Koko Taylor 1928-2009

The powerful blues singer Koko Taylor, who died yesterday after complications from surgery for gastrointestinal bleeding, never seemed particularly torn between the demands of Saturday night and Sunday morning. As she told Ben Manilla in Dan Aykroyd’s Elwood’s Blues, “Everyday I’d look forward to that 15 minutes on the radio listening to the blues. My dad say, ‘If you ain’t singing gospel, then it’s the devil’s music.’ But I don’t call it the devil’s music; I call it good music.”

If you dig the Grateful Dead’s version of her 1952 hit single “Wang Dang Doodle,” check out the original with guitarist Little Walter. Then spin the equally devilish “Don’t Mess With the Messer” and “Insane Asylum” (with Willie Dixon).

Tell your friends!