A Star Goes Out: The Loss and Legacy of a Loved Children Songwriter

When someone dies suddenly and very quickly, one can make their loved ones feel as if someone has kicked them out. One The thread that tied the world together.

Last week, singer-songwriter Morgan Taylor passed away after a shocking battle with complications from COVID. He was a deeply witty, kind, inquisitive man – light to speak, in fact – and, as a creator of music and art for children, he thought so far outside the box that he didn’t even know it. there was a box.

Morgan not only leaves behind his wife, musician and teacher Rachel Losakiand his two boys, Harvey And ridley, but there are many more fans in the form of his fans. Over the years, they accompanied him and with his eccentric creation, gustafar yellowgold, on an unexpected DIY journey that led to two Grammy nominations and—because Morgan was a musician’s composer—amazing irregularities like performing with orchestra and opening for Wilco. Last week, Norah JonesThose who knew him from his days as a sound engineer at a club called The Living Room in Brooklyn put it this way: “He sent a smile and a ray of light through everything he did.”

I met Morgan with him and Rachel at lunch in New York. We leaned on a colored-pencil prototype of a book about Gustafar, about whom he began writing songs and which, he enthusiastically explained, was born and raised on the sun, but to quote the character. official bio, “Come to Earth to cure your rare case of cardiofrigidario (ice cream cone heart).” Gustafer, the bio continues, “loves drawing, reading comic books, eating pine cones, and playing ‘Pancake Smackdown’ with his pet and sidekick, Slim the Eel.” Morgan’s enthusiasm was irresistible, but I remember thinking the project might have been too, too indie, to catch on. Luckily, he had a lot more imagination than me. new York Times Morgan’s multimedia Gustafer projects were later described as “a cross between Dr. Seuss and yellow SubmarineTime magazine called him “the star of Kindi Rock”.

Over the years, I got a glimpse of how hard Morgan worked for Gustafer to build an audience in a style where creativity not always a job, I noticed how many padded envelopes he had filled with CDs and DVDs, how many pictures he had made, how many shows he had near and far from home were just old-fashioned with his guitar, a backing track, and a screen of flashy animation. That it could be steam-punk. To me, being a touring musician, especially with young children, always seemed like a dream that transcended hell on earth. I never asked Morgan but, financially, he and Rachel sometimes felt like they were derailing a few steps ahead of the train.

His music was worth it. Morgan played in various groups in his hometown of Dayton and later in New York City, and released a solo album titled green in 2003. His Gustafar melodies were as sweet and unpredictable as Elliot Smith’s, and the arrangements became richer and more flamboyant as time went on. He had a broad absurdist streak, and liked to collate strange words, which gave rise to songs such as pterodactyl Tuxedo, Wisconsin Poncho, And Gravy crazy.

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