Taylor, (Vernon) James(1948– ) folk/ballad singer, songwriter; born in Boston, Mass. Brother of pop-folk musicians, Alex, Kate and Livingston Taylor, as a teenager he turned to the guitar and played with brother Alex's band. In 1965 he committed himself to a psychiatric hospital for ten months. He went to New York City and played with a folk-rock group, the Flying Machine. He first gained wide popularity with his album Sweet Baby James (1970) and went on to record several successful singles and albums, often singing others' songs and often with other well-known singers. In 1972 he and singer-songwriter Carly Simon were married (later divorced). His music mixed folk, rock, and blues and is known for its easygoing rhythms and crooning style of singing; his own lyrics were often in the confessional vein.