I know I just moved to Chicago, but I’ve already witnessed the power of the blues. One of the first things I did as I hit the city was head to Buddy Guy’s, and you can feel the spirit of legends in the air. Tragically, one of those Chicago blues legends passed away yesterday. Koko Taylor, the Queen of the Blues, died following complications from gastrointestinal surgery.

Koko Taylor was the recipient of more blues awards than just about any other artist, and for more than forty years she served up traditional blues music — hot, strong, lusty, from the gut. Wang Dang Doodle was her biggest hit, but there’s something about Ernestine I just love.

If you’re new to the sounds of Koko Taylor and Chicago Blues, check out her latest album, Old School. Koko didn’t release albums often, but when she did she poured her heart and soul into them.

RIP, Koko Taylor. There must be an incredible jam session going on, past those pearly gates.

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delacool says:
June 4, 2009, 12:26 pm
She was indeed the Queen and very loved here in Chicago.An amazing performer. She will be missed!
Alicia says:
June 4, 2009, 8:04 pm
It's great you are showing love to Koko Taylor, although you are just moving to Chicago. Much respect. As a native Chicagoan, I hope you enjoy living here. It truly is a great city with a lot to offer: shopping, culture, music, and some of the best food in the world. I love visiting New York (like you), but I think once you've been here a bit, you will start to love it (except the traffic).
carla says:
June 8, 2009, 2:12 pm
You know, I saw a brief RIP on Tayari Jones' blog, so I went over to my Yahoo home page to find the obituary--nothing that day, nothing since, and I have about 10 news sources--mostly entertainment--fed there. I mean, really, Koko Taylor was truly a blues queen--my mom clipped her obit from the LA Times and sent it to me--but I was very disappointed that her passing didn't even rate a mention in the online headlines. Thanks for remembering her here.