Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Remember When
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Kenna Holm   

Monte Taylor–A Payson Icon

    I can’t think of Payson Onion Days without thinking of Monte Taylor.  He was such an icon.  He not only had his Dixieland Band in the parade but he played at the horse races and put on his own Dixieland band concert and entertained in the park after the parade.    He would then go on and play in the Payson City Band for the band concert.
  Let’s roll back and tell the story of Monte because it is quite a story.  He started playing the clarinet at the age of six (six mind you..at six I’m not sure most kids have enough wind to blow one of those things).  He played in his first Payson Onion Days Parade at the age of nine marching with the Payson Band.  He started playing for the Sunday Night Band Concerts then moved up to first chair
which he held from then on.
   Monte was born in Payson in 1929 and was the first child of “Snick” and Helen Taylor.  He had one brother, Dick, who was quite an athlete.  He is now deceased.  He also had two sisters, Carol Herrick, who works at Nebo Credit Union and Jean Rogers, a long time bus driver in Nebo School District.  Both Carol and Jean reside in Payson.  He married Lorna Jeannie Lightfoot and they were the parents of seven children: Vickie, Richard “Diz” (deceased), Jill (deceased), Jackie, Dana, Jody, and Sydney.
    Monte was the manager of the power department at Strawberry Electric for many years.  They lived on 8th West by the current Mt. Nebo Junior High for many years and then they lived at the power plant in Payson Canyon for a number of years until he retired and they built a new home on 300 West.

   Monte started playing with a family band at church socials and then later with different bands in the area at age 17.  Some who he played with were Sherm Loveless (Pat Hill and Brent Loveless’ dad) from Sherm’s Men’s Apparel I wrote about some time ago, Ralph Magliaccio (who owned and run Arrowhead Swimming Pool and dance hall in Benjamin0, Dub Reece and several others.
    In about 1960, he formed his own band called Monte Taylor’s Dixieland Band.  They were terrific.   The played between races on Onion Days, the played in the parade as well as in the park after the parade.  They sat on the bed of a flat bed truck and were dressed in the red and white striped vests and white shirts and played the whole distance of the parade route. The Dixieland music was something that everyone loved to listen to.  His Dixieland Band consisted of Al Payne (now deceased) on the piano, Farrel Huff (also deceased) on the trombone, Alma Willey on the bass horn, Dick Peery (now deceased) on the trumpet and several others including Raydon Madson, who joined at various times over the years.
    They played good old toe-tapping music.  Monte would then change hats and play with the Payson City Band in the band concerts.   WHAT A TALENTED MAN !
Monte really got into his music.  The sweat would just roll off of the man and he would just keep going.

    In about 1988 he received a plaque and was honored for fifty years playing with the Payson City Band at the Sunday Night Band Concerts.  He and his lovely wife were also honored in 1990 as Grand Marshalls for the Onion Days Parade.
    At the age of 55 he had heart problems and had surgery where the put a pig valve in his heart.  At the age of 59, he had to have one of his legs amputated because of blood clots.  That did not slow Monte down at all.  He kept right on playing his clarinet and entertaining everyone at the Sunday concerts on Onion Days even though he was there in a wheel chair.
    It was a sad day on July 12, 1997 when Monte died from a pulmonary embolism at the early age of 67.  He was a genuine icon of Payson Onion Days and it was so fun to look back at his life and what he shared with all of us and remember when...

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