This is one of my very favorite songs, and has been since I first heard it back in, wait for it, 1970. yes, it's that old, and I'm even older. I'm sure few of you go back that far!
On occasion I wondered about the history, the origin, the reason for that song. never stopped to figure it out. Until last week.
Here's the story...
James Taylor is not singing about himself in this song, but about the child who was named in his honor. Taylor wrote the song in 1969, when he drove on his way to Richmond, Virginia to see his older brother, the late Alex Taylor. James had recently returned to America after recording his first album in England, and he was shocked to learn that Alex had become a father for the first time in his absence.
Alex and his wife, Brent Taylor, had given birth to their first child, a baby son, which Brent wanted to name Richmond, after the city in which he was born. However, Alex wanted to name the child James, after his younger brother. So after a few arguments, the couple named the boy James Richmond Taylor. James was elated to discover that he had a new baby nephew, also named James. So the title can be a little confusing, since both the singer and his nephew are named James. The singer is James Vernon Taylor, while his nephew is James Richmond Taylor.
I listen to this song to this day. And now I know why it was written. Sounds even better now that I know the story.
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