Koko Taylor - The Queen of the Blues

The Blues originated from plantations in the deep south in the 19th century. It derived from African work songs, spirituals and field hollers that slaves sung as they were on the cotton and vegetable fields. As the great migration happened from the southern US to industrial cities, the Blues took off in Chicago giving birth to some of the greatest Blues musicians in American history including the queen of Blues, Cora Walton aka Koko Jones.

Koko Taylor got her start in blues with her siblings as a child when the influence of musicians like Rufus Thomas and BB King were at all time high. As Taylor got married years later, her and her husband sat in city blues clubs across Chicago which is eventually where she began sitting in on shows and performances thus making her name known amongst many different clubs

Willie Dixon and Chess Records

In 1962 as Taylor was a guest appearance in a blues club, a popular composer by the name of Willie Dixon took interest in her singing abilities and offered to sign her to the Chess Record Label. It was said that accepting the offer was the greatest think koko Taylor could do for her soon to be singing career. The label produced many of her singles along with her first hit that sold over a million copies “Wang Wang Doodle” which was actually a rendition of a song written by Willie Dixon himself and became her signature song.

The Road to Hollywood

As she began touring the United States, her record label she signed with, Chess Records, was sold leading her to then sign with Alligator Records in 1975. She recorded nine albums while with Alligator Records eight of them being Grammy nominated. As she grew as a female Blues artist, so did her fame. The albums and hit singles she released under Alligator Records won her seven more Grammy’s along with many distinguished music awards such as Blues Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the “Legend Of The Year” Award and made multiple guest appearances in television shows nationwide.

Here are some of Koko's greatest works

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