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Friends, colleagues remember late music legend Moriss Taylor

Friends and loved ones remember the man who filled the airwaves for decades with the country garb, a winning smile ... and corny jokes.

Posted: Jan. 10, 2018 5:19 PM

"He wasn't phony, he was real, when you met Moriss Taylor, you got the real Moriss Taylor," said Dino Corbin, General Manager for Deer Creek Broadcasting (Corbin was also the GM at KHSL during the time when Taylor's show was on air). "He had a legacy here, he started here in the 40s with his band the Singing Rangers," said Corbin.

"We did store openings, we played in Oroville for three years straight at a bar over there every night," said Charlie Robinson.

Few people spend their entire lives in the public eye - and Moriss Taylor did it with a style that was all his own, staring in the 40s with a weekly radio spot on KDAN in Oroville.

Whether it was radio, television, than radio again, Taylor spent nearly 70 years on the airwaves in Butte County.

The decorated Army veteran who served in World War II soon became a household name in Butte County, scoring his own country music show on KHSL in the 50's that ran for more than 40 years.

"I think part of the allure of the TV show was that it was so real, sometimes it was hokey, sometimes it was funky, but you just tuned in because it was amazing," said Corbin.

"Moriss was like a little Gestapo on the show, the camera guys would get a kick out of it, they'd have an idea, creative you know? And he didn't want anything to do with it at all," said Charlie Robinson, an original member of Taylor's band who's also a well-known and loved figure in the local music community today.

"His music was the original country music, based on Gene Autry, Hank Williams," said Corbin.

You may wonder - is there anything that might surprise you about this man who spent his life on stage?

"The thing that people didn't see - we saw it, clients saw it - was his work ethic, you couldn't measure it, it was that good," said Corbin.

"You'd go over to his house and he actually had some decent jokes - you know all those corny old jokes? All the guys in the band, we were like, 'what are you doing'?" said Robinson.

But some say, those corny jokes were a big part of what made Taylor so lovable.

"He loved making people smile, that was where Moriss was really the best. And it was the worst jokes in the world," said Corbin.

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