Thursday, June 04, 2009

Heaven's New Blue(s) Star

Koko Taylor has passed away, she was 80 and it was a helluva run.

I was lucky enough to work with her on two occasions, in two different towns, in two different states, 2 years apart, in the mid-1980's. The shows went great, she and her band were so tight and so good I wondered why the hell they were working clubs and allowing me to run sound for them. She had more W.C. Handy awards than any other artist.

If you ever saw her you know that she was a force of nature. A big woman with a voice to match but nice as pie and funny. There was nothing ladylike about her singing, just pure woman, and you knew this was not a woman to be messed with. She was nice to me but could be hell on club owners and booking agents. Yet another thing I admired about her.

When I worked with her she traveled with her husband, Pops Taylor. He was an almost diminutive man that dressed sharp and was fiercely protective in a professional and polite way. I remember when a friend told me of his passing in 1989 and I felt saddened and wondered how she could go on. But she did, and some of her best years were ahead of her. Amazing for a someone who didn't have a music career until she was 38.

At 80 she was still doing 70 dates a year and was looking forward to her next tour in Europe and developing new material.

Here's another personal remembrance by Blue Girl.

Koko, I just Can't Let Go: