Koko TaylorOn 28/09/1928: Koko Taylor was born. She was born in Memphis, Tennessee and her full birth name was Cora Walton. Her father was a sharecropper.
In 1952 she moved to Chicago with her husband Robert "Pops" Taylor, who was a truck driver. In the late 1950s, she started to sing in the Chicago blues clubs.
In 1962 she was spotted by Willie Dixon. This would lead to more performing opportunities.
In 1965 she signed with Checker Records a subsidiary of Chess Records. With Checker she recorded "Wang Dang Doodle", which was written by Dixon. It would reach number 4 on the R&B Charts and number 58 on the pop chart in 1966.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, she became more well known through touring the US.
In 1975 she signed with Alligator Records. She recorded 9 albums for Alligator. Eight of the albums she recorded for Alligator were nominated for Grammy Awards. She would dominate the female blues singer categories and won 25 W.C. Handy Awards (the most awards by any artist).
In 1989 she nearly died in a car crash.
In the 1990s, she appeared in the films "Blues Brothers 2000" and "Wild at Heart".
In 1994 she opened up a blues club on Division Street, in Chicago.
In 2000 the blues club moved to Wabash Ave in Chicago.
In 2003 she appeared on the tv series "Arthur" as a guest with Taj Mahal.
In 2008 the Internal Revenue Service declared that Taylor owed over $400,000 in unpaid tax, penalties and interest. It was for the years 1998, 2000 and 2001, where her adjusted gross income was $949,000.
In her later years she would perform over 70 concerts a year and lived in Country Club Hills, Illinois.
In 2008/2009 she performed with Umphrey's McGee at a New Year's Eve concert at The Auditorium Theater in Chicago. On the 7th May 2009, she performed at the Blues Music Awards. On the 19th May, she suffered complications from gastrointestinal bleeding surgery.
On the 3rd June 2009, she died at her home in Kildeer, Illinois.
Kolo Taylor has influenced many artists including Bonnie Raitt, Shemekia Copeland, Janis Joplin, Shannon Curfman and Susan Tedeschi.