Jeremy Taylor

 Jeremy playing guitar Biography

Jeremy set South Africa alight in the sixties with his “Ag Pleez Deddy” and was then banished from South Africa for ridiculing apartheid. After two years on the West End stage in Wait A Minim, a South African musical revue, he became a leading entertainer on the British folk circuit with songs like “Jobsworth”, “Red Velvet Steering Wheel Cover Driver” and “Prawns in the Game”.

picture of jeremy His “Piece of Ground” was recorded in the USA by Miriam Makeba. With John Wells he wrote songs for the West End musical satire Mrs. Wilson's Diary, was for two years Spike Milligan's stage partner in For One Week Only, wrote a Latin lyric (“O Caritas”) for Cat Stevens, made frequent concert appearances with Donald Swann and Sidney Carter and performed his own one-man show at Soho's Boulevard Theatre. TV series included Granada's At Last Its Friday with Richard Stilgoe, Diana Quick and Keith Dewhurst, Psssst! which included Julie Covington, Jean Hart and Kenny Lynch, and Songs From The Two Brewers in which he hosted stars from the folk world including The Dubliners, Ralph McTell and Pentangle. In 1980 he had his own series on BBC2 with Telephone Bill and the Smooth Operators.

picture of Jeremy picture of Jeremy A change of government in 1979 led to his re-admittance to South Africa and from 1980 to 1994 he chronicled his life in Broederstroom, a farming area of the Transvaal, in a series of tales which were gradually woven into his one-man stage shows. These included Back In Town, Go For The Gap, Jeremy Taylor Stuff, Jeremy Taylor Entertains, An Evening With Jeremy Taylor and Broederstroom Diaries.

He also acted in Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood, Robert Hewett's Gulls ( two awards), The Fire Raisers by Max Frisch, Aladdin in pantomime and The Earl And The Pussycat by Harold Brooke and Kate Bannerman. In 1991 he narrated Peter And The Wolf and Carnival Of The Animals on stage with the SA National Orchestra. He has made fifteen solo albums, five shared albums, ten singles, four EP's, three CD's and one 78, released in Johannesburg on the african 'Bush' label New Era in 1962 and featuring his 'Kwela'-style song 'Tsotsi Style'.

picture of Jeremy For six years he was the television face of South Africa's highest-selling brand of tea. He published the book Ag Pleez Deddy- Songs and Reflexions in 1992 and in 1994 returned to the UK.

Jeremy and his wife are currently settled in the Loire valley of France. Jeremy continues to tour in the U.S. and Canada, the UK and South Africa in addition to entertaining locally in France. He also lectures in schools on the subject of South Africa and in 2000-2001 was Artist in Residence at Wellington College, Crowthorne. He has also co-produced a new album of songs and poems by Sidney Carter for Stainer & Bell entitled Lord Of The Dance. He and his wife share five children and two grandchildren.

picture of Jeremy

Jeremy Taylor

Singer / Songwriter
Born : 24 November 1937 Newbury Berkshire.
Education: St Bartholomew's Grammar School Newbury, Trinity College Oxford. MA Modern Languages.

“AG PLEEZ DEDDY” (Southern Africa 1961) 4 times gold.

Currently appearing in UK folk clubs and lecturing in UK schools on the subject of South Africa.


copyright on black and white photos is Bob Martin. Colour Photos Sonja Cerny