Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Queen Is Dead

Koko Taylor dies at Age 80.
Grammy Award-winning blues legend Koko Taylor, 80, died on June 3, 2009 in her hometown of Chicago, IL, as a result of complications following her May 19 surgery to correct a gastrointestinal bleed.

She was one of my all-time favorites. I saw her one time in a little club Durham and I still remember it as one of the best blues shows I've ever seen. She was a tough little woman with a great big voice, singing about love, lust, pain and good times. She was one of the absolute greats.

RIP, Your Majesty.


Henry Perez said...

J.D., I'm glad you posted this. I had the opportunity to see Koko perform many times, every one of them was a thrill.

About fifteen years ago I saw her headline at a small outdoor blues festival. After Koko's perfomance my wife and I sheepishly made our way toward her trailer which sat in an open field behind the stage. We had no business being there, but our plan was to keep moving until someone told us to go.
No one did.

The door to her trailer was open and she was sitting right inside. When she saw us, noticed that I was clutching one her old records, she said, "Come on over sweetheart," and waved for us to come in.

She was obviously worn out from the show, but we chatted for about twenty minutes, even though my wife and I tried to leave a couple of times (for Koko's sake, not ours). It was a marvellous experience.

She was a hell of a lady, and a unique talent.

David Terrenoire said...

Thanks for posting this. I was going to mention Koko's passing over at the Planet, but frankly, didn't know where to start.

The last time I saw Koko Taylor was 15 or 20 years ago at the Bull Durham Blues Festival. She put on a great show, even though it was raining buckets.

That video was terrific and suprisingly, we catch a glimpse of two other greats, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry in the foreground of one of those shots, two men who got their start playing in the streets of Durham.

Henry, thanks for the story. That was great.