The Records That Changed My Life: Gileah Taylor

Gileah Taylor performs at the Emerald Coast Theatre Company’s Storytellers series in Miramar Beach Thursday, Jan. 9.

A Life Lived in Song, my show at Emerald Coast Theatre Company on Jan. 9, is a bit of a career retrospective. The story begins in the late 90s. I’ll sing through my very favorite songs I’ve written and tell the stories behind them. A very special guest will be joining me on stage, my husband Chris Taylor.


I didn’t get an allowance when I was a kid. However, my dad would pay me five dollars for every song that I could sing note for note. Amy Grant’s “Lead Me On,” released when I was 8, was one of the records I loved memorizing. Dad and I both still love to play and sing “If These Walls Could Speak.”


When I was 19, The Innocence Mission released Birds of My Neighborhood, and nobody had to pay me to memorize that one! I often myself singing or humming melodies from this record. “The Lakes of Canada” is a standout. Interestingly, the writers for this band co-wrote a song called “Shadows” on Amy Grant’s Lead Me On album.


Fast forward a decade, when Jeremy Enigk released OK Bear. I’d been a fan for half my life at this point, ever since he started out with the band Sunny Day Real Estate. I’ve chosen this record from his catalog because it heavily influenced the writing on my album Songs For Late at Night Vol. 2. I think I listened to OK Bear and nothing else for a good four months. “Vale Oso” is moving and gorgeous.


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