The Troy Street Observer

Now in Progress: The Fred Taylor Story!

PHoto of Fred Taylor 1962
Fred Taylor in 1962

It’s been four months since I last posted on this blog, and sometimes I get email from readers wondering what’s going on. I didn’t intend to stop writing, but a new project came along and it is taking most of my time—I’m working with Fred Taylor of Scullers Jazz Club on his autobiography. It’s an “as told to” book, and I’m honored to be the one he’s telling it to.

It’s quite a story—the Jazz Workshop and Paul’s Mall, the Great Woods Jazz and Blues Festival, the Harvard Square Theater, the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, Scullers, and hundreds of concerts, benefits, and shows… And of course it’s a story of people, Bostonians as well as national figures in jazz, pop and comedy. There are stories, or parts of stories, in general circulation, for instance regarding Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck. But everybody’s in here. Take the name “George.” So far we’ve talked about Wein, Benson, Shearing, Carlin, Winston, Garzone, Coleman, Frazier, and Duke. I suspect we’ll be getting to Russell, Colligan, Schuller and Duvivier.

So here’s the pitch. If you’ve known Fred for a while, or if you’ve worked with him in one of his many ventures, please leave a comment here, or send me a message. Fred’s story isn’t just the story told by Fred, it’s also the stories about Fred that I hear from other people.

If you have distinct recollections of Paul’s Mall and the Jazz Workshop apart from Fred, I’d like to know about that, too. What was Boylston Street like in those years? Were you there the night the clubs closed in April 1978?

Please, this is not the place for comments along the lines of “I saw Bob Marley at Paul’s Mall and he was great.” There actually is a Paul’s Mall – Jazz Workshop Facebook page where you can share those memories.

So spread the word that this book is well underway, and I hope to hear from the Friends of Fred.

The first record Fred ever bought was Dizzy Gillespie’s “Salt Peanuts,” a 78 on Guild. What could be a better accompaniment to this announcement?

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