James Taylor's 'Secret Of Life'

With countless classics like "Sweet Baby James," "Fire And Rain," and "You've Got A Friend," James Taylor has quietly crossed over into legendary status and is showing no signs of slowing down.

In fact, the Hall of Famer is in the midst of a brand new tour. He stopped by The Early Show to perform for the Summer Concerts series one of his biggest hits, "Secret of Life," as well as "Something In The Way She Moves" and "Never Die Young."

"It is a remarkable thing," the singer/songwriter tells The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith about how so many fans will mouth the words of his songs along with him as he sings. "I don't know any other life than this. I suppose in a way, I've gotten used to what it is that I do. But every once in a while, I get a chance to step back from it and take a look at it. It's really quite remarkable."

His North American tour is in a way like a family reunion.

"I get on really well with my audience," Taylor says. "It's something that's evolved over a long period of time. Particularly this summer thing, this particular summer evening and one of these outdoor venues, it's very familiar; and yet at the same time, there's an excitement to it."

It's been a couple of years since fans have seen a new album from him, and though Taylor has a few songs in the works, he says he is in no rush: "We've got the summer tour and that will probably take up all my time til the fall. Then I'll get back to work on it."

Perhaps a new album will be ready next summer?

"That would be the soonest I'd have it baked and ready. There's no hurry at this point," Taylor says. As for putting together a compilation of hits, he says, "There are plenty of those old records out there. You can still buy one if you wanted to. And in all probability, the new stuff will sound pretty much like the old stuff."

His career has spanned more than three decades. He's sold more than 35 million albums and won multiple Grammy Awards. In 2000, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and won a Billboard Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998.

Referring to Taylor's song "You've Got A Friend," Smith admits to the singer/songwriter: "You've been a friend to me. When I was a college freshman and sophomore at Central College in Iowa, I had my James Taylor records. And if you illegally had a female person in your dorm room and put on James Taylor, there was a certain effect. Have you heard of this phenomena?"

Laughing Taylor replies, "I've always wondered if there was some way to get a commission on that."

Taylor's band features longtime mates Steve Gadd (drums), Jimmy Johnson (bass), Michael Landau (guitar), Luis Conte (percussion), Larry Goldings (keyboards), Andrea Zonn (fiddle), Walt Fowler and Lou Marini (horns), and Arnold McCuller and Kate Markowitz on backing vocals.

In the month of July, you can catch him on tour in the following places:

Friday, July 8 - Camden, N.J. - Tweeter Center
Saturday, July 9 - Pittsburgh, Pa. – Post Gazette Pavilion
Sunday, July 10 - Milwaukee, Wis. - Summerfest
Friday, July 22 - Virginia Beach, Va. - Verizon Amphitheater
Saturday, July 23 - Washington, D.C. - Nissan Pavilion
Tuesday, July 26 - Indianapolis, Ind. - Verizon Amphitheater
Wednesday, July 27 -Columbus, Ohio - Germain Amphitheater
Friday, July 29 - Raleigh, N.C. - Alltel Pavilion
Saturday, July 30 - Charlotte, N.C. - Verizon Amphitheater
Sunday, July 31 - Nashville, Tenn. - Starwood Amphitheater

The singer-songwriter has two adult children, Ben and Sally, from his marriage to singer/songwriter Carly Simon. He's also dad to 4-year-old twins Rufus and Henry; their mom is Taylor's third wife, Caroline (Kim) Smedvig.

For complete tour information and biography visit his Web site at www.jamestaylor.com.