Johnnie Taylor was born May 5, 1938, in Crawfordsville (Crittenden County), Arkansas. He made his recording debut in 1955 with the doo-wop group the Five Echoes. In 1957, he became lead singer of the Soul Stirrers, replacing Sam Cooke. Six years later, Taylor left the Soul Stirrers (1989 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) to sign with Cooke's SAR label as a secular singer. In 1965, he signed with Memphis's Stax label. In 1968, he had a crosover hit with "Who's Making Love," and had replaced the late Otis Redding as Stax's top male vocalist (Today, Redding's brother is Taylor's booking agent). In 1976, Taylor's "Disco Lady" became the first single to ever be certified platinum. It reached #1 on both the pop and R&B charts. In the years since, Taylor has continued to land songs on the R&B charts, although not in the top 40. He also continues to tour, and to record, most recently for Jackson, Mississippi's Malaco label. Malaco recently released a boxed set retrospective of the label's artists, including Taylor.