People and Places with Pierce: Cyrus the singer

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – “We love him,” said Patsy Mills McCarter of Black Jack.

“He’s full of life and friendly,” added Eloise Slater.

He’s also a pretty good singer. Cyrus Taylor has been singing to just about anyone who will listen for 30 years.

“I started singing in church,” said Taylor. “It’s mainly gospel, Southern gospel. Everywhere I went people would ask me: your voice kind of sounds like a country redneck version of Elvis, would you sing some Elvis gospel?”

The rest you could say is history.

“He just loves to sing,” said Slater, Taylor’s mother.

But the man with the smooth voice didn’t always have a love for the stage.

“When he was a small child, he would not sing,” recalled Slater.

“I sang my first solo in church when I was 27,” added Taylor.

“We always knew he had it in him, he just wouldn’t put it out,” said Slater.

“My family had a singing background but I was too shy and too bashful to ever start singing,” explained Taylor. “Now I just kind of outgrew it I guess. Once I start singing, it flows out.”

“He’s very helpful with the nursing homes and entertaining the older people,” said Slater.

“I get the opportunity once in a while to go to the hospital and sing to somebody,” said Taylor. “You know a capella, real soft.”

It’s those moments that are most special to Cyrus.

“I love it very much,” said Taylor. “They’re really hungry for attention and for entertainment and the Lord uses me to go in there and just try to comfort them.”

He always makes time for a fan favorite or two.

“The Long Black Train,” said McCarter.

“Danny Boy, Tight Fitting Jeans, you never know what you’re going to have to sing,” said Taylor.

But it’s all part of the act.

“I think they enjoy my awkward humor,” explained Taylor. “You’re having to talk and then hold an iPad. It’s a lot for a simple minded man like me.”

Cyrus says that’s all part of the act too. One thing is for sure: wherever he goes, a crowd gathers.

 

Pierce is always looking for interesting and unique people and places to visit. If you have an idea, send him an email or a message on Facebook or Twitter.

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