise Chicagowise

    That’s nice, but what about their attitudes toward blacks?

  • Nessa

    When you got money people of the elite class don’t care what color you are..

  • Nessa

    That’s middle class problems.. Racism and prejudice..

  • Coco

    Oh course they all look different now, they are adults. Michael was the only one who’s appearance changed.

  • Guess Who

    LMFAO! @disqus_kRwjb46BP9:disqus you think he hit too?

    Hold up..@peterpiperatl:disqus ..I need more information. Where did you get this tea? I don’t know why this fascinates me so.

  • Hmmm~?

    Most native asian folks have never even seen a black person over in those neck of the woods. They’re usually welcomed simply because they’re such a rare sight. Black people rarely have any problems in Asian countries (so I’ve heard).

  • Nessa

    It’s white people here in US that give people of color such a hard time!!

  • Lorenzo Chaps

    She sure is. I forgot about her. There are so many tales out there.

  • Karen Brady

    Forgot about Gladys… yep heard that too.

  • https://twitter.com/Chicagowise Chicagowise

    Have seen the Qiaobi laundry detergent ad? It’s indicative of most Asians’ attitudes toward blacks.

  • https://twitter.com/Chicagowise Chicagowise

    A racist doesn’t care how rich or how educated you are, you are inferior. Therefore, you deserve substandard treatment – which applies to medical care.

  • Nancy Drew-Natural & Luv’n It!
  • Peter Piper ATL

    I mean, ain’t that some SHYT though? But that’s a n*gga for you. Can’t keep his dick hid away but will jump all over somebody’s ass over you.

  • Peter Piper ATL

    It came from a little birdie who was very involved with Motown.

    Katherine has always come across as pure as the driven snow. But she used to flirt her ass off too! I wouldn’t doubt if he was hitTING, not just hit.

    I mean, Katherine liked her nice things too. She made folks think she was spending all those days Joe was on the road knocking on folks doors as a Jehovah’s Witness but I think Katherine was probably an undercover freak back in her Civil War days.

  • Peter Piper ATL

    Yes. That was honestly relayed to me some years ago.

    I told somebody some years ago that there was more to Katherine than meets the eye, and I let him know how much she loved moolah baby, but he didn’t believe me.

    Then MJ died, and Katherine quickly shored up those coins like she was playing Hungry Hungry Hippo.

    Of course, she claimed she was securing MJ’s legacy and setting things aside “for the children”. Chile whatever.

    She might be as old as the pyramids, but Mama Jackson loves her luxury and elegant things.

  • hottlanta

    I got this Chicagowise. Click below and enjoy. My neighbor niece went over there to teach for the summer. They saw a picture of her and everything before she got there. When she got there they won’t dare let her teach those kids. They had her acting as a servant. She called the program crying and had to come home. Stop talking to the 3 people you hang around. The world is a lot bigger than that.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Few8kJ0zfnY

  • hottlanta

    Hold up. You mean to tell me that Diana Ross didn’t discover the Jackson 5. Well according to the movie she was the one who discovered them. Never mind that was Barry Gordy money that financed the movie. Carry on.

  • hottlanta

    Going to Harvard, wearing a suit and talking with a calm voice ain’t stop white folks from disrespecting President Barak Obama.

  • Peter Piper ATL

    Yeah, there’s a bunch of people who claimed to have discovered The Jackson 5, including Gladys Knight, but really, they were destined to make it because Joe worked extremely hard promoting them and making them a top notch live act.

    They were unique and highly talented, and the time was ripe for a young act like that.

    Joe got his inspiration for his group from Frankie Lymon, by the way.

  • hottlanta

    They can talk shyt about Joe all day to try to discredit him from creating the first black family dynasty in music with that long generational wealth. The way these boys in music are acting a fool now you never heard anything bad about his boys. They are grown now and they can act anyway they want to because they are responsible for themselves. But you never heard of Joe going back and forth getting those boys outta jail.

  • https://twitter.com/Chicagowise Chicagowise

    Hello!

  • KcoolMuziq

    I already mentioned that Glady’s Knight discovered MJ & his brothers..Smh But U right about destiny.

  • Renee26

    They have more lax rules when it comes to medicine…he probably was getting treatment as part of a research study program.

  • KcoolMuziq

    LIES! Stop defaming her name.

  • Linda Smith

    Reminisce of Michael Jackson, when he was black.

  • Renee26

    In China they will approach blacks and whites alike as if they’re celebrities…they ask for pictures and everything LOL…..they see the white skin as a true sign of beauty though…often will carry umbrellas to avoid the sun.

  • Renee26

    True for the Chinese…not sure about the others

  • Renee26

    Not every black persons experience would be the same….but this shows how far the reach of social conditioning reaches…when all they see is negative stereotypes of us they believe it’s true and some will treat black people bad based on what they heard or saw

  • Renee26

    HAHAHA aging has nothing to do with cosmetic changes and majority of the Jackson’s have had facial surgery … I was looking at their eyes to see if I could tell who was who.

  • Renee26

    Thanks Lady!

  • KcoolMuziq

    LIES! Mj and Janet (still to this day)willingly took care of their mother and gave her whatever she wanted. It was no need of her to hide money or do anything like the lies your describing.

    U should write for soap operas.

  • Renee26

    Nah, I don’t think he was successful…but he tried it

  • Renee26

    Give me your hand!! LMAO

  • Peter Piper ATL

    I don’t think Gladys actually did. Suzanne de Passe claims she did too.

    Hell, everybody claims to have discovered them.

  • Peter Piper ATL

    That’s true

  • https://twitter.com/Chicagowise Chicagowise

    I’m sure their motivations for taking pictures with blacks aren’t the same as what drives their desire to be photographed with whites.

  • https://twitter.com/Chicagowise Chicagowise

    …and who knows what kinds of toxins he ingested. Historically, blacks have often been used as medical guinea pigs.

  • MistaO

    Moved to Hong Kong huh? Imagine how well we must be treated in some of these other countries vs. our own?

  • hottlanta

    They take a picture to show to people who don’t know them that you at their house servant.

  • BacktolurkingIgo

    Joe was the ho tho…lol

  • Li

    Read Gladys’ autobio. She tells the truth about the Jackson discovery.

  • KcoolMuziq

    That’s because they were too busy MAKING babies.

  • hottlanta

    I love Gladys because Don Cornelius always spoke fondly of her. He said when he was starting out with Soul Train and he had called certain entertainers they thought they were too big for Soul Train or it was too black and they turned him down. He said when he called Gladys she didn’t hesitate she said what time do you want me to be there. Then when Soul Train got to be popular those entertainers that thought they were too big for Soul Train will call and beg to be on his show. He says he owed her a lot. Gladys never said Soul Train would not have been successful without me.

  • hottlanta

    I came from a large family. Ain’t no way you can have all those kids and not whup somebody’s behind.

  • thaye

    Please remember that the british, Spaniards, and Portuguese are first to blame for the world’s attitude towards people of color, especially Black people they imported to sell to whyte amerikans

  • Peter Piper ATL

    Hmmmm…those soap operas don’t pay enough.

    Well, when you and Janet were taking care of Ms. Katherine, how come y’all didn’t buy her some new dresses?

  • Peter Piper ATL

    In other news, somebody in that large psycho Jackson family needs to take Katherine to a wig store. She’s been looking like Moms Mabley for the last 40 years!

  • KcoolMuziq

    Because Katherine prefers pantsuits.

  • MsNewNew

    I’d have to agree. My friends went last year and while walking through the airport, reporters were on them like they were celebs, she was on facebook live and it was hilarious to see the reporters snapping pics and trying to interview them LOL.

  • wiseone

    Not only that – most black kids got their butts whooped in those days. Even after that era I got my butt whopped with a switch – I had to pick my own switch and now that I look back on it I appreciate it because the young kids of today (in most cases) have no discipline.

  • Jay Tru

    Can it be any worse than the “attitudes toward blacks” Here?