On this day in history, the Queen of Chicago Blues was born. On September 28, 1928, Cora “KoKo” Walton was born on a plantation in Barlett, Tennessee. After working several years as a domestic, KoKo Taylor signed a recording contract with the famous Chess Records in 1962. If you’d like to read more about KoKo Taylor, click here
. Since today would have been Taylor’s 90th birthday, we are celebrating with a list of her top songs. Enjoy!
Before KoKo Taylor released her version of Wang Dang Doodle
in 1965, Chess producer, Willie Dixon, attempted to record the track multiple times. Dixon produced a version with the El Rays in 1954. He produced another version with Howlin’ Wolf in 1960 but Dixon struck gold once he recorded with Taylor. The song reached No. 4 on the R&B charts and No. 58 on the Hot 100 charts. The song became a crowd favorite and Taylor’s greatest hit. Click here
to listen to KoKo Taylor’s version of Wang Dang Doodle
In 1975, KoKo Taylor released her track Voodoo Woman
. It appeared on the B-side of a single from Sonet Records. Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean
is on the A-side. Click here
to listen to KoKo Taylor’s raw and powerful singing on Voodoo Woman
KoKo Taylor’s song, I’m A Woman
, is a unique rendition of Muddy Waters’ I’m A Man
. Much like Waters, Taylor sings highly of herself. She notifies her listeners that she’s a “ball of fire,” can “cut stone with a pen,” and of course that she’s a “love-maker.” Click here
to listen to Taylor’s 1978 I’m A Woman
by Allegator Records.
In 1968, Etta James released her original song, I’d Rather Go Blind
. It was an instant success. In 1981, KoKo Taylor released her version of I’d Rather Go Blind
with Alligator Records. Click here
to listen to Ms. KoKo’s version of this blues classic.