Floyd Taylor is the spitting image of his father, the late R&B ace Johnnie Taylor.
The resemblance has helped the son, 54, follow in the late elder Taylor's career footsteps as a star on the Southern soul circuit, a role he'll play tonight when he performs in concert with Sir Charles Jones at Fitzgerald's Casino's Great Hall (711 Lucky Lane, Tunica Resorts, Miss.). And unlike a lot of progeny who might look to get out from the shadows of their accomplished parents, Taylor embraces his father's legacy.
"Everybody says I sound like my father, so I don't want to change that style," he says. "If I'm blessed with those genes, then thank God I have 'em."
But now Taylor is following his father in an unexpected way. The most famous resident of Crawfordsville, Ark., in Crittenden County, Johnnie Taylor was a versatile singer who, though best known for jokey soul sides like "Who's Making Love" and his '70s dance-floor smash "Disco Lady," was equally adept at gospel, blues and pop. But as he became a superstar, he rarely got to show those sides of his talent, a frustration now shared by his son as he attempts to break out of the Southern soul box.
"I don't understand why they've got all these categories for music. If it's a good song, it's a good song," says Taylor, whose new record on the CDS label, All Of Me, is an attempt to broaden his sound. "I'm just trying to show them I'm capable of doing it all. Not just blues, not just Southern soul. I'm capable of doing it all. R&B. New wave. All except for rap."
Taylor likely was always destined to follow his father into music. Born and raised in Chicago, he was singing in church by age 7. When he was 12, he saw his father perform, and it clicked that that was the job he wanted. The elder Taylor took him on the road to school him on the hard life of a touring musician.
"I guess he was trying to discourage me," says Taylor. "I guess he thought that after I saw what it was all about, I wouldn't want to do it anymore, but it just made me hunger for it even more."
Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 and are available at the casino gift shop and through Ticketmaster. For more information, call (800) 766-5825 or visit fitzgeraldstunica.com.
Also this week
Country singer Gary Allan continues his post-surgery comeback tour this weekend at Horseshoe Casino's Bluesville (1021 Casino Center Drive, Tunica Resorts, Miss.)
Allan, who released his eighth studio album, Get Off On The Pain, this time last year, apparently could take the pain no longer. In November, he had minor surgery to remove a polyp from one of his vocal cords, a procedure that rendered him mute during part of his recovery.
With his distinctive gravelly voice "sounding better than ever," Allan is playing shows Friday and Saturday at Bluesville. Saturday's performance is sold out, but tickets for Friday are still available.
Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 at the Horseshoe gift shop, the Bluesville box office on performance days, and through Ticketmaster. Call (800) 745-3000, or go to horseshoetunica.com.
Aussie light rockers Air Supply return to Tunica on Saturday with a show at the Gold Strike Casino's Millennium Theater (1010 Casino Center Drive, Tunica Resorts, Miss.). Bandmates Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell scored such romantic hits as "Lost In Love," "All Out Of Love," and "The One That You Love." Last May, the duo released Mumbo Jumbo, their first album in five years.
Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $29.95 at the Gold Strike gift shop and by phone at (888) 245-7529. goldstrikemississippi.com.
Finally, also on Saturday, country singer Joe Nichols plays Fitzgerald's Great Hall. The Rogers, Ark., native was recently named one of country music's hottest guys by People Country magazine.
Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 and $45 and are available at the casino gift shop and through Ticketmaster. For more information, call (800) 766-5825 or visit fitzgeraldstunica.com.