Bryant W. Taylor, the oldest of the three boys, had grown up singing with his brothers as a trio, while their older sister played the piano for them. They became well known in the Genesee County area , especially since they seemed to enjoy it so. At the drop of a hat they’d launch into three part harmony, at home on a Sunday afternoon, or at a church popcorn party. They knew all the old hymns, but then they grew up, married and moved away.
Yes, when they returned to visit they still entertained their parents with “Beautiful Threads of Gold,” or “Will We Meet on the Shore?” but those times were fewer. However, there was a solution. Bryant, who married and returned to work the home farm, in the Oakfield area, raised a family of three boys and two girls. As they grew up, the girls took piano lessons and each boy played an instrument. Leon, the oldest, played the cornet. Lloyd, next oldest, played the violin. Floyd, his twin, played the cello and their father played the clarinet. As well as forming an orchestra, they also sang as a quartet.
Lead tenor was Lloyd, second tenor , Floyd. Leon sang baritone and their father, Bryant, carried the bass. One of their sisters played the piano. They spent many a Sunday afternoon perfecting their craft and thoroughly enjoying themselves. This, of course, carried over into church, and their fame soon spread.
The Taylor quartet was in great demand in all the upstate New York churches for revivals, regular services, and as an added attraction with a speaker or in addition to the pot luck supper. It was a practice that they never out grew. At every family get together, throughout their lives, the men sang a portion of their time together. They even had a record made during which Lloyd had to sing into a hat as his voice overpowered the rest. It was wonderful harmony and I never hear a quartet but what I think of them.
Picture: (left to right) D. Floyd Taylor, W. Lloyd Taylor, Leon C. Taylor, Bryant W. Taylor
WANT TO LISTEN TO YOUR ANCESTORS? CLICK at the right under, you guessed it, Taylor Male Quartet Songs. My son, Nick, listened and felt that at least some of these are recorded too high in pitch--perhaps recorded a bit faster than originally sung-- for two tenors, a baritone and a bass ( 'Follow the Cross of Light' in particular), so he used software to bring it down in pitch, and it does sound much more realistic, I think. Listen to both and see what you think!
Let us know what you think! And, did the musical gene get passed down to YOUR side of the family?!