Relationships & Love

My Sweet Baby James


James Taylor’s breakthrough album, Sweet Baby James, was released in 1970. Over 40 years later, he is still my boyfriend – well, he did promise, specifically to me, “You’ve got a friend.”

The only person to whom I would cede him would be Carly Simon. I believe they belonged together. Why is it when a man gets sober he has to dump the woman who put up with his abuse during his using years, clinging to the hope of recovery? I guess it’s to protect newfound sobriety and not be triggered back to drug use by hanging around the same people, even if they were sober. James, James.

Born March 12, 1948, James does look his 64 years. Still skinny, but almost bald under his cap, his intensity has been replaced by affability. But his rich baritone voice is just as soothing, as I witnessed on his “Troubador “ tour with Carole King, his perfect singing and performing partner.

Kim, one of my best friends, bought us tickets to see the duo in Fort Lauderdale. She had seen him, just weeks earlier, in Chicago but remained under his spell. How could we resist a man who provided the background to our college days, our falling in love days, our 40-year-long friendship, our divorces.

The concert was perfect. James and Carole King lifted us up, spun us around, strung us out, and laid us down. It was a “trip,” as we used to say.

He sang and played our favorites: “Country Road,” “Fire and Rain,” “Sweet Baby James,” and “Shower the People You Love With Love.” The beautiful thing about being at the concert in the sixth row together was that despite our relationships with the men we had loved, at least Kim and I had made it through the fire and rain. Like many people at the concert, we held hands, had our arms around each other, sang looking into each other’s eyes although we tried not to miss a second of King and Taylor’s chemistry together.

Awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama last March, Taylor continues to tour, performing in Italy on his 64th birthday on a European Tour, returning to play the U.S. and Canada this summer. The newest thing on the horizon? James Taylor is offering guitar lessons on his website at Sign up to learn some of his famous riffs.

Judy Kirkwood, an award-winning writer and Forum Director of, is still hoping for a James Taylor/Carly Simon collaboration.

Judy Kirkwood writes articles for print and web publications – national, regional, and local; is a contributing writer to Simply the Best and Boca Raton Observer magazines in South Florida; and plays on the beach and in the pool year-round. Visit her on Facebook @JudysFlorida and please visit


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