Taylor is the son of Everette Taylor, Sr, who sang in the gospel quartet Four Blue Eagles. Barry attended Miles College for a while before leaving to join the military, serving as a combat medic in the Vietnam War. He went back to college after his discharge and earned a master's in technology in education.
Taylor, who holds bachelor's and master's degrees in education, is also a master plumber and pipefitter. He has been an inspector for Birmingham since 1983.
He announced his candidacy for the 2007 Birmingham mayoral election on August 8, pledging to restore fairness to City Hall by hiring more qualified department heads and overhauling the process of awarding contracts. He also supported raises for firefighters and police officers, expanding vocational training opportunities, and instituting a "living minimum wage". He finished the race with 71 of the 52,111 votes cast, good enough for 7th place out of 10 candidates.
- Grauberger, Steve (December 7, 2005) "The Birmingham Sunlights." Program Notes for "Homegrown 2005" sponsored by the American Folklife Center and the Library of Congress.
- Bryant, Joseph D. (August 9, 2007) "City inspector running for mayor." Birmingham News.
- Wolfson, Hannah (September 28, 2007) "Taylor wants to save city he loves." Birmingham News.