TBR — Washington, DC. (May 30, 2017) — The Gospel Music Industry is feeling a huge loss following the passing of Kenny Taylor “Mr. Gospel”. Based out of Washington, D.C., Kenny was a man who loved God. He was also the one person in the industry that you could count on to be everywhere, for everybody any day of the week. His roots in the music industry ran deep. From Images of Unity, Air Records, Music Advocate for Gospel Music Heritage Month to being a Record Executive, Manager for Eric Waddell & The Abundant Life Singers, Consultant to many behind the scenes and the connection for many to countless opportunities and opened doors where it was often impossible for most, Kenny was the man.
Kenny was the CEO of Teemade Productions, Inc., where he provided full services in Promotions, Retail & Street promotions. He focused on brand development. He also worked as a tour manager, booking manager, event promoter, in radio promotions and as a respected musician in his church.
SEric Waddell and the Abundant Life Singers, surround Kenny Taylor who they affectionately called “Uncle Kenny” who managed the group. Source: Kenny Taylor
Ernest Pugh, Dottie Peoples, Tammy Taylor, Mike Chandler, April Chandler and Kenny Taylor Source: The Belle Report / Kenny Taylor
Under his company’s name he also put together some of the largest Monday night musicals and Gospel concerts for the Gospel Music Workshop of America – Gospel Announcers Guild (GMWA –GAG). The beneficiaries of these concerts were not only those who attended the annual event but the Independent artists as well as national talent. As a result his popular concerts became an annual event during the annual GMWA – GAG Summer conventions. This annual event received the initial blessing from then Gospel Announcers Guild Chairman Al “The Bishop” Hobbs.
Kenny was known for delivering a long list of twenty or more performers with additional names often added only hours before show time. Sheilah Belle “The Belle” who has hosted his late night concerts for the past eight years during the GMWA-GAG says, “Kenny was simply amazing. Whatever city we were in, he always found a way to conceptualize the cities theme in decorations. From beach balls to the Mardi Gras in New Orleans to the Peach Tree theme in Atlanta, GA to filling up a large ballroom in Nashville, TN with a simply festive setting, Kenny would always go all the way out, handing out gift bags to everyone who attended. Sometimes before his late night concerts, he would hand me a long list of performers names as he walked from back stage to the front door to confirm everyone listed was present and accounted for. Sometimes he had me cracking up as we figured out ways to juggle the list to keep everyone happy on who would perform next. Those concerts usually ended up lasting late in the early morning hours, but he created rich memories for everyone involved.”
After the passing of Al “The Bishop” Hobbs, Kenny continued a strong working relationship, with the new Gospel Announcers Guild (GAG) Chair, Dennis Cole. It was in 2016, when the GAG name officially changed to The Alliance. With that transition, there were many changes, however Kenny and his Teemade Productions, Inc., remained on the books with a 2017 concert also in the works.
Cole said, “It was easy to work with Kenny because I trusted him. He worked with everyone and had a big heart. Sometimes when we would reach our cut off number, here comes Kenny saying, ‘I’ve got one more group I need to add on.”
Source: Kenny Taylor / Dottie Peoples with Kenny Taylor at the Stellar Awards
Dottie Peoples and Kenny Taylor at the Stellar Awards, Eric Waddell and Kenny and LaShelle Lala Crump, The Belle, Kenny and Benita Bellamy in Las Vegas Source: The Belle Report /
Gospel recording artist Dottie Peoples was another person Kenny worked closely with on the road, in the studio and at major events. “He was everything to me as far as my career. He was always there and before I could tell him what I was thinking about doing, he usually told me what he was going to do and what we were going to do next. Sometime he was fussing about this or telling me I needed to do this and that. Often he was my escort for award shows and always for the Stellar Awards. He would ask me what I was going to wear and he would show up in matching colors.”
Peoples continued, “He would give me advice and stay on me about everything. He was like a brother. There were 10 of us, 7 girls and 3 boys and Kenny was like our big adopted big brother. He loved my mother and my mother loved him. He was also a go-getter and you couldn’t tell him no for nothing. One funny thing about him, people would often tell me, nobody better not say anything about Dottie, cause he would be all over them. He would always take my picture with lots of people, but I never got any of them, even though he would say he was going to send them to me. However he was always there for me. I’m going to truly miss him,” says Peoples.
Chris Squire, The Belle, Kenny Taylor and Juandolyn Stokes (2nd row) Catherine Dorsey, Judy Neal and Willie McClendon during 2016 Las Vegas Board meeting Source: The Belle Report / Kenny Taylor
Simply…Kenny Taylor was loved by many from the music industry, his church family, his inner circle, family and friends and those who even knew him from afar.
Kenny studied at Florida A & M University, and attended Coolidge Senior High School in Washington, D.C. He resided in Atlanta GA before putting permanent footing in Washington, D.C., where he had just completed the renovations on his home.
May we keep the family of Kenny Taylor and those close to him in prayer. He was truly one of the good guys and will be greatly missed!