Koko Taylor—a blues legend, Chicago musical icon, and one of the most revered female blues vocalists of her time—passed away Wednesday due to complications from gastrointestinal surgery. Taylor's death comes less than four weeks after her last performance at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis, where she collected her record 29th Blues Music Award.
The singer internationally renown for her gruff, no-nonsense roar was born Cora Walton near Memphis. Taylor's 1965 hit recording of "Wang Dang Doodle" launched her career and the song has become a blues anthem. Among her many others hits "I'm a Woman" and "Sweet Home Chicago." Koko Taylor won a Grammy Award in 1984. She was 80 year old.
AFTER THE JUMP, via Alicia Banks, watch Koko Taylor perform "Wang Dang Doodle" and other hits, including "I'm a Woman" at the recent Kennedy Center tribute to Morgan Freeman, and, a rare 1967 recording of her signature hit. If you've never seen Koko Taylor perform live, you missed a beautiful thing. I've had the great fortune to see her many times at the old Checkerboard Lounge and at the Blues Fest in Chicago, and in New York City once or twice. Good times. No, those were great times.