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Friday, June 5, 2009

Her Nightgown in Your Bedroom

"...If you come home and you find another woman's nightgown in your bedroom, you gonna have the blues... believe it or not, even the President has the blues. " ~ Koko Taylor

On June 3rd, 2009 the great Blues singer, Koko Taylor transitioned. She was 80 years old. Today I am doing a tribute to her, although I wish I had done it before she left us. Koko was born as a sharecropper in Memphis. She left Memphis for Chicago with what she says was "35 cents and a box of Ritz crackers." She and her husband struggled doing manual labor during the day while she sang in nightclubs at night. She got her big break with Chess Records and recorded Wang Dang Doodle with Lil' Walter, the hot shot harmonica playing side kick of  Muddy Waters. If you haven't seen the movie Cadillac Records, rent it to find out more about Lil' Walter and Muddy Waters don't let Beyonce hateration keep you from learning about history.

Koko Taylor continued her career for forties plus years and even performed this year at the Kennedy Center. She received numerous Blues awards and influenced many artists such as Bonnie Rait and Janis Joplin. As an artist she was influenced by great blues singers like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith. If you are not familiar with either of these ladies, please click the links for a treat. 

Koko Taylor will be missed. She toured often with B.B. King, and was spectacular. That's why they called her the "Queen of Blues." Before she gained that title Dinah Washington had it and Bessie Smith has been called it too, however Bessie goes best by the "Empress of Blues." I think I would call Koko Taylor the "Queen of Today's Blues." Her music was the epitome of what you think of when you hear blues today, but it wasn't necessarily the blues of the 1920's, 1930's and 1940's.


T.Allen-Mercado said...

Another great tribute...I've been on a music jag lately, I'm going to add some more old school blues to my Pandora station. Thanks!

Ms. Bar B: said...

Beautiful as always. Thanks for the enlightenment.

fly tie said...

oh, i don't think i'd heard. thanks for the tribute.