Today, March 12th, singer-songwriter and guitarist James Taylor celebrates his 76th trip around the sun. Active as a musician since the age of 18, Taylor’s prolific and timeless songwriting, skilled guitar playing, and distinctively beautiful singing voice has earned him an extremely successful career as one of America’s most beloved entertainers, selling more than 100 million albums worldwide and netting six Grammys over the years, in addition to countless other honors.

While Taylor’s self-titled 1968 debut album received moderate success, it was his 1970 sophomore release, Sweet Baby James, that catapulted the Boston-born musician into the global spotlight with hits like “Fire and Rain”. Sweet Baby James was nominated for “Album of the Year” at the 1971 Grammy Awards, and was listed as #103 in Rolling Stone‘s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” in 2003. Taylor’s 1976 Greatest Hits compilation has also been certified Diamond by the RIAA, selling north of 12 million copies worldwide, and each of the seven albums he released between 1977 and 2007 went on to sell at least a million copies.

Of course, beyond his studio recording prowess, Taylor is also known for his incredible musicianship and live performances. In honor of James Taylor’s birthday today, take a look back at some footage of JT live in concert, from his early years through the present day.

First, watch a 22-year-old Taylor perform live at the BBC in November 1970, which included an opening cover of “With A Little Help From My Friends” by British native sons The Beatles.

James Taylor – BBC “In Concert” Series – 1970 (Playlist)

Next, watch a more seasoned Taylor’s full performance at Ohio’s famous Blossom Music Center in 1979. Recorded over two nights, the concert film appropriately opens with a rendition of Sweet Baby James track “Blossom”, and features a particularly unhinged and hair-raising rendition of “Steamroller”

James Taylor – Blossom Music Center – July 1979 – Playlist

Today, Taylor is still an active touring musician who plays venues around the world. Give a listen to one of his more recent performances from his 2018 summer tour in Italy featuring a guest appearance from Bonnie Raitt:

James Taylor – Terme di Caracalla – Rome, Italy – July 2018

[Video: cutting the cord]

Happy birthday, James Taylor! Here’s to many more!

[Originally published 3/12/18]