Koko Taylor´s Queen of Chicago Blues Blues is my life. It’s a true feeling that comes from the heart, not something that just comes out of my mouth. Blues is what I love, and blues is what I always do.
– Koko Taylor –
Queen of The Blues
We got to thank Chicago mayor, Richard M. Daley, for making March 3rd Koko Taylor Day, because that this Chicago Blues Legend, Wang-Dang Doodle-singer and Queen of the Blues got the credits she deserves. Koko was born Cora Walton as a member to a sharecroppers family in Memphis Tennessee. She got her nickname according some myths because of her affection for Chocolate. A new blues blog for Koko Taylor the Queen of the blues.
Memphis Blues to Chicago Blues
Koko started playing Music together with her brother who made a guitar out of a hay baling wire. But because of the radio in Memphis she really connected with the Blues. In that period Rufus Thomas and BB King were Deejays playin’ blues in Memphis and Arkansas and turned that blues records around. Koko moved to Chicago in 1953 together with her husband Robert “Pops” Taylor, a cotton trucker. In an interview with James Path in 1994 she describes in a beautiful way the Chicago Blues era.
Chicago Juke Joints
Koko Started to play music in some Juke Joints on the West and Southside of
Chicago. She met J.B.Lenoir and sang with him, she met Magic Sam and jammed with him. When she met Hound Dog Taylor she recorded some songs with him. Later on she met Howlin’ Wolf and Little Walter, who she called a great guy. It resulted in a lot of fantastic recordings on Chess Records.
Jamming Koko Taylor Blues
Koko and Willy Dixon met in 1963, she already had a record label, but Dixon convinced her to record Wang Dang Doodle. That song is still her biggest hit. “Doodle” got a lot of airplay on the black radio stations in the sixties. Together with Jimmy Reed she started playing in the south . Koko played a lot of tunes in Dixon’s basement, it was the real Wang Dang Doodle. Willie Dixon was a talented musician an songwriter, but he was maybe above all a fantastic peoples manager. He brought everyone together. And that maybe the power of the blues.
Theodore Roosevelt the 26th president of the United States was known for his range of interests, his leadership as well as his “cowboy” persona. A man born in Natchez, Mississippi in 1915 with the same name Theodore Roosevelt Taylor would be known for his six fingers, his extraordinary guitarstyle, his Rock ‘n Roll band and contribution to the Blues, and Rock ‘n Roll. Hound Dog Taylor he ain’t a Cowboy but he sho’ plays like a motherfucker. A new Blues blog.
The Route To The North
Like many other blues musicians Hound Dog Taylor made the journey from the south to the north. But Hound Dog left the south because he was chased out of Mississippi by the Klan after having an affair with a white woman. He hide himself for one day, the next day he travelled to Chicago and never returned.
Gonna Send You Back To Georgia – Slide Maniac
Hound Dog Taylor picked up his guitar quite late. He originally played piano, but it would be until his twentieth when he started playing the guitar. And that decision is maybe the best he could make. Hound Dog is for me together with Elmore James the king of the slide guitar. An inspiration for many guitar players who adopted the blues and turned it into Rock ‘n Roll, Hard Rock or maybe Metal. The dirt that comes out of his guitar is fenomonal. Especially in “Gonna Send you Back To Georgia”.
Clubs on the Chicago Southside
Taylor started playing professionally in 1957, till that time he always kept a side job, like building TV cabinets. In 1957 he made the blues his main business, because he became the top hit in a lot of Clubs on the south side of Chicago. Like Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson too, Hound Dog played among others on the Maxwell Street Market. I think Hound Dag developed his slide style there. It could have resulted in the collaboration with Koko Taylor and Walter like this one:
Hound dog Tayler and the HouseRockers where a plain loud straightforward band. Music website elsewhere.co.nz wrote an article about Hound Dog citing a quote of Robert Christau where he referred to band as “the Ramones of the Blues”.