Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tell Automatic Slim and Razor Totin' Jim: Koko Taylor is Dead

A Friend of the Blog just sent me news that blues singer Koko Taylor passed to the other side of the river today at age 80. Here's a link to Ms. Taylor's obituary in Rolling Stone.

Many many weeks ago, I started searching for covers of "Wang Dang Doodle" -- a classic party song written by Willie Dixon for Howlin' Wolf. (According to the Wikipedia entry, Dixon said it was the song he hated the most). As usual, I got sidetracked from that project.

The vocals and the video on this version by Koko Taylor are badly out of sync--in fact, I suspect that someone spliced the recorded version with some unrelated film footage. Little Walter is on harmonica. At about 1:48, you'll see Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry standing around in the studio for some reason. Despite the sketchy quality, you get the idea of what a great artist Ms. Taylor was.

Here’s an oddly compelling version of "Wang Dang Doodle" performed by PJ Harvey.

I'll get back to more posts from Koko Taylor, Howlin' Wolf and Willie Dixon soon.

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