Sunday, June 7, 2009
Like her contemporaries Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, Koko Taylor, who died at 80 on June 3rd, migrated from the South to Chicago. Once there, she was part of a movement that transformed the rural, acoustic blues to an electric, aggressive urban sound. Bluesman Willie Dixon, impressed by her forceful, gutty voice, introduced her to Chess Records and wrote her signature song, "Wang Dang Doodle," performed above in 1967 with legendary harmonica player Little Walter. She gained international renown following her 1972 appearance at the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival, where it was discovered that no one belted out the blues like Koko Taylor.