Remembering Koko Taylor

kokotaylorrexfeatures2007

Rex Features | 2007

It is ten years since blues singer KoKo Taylor died. Writing in The Independent, Paul Wadey remembered her career and influence.

Although temporarily sidelined by a near fatal road accident in the late Eighties, Taylor proved a battler. She toured exhaustively with her band, Blues Machine, continued to record and appeared in both David Lynch’s offbeat Wild at Heart (1990) and Blues Brothers 2000 (1998), a futile attempt by director John Landis to tap into the cult success of The Blues Brothers (1980). She also received a clutch of awards including, in 1997, induction into the Blues Hall of Fame and, in 2004, a National Heritage Fellowship from America’s National. She made her last public appearance in May when she performed at the Blues Foundation’s Awards in Memphis and collected a record 29th trophy from that organisation.

When asked what the blues meant to her, her reply was typical of a performer who for 50 years had consciously eschewed the stereotypically hard-living approach to life of a veteran blues musician: “Blues is my life. It’s a true feeling that comes from the heart, not just something that comes out of my mouth. Blues is what I love, and singing the blues is what I always do.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/lifeinfocus/koko-taylor-death-obituary-american-singer-chicago-blues-scene-a8955901.html

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