sickness to success
B.E. Taylor, (birth name William Edward Taylor), was born and raised in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. B.E.’s parents, Bill and Betty Taylor, knew at a very early age that their son was destined to become a singer.
B.E. was stricken with a very serious kidney disease, Nephritis – “Bright’s Disease,” at the age of 11 that caused him to be hospitalized and confined to home care for over a year. He had to be tutored and had limited visitation since he was so susceptible to infection and germs.
You can only imagine the sadness he experienced watching the other children playing outside on hot summer days and sledding in the winter months. He filled his time by reading and listening to music. His parents bought him a guitar to help pass the time, and that’s where it all began. He practiced endlessly, learning to accompany himself as he continued to have fun singing.
He recovered from his long illness and returned to school the following year. From that time on, he pursued his musical career. He was in various high school bands that played at dances, weddings, and local taverns. He eventually met up with four musicians and formed the successful B.E. Taylor Group.
leading the charmed life
B.E. Taylor is a nationally recognized recording and performing artist who continues to blaze new musical trails. He’s had a diverse career that has allowed him to create and keep fans at each stop along his musical journey.
As the top Pittsburgh rock band in the 80’s, The B.E. Taylor Group scored a Billboard regional number one hit with Vitamin L. The group also charted with Karen, Reggae Rock & Roll & Never Hold Back before disbanding after three major label releases on MCA and Epic/CBS.
For several years B.E. led the house band and co-hosted the nationally recognized, awarded and syndicated Christian music video show Light Music. He also had a successful side career doing voice work for a diverse roster of clients that include Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Old Navy, & Roy Rogers just to name a few.
In 1994 B.E. founded his own record label, Chrishae Records. He continued to have radio hits, including This Time and Love You All Over Again, songs that still receive airplay on the nationally syndicated Delilah. B.E. toured in church and intimate concert settings even as he was laying the groundwork for his career’s signature success. During this period he was the music director and performed with national Christian recording artist, Kathy Troccoli.
Working with friend and co-producer Rick Witkowski, Chrishae Records released A B.E. Taylor Christmas, featuring B.E.’s unique interpretation of some of the most beautiful and sacred songs of Christmas. It found immediate radio acceptance in Pittsburgh and Wheeling, WV. In 1996 B.E. rented a small hall in Wheeling to give a one-time live performance of his album. The overwhelming reaction to that concert set in motion the B.E. Taylor Christmas Tour that now plays annually to 40,000 joyous fans. The tour sells out two nights at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh and two nights at the Capitol Music Hall in Wheeling and makes stops in venues from Chicago to Winston Salem, NC. Fan demand for a second Christmas album produced A B.E. Christmas 2 in 2002.
In 2008 the Pittsburgh Ballet commissioned a Valentine’s Week performance based on B.E. Taylor’s original love ballads. In 2010 Marvin Hamlisch built a weeklong Pittsburgh Pops presentation around B.E.’s Chrishae release One Nation Under God, an album of patriotic songs, including two originals. B.E. also performed as part of a Heinz Hall tribute to Fred Rogers, hosted by Paula Zahn, Pat Sajak and John Lithgow, as well as KDKA’s 85th Anniversary Newsical with the Pittsburgh Symphony.
In 2008 B.E. was awarded the Duquesne University Lifetime Achievement Award. He’s a member of the Beaver Valley Hall of Fame, he received the Distinguished West Virginian Award by West Virginia Governor Bob Wise, and in 2021 was inducted to the Wheeling, WV Hall of Fame for the outstanding contributions he’s made to the musical enrichment throughout the OHIO Valley & beyond. B.E. was a fixture on the local charity concert scene, gladly lending his talent to worthy causes like the Special Olympics, Children’s Hospital, Pittsburgh’s School for the Blind, Project Bundle Up, Toys for Tots and the March of Dimes, and many other community based organizations.
In 2010, Chrishae Records released the long-awaited B.E. Taylor Christmas Concert on DVD with its companion “live” CD!! Fans can now enjoy and relive all the wonderful moments of the “live” B.E. Christmas Concert all year round in the comfort of their homes!! American Public Television (APT) in conjunction with regional Pittsburgh PBS station WQED presents the B.E. Taylor Christmas Concert in over 150 PBS markets each holiday season. With the American Public Television national presentation of the B.E. Taylor Christmas Concert, all of America is FEELING THE LOVE of a B.E. Taylor Christmas.
In March of 2007 B.E. Taylor was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. The most prodigious period of his career coincided with the grueling regimen of treatments he endured over the following decade, always with his trademark positive attitude and always with his devoted wife Veronica at his side. During this period he completed eight Christmas tours, a busy schedule of Valentine’s Day and summer concerts and released B.E. Taylor Christmas 3 as well as four other CDs and one concert DVD. Sadly, he passed away on August 7, 2016.
Passion and compassion, these are the qualities that have endeared B.E. to his audience and made him one of the area’s biggest concert draws and most respected musical talents. B.E. Taylor was a star — a miracle but more than that was a devoted husband and father. He lived his life with faith and humility and touched everyone he met with kindness and generosity. His gentle, loving spirit was at the core of who he was. His message of hope was always present in his music, which continually impacts the lives of his fans. Though he is gone, leaving a huge hole in our hearts, his music lives on and on. He would want his family, friends, and fans to live life to their fullest, to realize “it’s great to be alive,” and to “Feel The Love of Christmas” not only during the holidays but everyday!