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Koko Taylor: A Life Of Music

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"Don't Put Your Hands on Me"

"Mother Nature"

"Wang Dang Doodle"

Koko Taylor

Koko Taylor. Marc Norberg hide caption

toggle caption Marc Norberg

It's hard to say that an artist is the "best" of anything. But when it comes to Koko Taylor, there is no debate — she was the Queen of the Blues. Best known for her hit song "Wang Dang Doodle," Taylor, who died June 3 at age 80, won nearly every award offered in the blues world.

Taylor's career started in Chicago, where she lived from the age of 18. At first, she earned a living cleaning houses, frequenting clubs on her off time. Soon afterward, she earned a contract with Chess Records. Her biggest hit came in 1966 with "Wang Dang Doodle," which sold more than a million copies.

Taylor performed for more than 40 years, with legends like Muddy Waters and B.B. King, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

In 1993, Taylor was hailed as "Legend of the Year" by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. In 1997, she was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame, and received its Lifetime Achievement Award two years later.

In this World Cafe interview with Michaela Majoun from 1994, Taylor talks about how she got started as a musician, as well as about her love for and commitment to the blues.

"I'm thinking about, 'Keep on doing what I'm doing and hanging in there.' The sky's the limit," Taylor says.

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