James Taylor to release audio memoir in early 2020

FILE - This Nov. 7, 2018 file photo shows James Taylor performing at JONI 75: A Birthday Celebration in Los Angeles. Taylor has a deal with the producer-distributor Audible for the audio-only “Break Shot,” focusing on his early years and end on “the cusp” of his 1970s fame. Scheduled for early 2020, the book features an interview with journalist Bill Flanagan and highlights from his music. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, file
James Taylor

Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter and Massachusetts native James Taylor is creating an audio memoir to be released on Audible in early 2020, the company announced Thursday.

“Break Shot” will be recorded at Taylor’s home studio in western Massachusetts, and released exclusively on Audible, Amazon’s platform of online audio content.

The memoir will combine Taylor’s legendary music with a “powerfully revealing and intimate” storytelling experience, Audible said in a statement.


Prompted by questions from music journalist Bill Flanagan, and interwoven with Taylor’s music, Taylor will talk about everything from his difficult family life as a child to being the first American artist to sign with the Beatles’ record label and becoming a beloved musician, according to the statement.

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“I’ve known Bill Flanagan and admired his writing forever,” Taylor said in the statement. “So I was happy and relieved that he had agreed to help me gather my thoughts and edit this autobiography of my beginnings, the on-ramp to the road I’ve traveled ever since.”

Audible describes the memoir as a “darkly funny, sometimes harrowing, and always moving story of one young man’s journey away from the plans laid out for him and onto an unmarked path.”

Over the course of his 50-year career, Taylor has sold more than 100 million albums, won multiple Grammy Awards, and been inducted into both the Rock & Roll and the Songwriters Halls of Fame. In 2012, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama, and in 2015, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor.

“As one of millions of lifelong fans of the inimitable James Taylor, I’m not alone in my eagerness to hear the genesis story and learn more about the intellectual and artistic inspiration—to say nothing of the backstory to personal challenges—of this legend of American music, directly from the one-and-only James Taylor himself,” Audible founder and CEO Donald Katz said in the statement.


Taylor is working on a new album that is set to be released in early 2020 by Fantasy Records.

Maria Lovato can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @maria_lovato99.