- Custom 5-String Banjo Set
Todd “Banjoman” Taylor first fell in love with the banjo at just six years old. While on a family trip to Walt Disney World, Todd's parents, James and Nancy, realized he had wandered off. After a frantic search they found Todd on a steamboat ride -- mesmerized by the music of the banjo performer. His mom finally gave in to his pleadings and purchased his first banjo from a JCPenny catalog the following Christmas. Since then, Todd has enjoyed a music ca-reer spanning three decades.
As a teenager and young adult, he and his twin brother performed on the Grand Ole Opry with music legends Roy Acuff and Bill Monroe, and TV shows like Hee-Haw and Regis and Kathy Lee. Todd may be best known for using his unique style to elevate the banjo from the confines of bluegrass to build a bridge into all genres of music, especially rock 'n' roll. He was the first solo banjo musician featured on the Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 internationally-syndicated radio program in the 1980’s for his groundbreaking arrangement and performance of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird.”
Although Todd has donated his time to various worthwhile charities during his career, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has a special place in his heart. In his twen-ties, Todd became increasingly ill and almost lost his life. Extensive testing revealed he had inherited a mitochondrial disease from his mother, and despite his doctor's progno-sis, Todd was determined to recover. He performed on the MDA telethon with Jerry Lewis on more than one occasion; increasing awareness of the disease and helping to raise funds for the organization's tireless efforts.
In 2007, Todd was the first to set the Guinness World Record for Fastest Banjo by performing both parts of “Dueling Banjos” at a mind-blowing 210 beats per minute! He dedicated his record to everyone fighting to overcome a disease or obstacle in their life, and continues to encourage the power of a positive attitude to those who may be struggling. 2011 produced Todd's rock 'n' blues tablature book, Pickin’ Over the Speed Limit, and a feature in the docu-mentary Breaking and Entering, highlighting his Guinness World Record achievement. He has earned dozens of Grammy nominations over the past decade in multiple categories, from original song composition to producing. Todd’s eighth and latest CD, Indescribable, earned six Grammy nominations -- most of them attributed to his performance of "Bach Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major,” accompanied by Thornton Cline on cello and long-time friend Mike Moody on bass.
But the pinnacle of his career came in 2012 when Governor Nikki Haley presented Todd with the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor in South Carolina, for his inspiring per-sonal example and musical contribution to his home state. Todd says, "My life has been blessed in so many ways, and I have no plans to stop sharing the gift God has given me."