Kettering native, Grammy nominee dies after brief illness

Morgan Taylor was a star of ‘kindie rock’ with his Gustafer Yellowgold albums and art

Kettering native musician and cartoonist Morgan Taylor, known for his kid-centric art and music creations, has died following a “brief and sudden illness,” according to a GoFundMe created in his honor.

Taylor was a two-time Grammy Award nominee whose work quickly gained popularity with his creation of Gustafer Yellowgold, a friendly yellow animated character who came from the sun.

For more than a decade, Taylor performed multimedia shows of live music and colored-pencil animations, opening for bands like Wilco with stories of Gustafer’s adventures. His 2015 Gustafer Yellowgold’s Dark Pie Concerns CD/DVD was nominated for Best Children’s Album.

“I wanted to be a comic book artist when I was younger, and my goal was to move to New York City and become an illustrator,” Taylor said in a 2015 interview with

Taylor said he sang in musicals and plays from a very young age, at Kettering’s Prass Elementary School, then played in several bands in the Dayton area, including Glee and Beak with David Poe, OO OO WA, and Mink.

Taylor moved to New York City in 1999, where he worked as a sound engineer and joined a songwriting club. It was in 2005 that Gustafer Yellowgold came to life.

“I had a bunch of rich, more poetic, strange and humorous story songs that I had written, sung in this fictitious first person,” he said to in 2015. “After my group Morgan Taylor’s Rock Group ended, my wife suggested I do a kids’ book project. When I started that project in 2003, I thought, I’ll take some of these smaller songs and illustrate pictures to go with them.”

Taylor’s art was described by the New York Times as “a cross between Yellow Submarine and Dr. Seuss,” and Time Magazine called him a “star of kindie rock.”

Taylor is survived by his wife Rachel and their two children, according to the GoFundMe.

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