Koko Taylor, singer
birth name: Cora Walton

Koko Taylor

September 28, 1928, Memphis, TN ~ June 3, 2009, Chicago, IL

An accomplished vocalist known for her hard-driving style, she is one of but a handful of women to receive widespread recognition in the male-dominated blues profession. The key to her success, Taylor admitted in an interview with Contemporary Musicians, is her adherence to traditional style. “I'm about the only woman out there singing the old, traditional Mississippi blues,” she said. “Guys like Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, this is where I got my inspiration from. This is where I got my courage and strength. I would think that's what caused me to be where I am today.” ~ Musicianguide: Koko Taylor ~ retrieved June 5, 2013 © Musicianguide

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September 28, 1963 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (12) The Ronettes, Be My Baby ~ #2 (5) The Jaynetts, Sally Go Round The Roses ~ #1 (1) Bobby Vinton, Blue Velvet


“I used to listen to the radio, and when I was about 18 years old, B.B. King was a disc jockey and he had a radio program, 15 minutes a day, over in West Memphis, Arkansas and he would play the blues,” she said in a 1990 interview. “I would hear different records and things by Muddy Waters, Bessie Smith, Memphis Minnie, Sonny Boy Williams and all these people, you know, which I just loved.” Although her father encouraged her to sing only gospel music, Cora and her siblings would sneak out back with their homemade instruments and play the blues. With one brother accompanying on a guitar made out of bailing wire and nails and one brother on a fife made out of a corncob, she began on the path to blues woman. ~ Legacy.com: Koko Taylor Obituary ~ retrieved April 24, 2014 © Legacy.com/Associated Press

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