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I wish I could provide this tribute under better circumstances, but unfortunately this one comes with a heavy heart. Earlier this month blues great Koko Taylor passed away at the age of 80. Nominated for a Grammy 8 times for her stellar blues albums, Koko Taylor was and is considered by many to be the indisputable "Queen of the Blues".
I actually wish I had more to say as a tribute to Koko, but to be honest I've just recently really come to appreciate her music. Instead, I thought I'd let Koko speak for herself and share some great clips of the Queen of the Blues in action.
This first clip is of Taylor's most well known song: "Wang Dang Doodle" from 1967.
And this second one is from a little later, a show in Canada around 1978, and is a pair of songs, "Let the Good Times Roll" and "I'm a Woman".
I think those pretty much some it up.... what a voice... and the stage presence... the raw soul and passion... it's incredible! Few singers can really get inside the blues, make it there own and then become that on stage... projecting that emotion all the way to the back, but that's why Koko Taylor is the Queen of the blues. That's exactly what she does and even these clips are enough to leave your spine tingling... a testament to Taylor's tremendous talent.
As I said, I wish I could have presented this tribute for a happier occasion, but I also cannot think of a better remembrance and tribute to Koko Taylor than to strongly encourage any and everyone at all interested in the blues to take a listen to her work (if you're unfamiliar with it)... some of the best soul and blues you are going to find anywhere... period.
I offer condolences to the friends, family and fans of Koko Taylor. The Queen of the Blues will surely be missed, but her legacy, her talent and her tremendous passion will remain to inspire us for generations to come.