Koko Taylor - 1928-2009
The Mountain Stage family is saddened to learn of Koko Taylor's passing on June 3. Her status as Queen of the Blues was undisputed, especially to anyone who watched her sing.
She last visited Mountain Stage in 2001 and she continued performing up until last month when she sang at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis (shortly after winning her 29th Blues Music Award for Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year). Taylor is a legend of the blues and will surely be missed. Upcoming Mountain Stage guests Shemekia Copeland and Buddy Guy are both quoted in this AP obituary. Shemekia says, "You can't ask a woman who sings blues right now who influenced them and not say 'Koko Taylor.' If she didn't pave the way for us we couldn't do this."
You can read more at the Alligator Records website and hear NPR Music's feature from Morning Edition.
The Chicago Tribune's blog post goes deeper into her recording history with Chess and Alligator Records.
Koko Taylor performed on Mountain Stage in July, 2001.
Mountain Stage host and artistic director Larry Groce says, "Koko Taylor was a true force of nature and personified what a blues singer should be. She was of the people and for the people and her music will live on as long as someone feels the blues."
Here is a set Koko did for Mountain Stage, recorded July 13, 2001 in Snowshoe, WV. May her voice continue inspire singers for generations to come.
Can't Let Go
Jump For Joy
Somebody Bring Me Some Water (Melissa Etheridge)
Wang Dang Doodle