Archive for June 2009

Chicago blues legend Koko Taylor dies at 80

June 3, 2009

The Chicago blues queen, Koko Taylor, has passed at the age of 80.  She was recovering from surgery at Northwestern Hospital when she passed today.

According to the Chicago Tribune, she was born Cora Walton in 1928 in Memphis, Tenn., she was orphaned by the time she was 11, and had to work the cotton fields to support herself. She came to Chicago in 1952 with her future husband, Robert “Pops” Taylor, to escape the plantation life and “look for work, start a new life, get married and have a family.”

She had no intention of becoming a singer. But she was inspired by the blues songs of Memphis Minnie and Big Mama Thornton at an early age, and had sung gospel in church. When she came to Chicago, she was thrilled by the music she encountered in the South Side clubs, amplified and raucous, a harder incarnation of the backporch brand of blues she had heard in the South.

You can read the full story HERE.

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