Chip Taylor (b. January 1, 1940 in New York City) is the stage name of American songwriter James Wesley Voight noted for writing the song, Wild Thing. Taylor's brothers are the actor, Jon Voight, and the geologist, Barry Voight. He is the uncle of actors Angelina Jolie and James Haven. After a hardly successful attempt to become a professional golfer, Taylor entered the music business. He wrote and composed pop and rock songs, both alone and with other songwriters including Al Gorgoni, Billy Vera, Ted Daryll, and Jerry Ragovoy.
After a hardly successful attempt to become a professional golfer, Taylor entered the music business. He wrote and composed pop and rock songs, both alone and with other songwriters including Al Gorgoni, Billy Vera, Ted Daryll, and Jerry Ragovoy.
Taylor's best known songs are Wild Thing, which was originally recorded in 1965 by The Wild Ones but became best known as a 1966 hit single for The Troggs and a 1967 live performance by Jimi Hendrix), and Angel Of The Morning, a hit first for Merrilee Rush in 1968, then again in 1981 for country-pop singer Juice Newton. Other Taylor compositions that made entries onto the pop charts include, I Can't Let Go (performed by The Hollies), Make Me Belong to You, I Can Make It With You (Jackie DeShannon), Any Way You Want Me (The Troggs), Step Out of Your Mind, Country Girl City Man, I'll Hold Out My Hand, and Try (Just A Little Bit Harder) (Janis Joplin). Country hits written and composed by Taylor include Sweet Dream Woman (Waylon Jennings), and Son of a Rotten Gambler (Emmylou Harris, The Hollies and Anne Murray).
Taylor released recordings on Warner Brothers, Columbia, and Capitol records, and his most popular recording is Chip Taylor's Last Chance released through Warner Brothers. In the mid-1970s, Taylor gave up the music business for a career as a professional gambler specializing in blackjack and horseracing handicapping. But the year 1980 saw Taylor making a screen acting appearance in the film Melvin and Howard.
Taylor restarted his performing and recording career in 1993. At a South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas in 2001, Chip met singer and violinist, Carrie Rodriguez with whom he performed and recorded Americana music for several years. The duo recorded Let's Leave This Town in 2002. They released The Trouble With Humans the following year and the critically acclaimed Red Dog Tracks in 2005. Each has since released successful solo albums. Taylor's double-CD Unglorious Hallelujah/Red Red Rose, his first solo album in 5 years, was quickly hailed as "a future classic" by Sonic Magazine, whose reviewer declared: "This is the best we've heard from Chip Taylor so far." Rodriguez' star power is showcased on her own solo album Seven Angels on a Bicycle, released in August 2006. In late 2006 and early 2007, Rodriguez has been touring on her own but she continues to perform with Taylor from time to time.
Taylor has also performed with alt country singer-songwriter Robbie Fulks, playing bass for Fulks's 1/16/04 date at the Double Door in Chicago. More recently, Taylor has been doing a series of shows with guitarist John Platania and the young singer/fiddler Kendel Carson (both of whom released solo albums in April 2007). Taylor produced both albums.