Carmen Taylor
Carmen Taylor

Carmen Taylor was a New York cabaret artist, songwriter and session singer who recorded for a number of East Coast labels in the 1950s. The labels she recorded for, besides Guyden, were Atlantic, Mercury, Apollo, King and Kama Sutra. For Guyden Records, Carmen Taylor had among the first Guyden releases in 1954, which established a foothold for the label in the East Coast market for what was then called "race" records.

Carmen Taylor’s recordings for Atlantic, “Lovin’ Daddy” and “Ding Dong,” came out in the flourishing era of LaVern Baker, Willis Jackson, Joe Turner and Ray Charles. It was also the era in which arranger Jesse Stone created the first studio backup band for Atlantic Records called the Cues. It consisted of former Blenders tenors Ollie Jones and Abel De Costa; baritone Robie Kirk, who wrote songs as Winfield Scott; and bass Eddie Barnes. The Cues backed many Atlantic singers and took a different name depending on whom they sang with. They were the Blue Kings with Joe Turner and the Gliders with LaVern Baker.  They also sang on Bobby Darin’s breakout hit “Splish Splash” with no credit at all. With Carmen Taylor, they were the Boleros, with whom she recorded “Ooh I” for Atlantic. She was also a songwriter, and her repertoire included Clyde McPhatter's "Seven Days," as well as the Clovers' "Little Mama." Her Guyden recording, “Let Me Go Lover” b/w “No More No Less” came out as Guyden 100, though it was preceded by Jackie Lee and Bob Nicholas which had numbers Guyden 1 and Guyden 2.

Carmen Taylor came in third in the Most Promising category in the 1954 Billboard Disc Jockey Poll of R&B Favorites, behind Roy Hamilton and the Chords but ahead of the Drifters, who came in fifth. It was the year of her Guyden recording, but by then she was on Atlantic Records, along with the Drifters, the only other Atlantic artists on the Most Promising poll.