Greg ‘Fingers’ Taylor Death: A Renowned American Harmonica Player Died at 71

Last Updated on November 25, 2023, 4:06 am

American Harmonica player Greg ‘Fingers’ Taylor passed away after battling a longtime illness.

Greg Fingers Dead
Greg Fingers Taylor (Image via Facebook)

Greg ‘Fingers’ Taylor, a renowned American harmonica player, passed away after battling a longtime illness on Thursday, November 23, 2023. He was 71 years old at the time of his sad demise. He was best known for his work with Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band. His son, Steven Taylor, announced the tragic news of his passing in a post on social media that said,

“My dad passed away peacefully on Thanksgiving,” it continues, “My dad was a special and talented human being. His quick wittiness and musical ability helped him stand out. My dad is one of my biggest influences.”

Who was Greg ‘Fingers’ Taylor?

Greg ‘Fingers’ Taylor was born in Wichita, Kansas, on June 3, 1952. He graduated from Wichita North High School. He was a harmonica player and garnered widespread recognition with his work with Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band.

Taylor and Buffett first met in 1970 at The University of Southern Mississippi. Taylor joined the Coral Reefer Band at Buffett’s request in 1974. He played on the band until 2000. Taylor got his nickname ‘fingers’ from Johnny Rock when he played the keyboard for his band, The Buttermilk Blues Band.

Taylor’s notable works as harmonica player include five studio albums: Harpoon Man (1984), Chest Pain (1991), New Fingerprints (1992), Old Rock ‘n’ Roller (1996), and Hi Fi Baby (2003). He also released two compilation albums, Greatest Hits (1998) and Back to the Blues (2000).

He also wrote Buffett’s song “Big Rig” and co-wrote “Miss You So Badly” along with Buffett. From 2000 to 2005, Taylor worked with singer/songwriter Don Middlebrook on his band Living Soul. They recorded four albums together named “I Can’t Spell Caribbean,” “Changing Lines,” “Boat Drink Island,” and “Travelling Music,” which was also his finest work, especially the song “Like a River She Rolls.”

He continued performing with various artists, such as K.D. Moore, Jim Asbell, and Hugo Duarte. Taylor and Buffett performed once more with their band at Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, on June 8, 2006.

Taylor has two children, Steven and Hunter. They are both musicians. Steven is a blues guitarist, and Hunter chose to be an Audio/Visual Technician.

What happened to Greg ‘Fingers’ Taylor?

According to his son, Steven, he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2012 and had been fighting the disease ever since. He passed away on November 23, 2023, on Thanksgiving. He made a massive impact on the lives of those who had the privilege of knowing him. He touched many lives with his natural musical talent and genuine caring nature. His legacy will live on through the music he created and the memories he shared with his loved ones. All those who were fortunate enough to be close to him will dearly feel his absence.

We offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends. May he forever rest in peace.


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