Koko Taylor, aka the Queen of Chicago Blues, was born on this day in 1928


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Koko Taylor, known as the Queen of Chicago Blues, was born as Cora Walton on a sharecropper’s farm in Memphis, Tennessee, on Sept. 28, 1928.

She was given the name Koko because of her love of chocolate. As a child, she began singing gospel in church and imitated blues music she heard on the radio with her siblings using makeshift instruments.

In 1953, Taylor married and moved to Chicago. She worked as a housemaid by day and at night she frequented Blues clubs on Chicago’s South Side. One night she met Chess Records songwriter/producer Willie Dixon, who was impressed by her performance. She made her debut on Chess records in 1964 and her song ‘Wang Dang Doodle’ became a hit, selling more than one million copies.

Taylor went on to record 17 albums in total and toured extensively. She died at the age of 80 in June 2009.

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