Irving Taylor

  • Born: (Brooklyn, New York, USA)
  • Died: (Westlake Village, California, USA) age 69

Irving Taylor was an American composer, lyricist, and screenwriter.

A member of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) since he was a teenager, he enlisted in the US Navy the day after the Attack on Pearl Harbor. While in uniform, he and Vic Mizzy wrote entertainments for personnel stationed at the Staten Island Navy Yard, and he later served as a quartermaster on an LST involved in African and European invasions during World War II. He married Katharine Snell, an American dancer, model and actress, on 20 September 1942 and they had two children. He had changed his last name by 1936 from Goldberg to Taylor.

In the late 1950s, Taylor wrote words and music for a series of novelty albums which were released on the Warner Bros. label. The first was Terribly Sophisticated Songs, which parodied various genres of the popular music of the time, and featured "Pachalafaka," which was covered by Soupy Sales and broke into the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958. The following year saw The Garbage Collector in Beverly Hills, which parodied work songs "for the odd job holder." This was followed by Drink Along With Irving, which parodied songs about alcohol such as "You Go To My Head" and "The Whiffenpoof Song." In 1960, Warner Bros. released The Whimsical World of Irving Taylor, a compilation of the most popular of the numbers from the preceding albums. Many of the arrangements for all of the Warner Bros. albums were written by Henry Mancini.

Taylor formed a publishing company, Kiss Music Co. in the late 1950s. Also a member of ASCAP, "Kiss" was an anagram made from the first letters of Taylor's wife and children's first names. Kiss Music Co. now does business in [Philadelphia, PA], where Taylor's son Stephen resides.

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