1966 Pozo-Seco Singers – I Can Make It With You
Susan Taylor began singing folk music in several groups while in high school in Corpus Christi in the early sixties. Meanwhile, Don Williams and Lofton Kline were singing as a duo called the Strangers. The three met up at a hootenanny and began singing together as a trio in 1964. The group’s name, the Pozo-Seco Singers, came from a local colloquial term that referred to a dry oil well.
Michael Merchant had sung with Susan before he left to go to college, and he wrote a song that he brought to the group during a break. The group recorded Time on the small Edmark Records label with Susan singing lead vocals. The record became a regional hit. Columbia Records signed the group to a recording contract and took the single nationwide.
The record peaked at only #47 on the Hot 100 in early 1966, but reached #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
Columbia Records staff member Bob Johnston had just been assigned to produce records for Bob Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel. Columbia also assigned him to produce the Pozo-Seco Singers. They recorded another song written by Michael, but it barely reached #92 on the Hot 100.
Bob arranged and produced the band singing I Can Make It With You Baby, a song written by Chip Taylor that featured shared vocals by Susan and Don. That turned out to be their biggest hit. The single reached #32 on the Hot 100 in the Summer of 1966.
Lofton did not enjoy touring and disliked working with Bob, and he left the group in 1967. Ron Shaw filled his spot in the group and they began appearing as Pozo Seco.
The group released several singles that did not do well. They then recorded and wanted to release I Believed It All, a song that Ron introduced them to that had become popular in concerts. Bob did not like that song and relegated it to the b-side of a different single, Excuse Me Dear Martha. When the a-side of the record did not even reach the Hot 100, many disc jockeys flipped the record over and began playing I Believed It All. That side of the single stopped at #96 on the Hot 100, but the record reached #8 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
Ron left the group by 1968. The remaining duo recorded two more albums with different producers, but they struggled to find hits when Columbia failed to provide much promotional support. The group switched to another record label for their final album and disbanded in 1970.
Susan began writing songs for JMI Music and recorded a new solo album on the label in 1972. At least a half-dozen prominent Country artists have recorded her songs.
Don had left the music industry, but Susan helped with Don’s first few single recordings after he also signed with JMI Music. Don began recording Country music rather than folk music. He reached the top twenty on the Country chart five times in 1973 and early 1974. Later in 1974, Don reached the top of the Country chart with the single I Wouldn’t Want to Live If You Didn’t Love Me. He went on to record at least 44 top ten Country singles including 16 more #1 Country hits.
Susan began appearing as Taylor Pie and has continued her career as a folk singer to the present day. Elizabeth Ahlstrom directed the 2020 documentary Nobody Famous, which tells the story of Susan’s journey as a folksinger. The film has won several awards at film festivals around the United States. You can see a trailer for the film here: https://www.facebook.com/nobodyfamousofficial/videos/907451393079012
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