Country Music/Helen Taylor and the Taylor Sisters
potsy wrote at 2009-04-14 23:22:55
There also was a 3rd group: Helen Taylor and the Taylor Sisters who originated from Lincoln, Nebraska. They performed in VietNam and headlined at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, in 1971-1972. Back then Helen was dubbed one of the top Country female guitarists in the country.
Marilyn Taylor wrote at 2009-08-30 11:02:06
Hi, I am one of the Taylor Sisters Annette & Marilyn from the 60's in Australia & yes "Something funnys Going On" was one of our records from the Johnny O'keefe days.
rjensen wrote at 2011-12-04 01:00:32
My grandmother, Helen Taylor, was in a country band called Helen Taylor and the Taylor sisters. I have one of their albums. Helen Taylor died in 1976 here in Nebraska. I think some members of her bands names were, according to the back of a picture I have, Brenda, Joann, and Onnie Barr.
Michael Miller wrote at 2012-07-12 03:35:43
Brenda Allen is one of the surviving members of the Taylor sisters she currently lives in Omaha, NE. At the age of 70 she still performs at open mics and other events around the area.
They group was formed South of Lincoln in Martell, NE. While working at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, they opened for Johnny Cash many times, though it was Box Car Willy that gave them their first break and invited them on the road.
They did perform in Vietnam for the troops. Brenda talks about the experience a little each time she performs. She has had quite an exciting life, even having know Charles Starkweather for a brief time before his famous and tragic killing spree.
She doesn't do much with computers, otherwise I would just send her to this link! Currently she plays 30 minute sets at an Open Mic I have in Omaha on Sunday Nights at the 21st Saloon. Hard to say which nights. Sometimes she signs up, sometimes she just comes in and hopes there is an open slot. If you can catch her, all your questions will be answered about the Taylor Sisters.
Blake wrote at 2012-09-14 18:41:14
Helen Taylor was an idol of mine. They traveled through Nebraska. They used to perform at the Satellite supper club in Grand Island, NE. That's where I heard them. I was 11 years old and asked her if I could get up on stage and sing with them. I sang the Teady Bear song. She asked me to come back the following night and sing while the manager was there, I did. I believe it was Brenda who was playing rhythm guitar at the time and I remember her yodeling - AMAZING voice. One of the songs I believe she sang was called "Try it, you'll like it, love is good for you".
A few years later as I was touring with a Dalton Fuller and the Nebraska Plyboys through Nebraska and playing lead guitar (as an apprentice of Dalton's), I met 2 women who were fans/friends of Helen. They took me to meet her at Helen's sister's house sometime in 1976 before she died of cancer. I was enamored. She gave me an album and autographed it. I still have it today along with some b&w pictures of the group. Linda Gray was her drummer at the time I saw them in Grand Island. She had a cardboard cutout of Tweety Bird in front of the bass drum. They would start their sets with the stage lights out, then Linda would drum roll on the floor tom and announce something like, "Direct from Las Vegas, welcome Helen Taylor and the Taylor Sisters show" and the music would start.
My love of classic country music was inspired by Helen. Just typing all this brings back the memories of those 2 nights and my visit with her.
Whomever posted this blog, thank you. And thank you Helen Taylor for the inspiration you provided me!
Mike Keach wrote at 2012-10-09 23:05:15
I played with Helen Taylor in Huron, South Dakota at the Sunset Lounge (a very disreputable-looking Quonset Hut place) way back in the early 70's. Her Pianist had gone into confinement and they needed a pianist very fast. I was living in Kansas City, MO at the time and she had called a mutual friend who called me saying it was an emergency.
In a blinding snowstorm (it was January) off we drove to Huron, SD, a place I didn't even know existed. I had told him that I had never played country western before but he said that would be ok.
Well, I rehearsed with the band and Helen was very gracious. My style was very 16th -18 century European and surprisingly, the cowboys and others at the hall seemed to like it very much. Helen told me it was so different and really worked well. She was a lovely lady the the band was great.
~Mike in Tampa
Linda Gray wrote at 2012-11-12 02:49:24
Well, this is Linda Gray herself(the drummer), and I just want you to know that I'm still alive too,lol. And I'm living in Redding, CA. Thank you for all the good words about Helen Taylor and myself. It was a privelege to be her drummer from 1969-1976.
Blake wrote at 2012-11-15 20:23:16
Linda - you were very entertaining. You were the comedian of the group as I remember. And you were/are? an awesome drummer. I remember you as very dynamic and a central figure in the group. I also remember seeing you work with Shirley Carter in the early 80's. I worked with her ex-husband Bill Terry and his daughter Trixi for a while at the Country Squire in GI. The Squire is gone now along with the Satellite Supper Club due to the tornado in 1980 - I'm sure you're aware. Saw you in GI at the Cow Palace and at a battle of the bands in Cheyenne, WY. Also saw a flyer of the Taylor Sister's show in O'Neill Nebraska traveling through on my way to S. Dakota. I also remember Christy Lynn, Helen's piano player at the time I saw you. She was pretty young at the time so I would imagine she's still a surviving member as well.
Sometimes we all forget that we leave an impression on people; often without realizing it. Obviously you were another person that made an impact on MY life. Thank you for that and it's great to know you're still alive and, I'm sure, kicking some a#%. You had that 'aura' about you :) Are you still in the biz entertaining people? If you have time, let me know; either on this blog or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
gloria wrote at 2012-12-05 00:04:51
This Gloria (Jeanne) Psotka aka Potsie. I was the first piano player Helen hired from Marshalltown, Ia. I was a contemporary piano player when Helen and Linda visited me at Round Table where I was playing.
Helen gave me the break and away I went to rehearse country music. At that time the band consisted of Helen, Linda, Brenda, and Onnie Barr and myself opening at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas.
I have lived in Las Vegas for the past three years and have many fond memories of the band and the many clubs the Helen Taylor Show performed throughout the country.
Carolyn wrote at 2014-08-25 03:31:19
Helen Taylor was my Aunt.Loved her so much alway's fun to be around.We had a family reunion in Haines City Florida in 1972.All her brother's and sisters were there.Had a great time.I did go to Lincoln Nebraska and visted her.She was a wonderful singer.I was 15 at the time.I have a CD that I had made of her music.Love her song Angel of the Night.Great person.
Kindra wrote at 2014-10-25 20:34:21
My Mother was one of the original Taylor Sisters. The first name of the band was "The Country Misses" and included my Mother Joann, Brenda & Helen. They toured with the Grand Ole Opry tour and Johnny Cash is the one who suggested they change their name and they became the Taylor Sisters. Helen played lead guitar, Brenda rhythm and my mother played the bass, she is also the one who yodeled. If you've seen any of their first publicity photos they wore dresses with full skirts (crinolines required). Mom was the one who designed and sewed those dresses, along with some help from Helen. It was just the 3 of them in the beginning. I recall many rehearsals in our basement. Us kids even went on tour with them on a fair circuit for a few weeks one summer. After she left the Taylor Sisters Mom started and played in a couple more bands that stayed in and around the Lincoln area.
John wrote at 2014-11-02 21:42:06
In addition to what my sister Kindra wrote above, here is what I recall:
The original Taylor Sisters (Helen, Brenda and our mother JoAnne) would have started the band sometime in the early Sixties. I also remember the rehearsals at our house in Lincoln near 70th and ‘Y’, and in Helen’s old house on Holdrege before 56th street (the house is no longer there). As I recall the band got there first big break when the Johnny Cash show played at Pershing Auditorium in the early 60s. Along with the regular touring bands, one local band would also perform – The “The Country Misses” the name of the band before they changed it to the Taylor Sisters (Later changed to Helen Taylor and the Taylor Sisters). The all-girl band was so well liked they were invited to tour with the show. I do recall traveling with the show as a boy and while the band was on stage, Minnie Pearl would keep an eye on us. I also recall watching he Taylor Sitters perform live on the Buck Owens Show. I mother left the band in the late 1960s.
During the time my mother was in the band we had many famous artists over at our house including, Little Jimmy Dickens, Jack Green, Johnny Western, Minnie Pearl (who spent the night), Tommy Cash, and Conway Twitty, just to name a few. During one of these jam sessions, I woke up to someone playing the harmonica, my favorite instrument. It was Helen Talyor. She showed me how to bend the notes and play the Blues. I now play in a couple of bands here in Northern Virginia.
Veronica wrote at 2015-12-19 12:08:20
Peggy King wrote at 2016-03-01 02:04:46
I worked with Helen in the 70s. I also was in Huron South Dakota. My first time with the show. Helen was a wonderful teacher of music. I could play the guitar but she taught me much more. I could sing and sing any part. I went overseas with the band and I was working with Helen when she had to come off the stage to go to the hospital in Rochester Minnosita. I worked with Linda Gray a wonderful musician. God bless all the girls that used to travel with us Karen from Colorado, Linda Frost from Kansas I think. Lena from New Mexico myself Peggy King from Miami Florida. I treasure my time with each of you. Had good times with the bad. Thanks to all of you for sharing your time with me. I still live in Miami