Monday, December 28, 2009

In Memoriam: Koko Taylor

Koko Taylor: Wang Dang Doodle


It was a rough decade for the Blues, a genre still heavily dominated by an aging population of once-seminal musicians born in the twenties and thirties. And though everyone has their favorite, no one will be more missed in my household than "Queen of the Blues" Koko Taylor -- a Chicagoan house cleaner, discovered by the legendary Willie Dixon in 1962, who went on to become one of the most beloved and well-respected blueswomen in history, in no small part for her gritty 1966 recording of Dixon's Wang Dang Doodle, which sold over a million copies.

An earthy-yet-upbeat woman in a male-dominated world, Taylor's "rough, powerful vocal stylings" influenced the rasp and bellow of dozens of blueswomen from Janis Joplin to Bonnie Raitt and Susan Tedeschi. Her last performance, at the 2007 W.C. Handy Awards ceremony, marked her 29th win, making her the lifetime recipient of more Blues Music Awards than any other artist.

blog comments powered by Disqus