View Full Version : It's raining queens of blues and swingin' sax players

06-03-2009, 10:04 PM
Two legends took their final bow today.

The Queen of the Blues is dead.

Koko Taylor, a West Tennessee sharecropper's daughter who went to Chicago, Illinois, with "35 cents and a box of Ritz Crackers" at 24 and wound up an award-winning blues legend, died Wednesday at her Chicago home at 80.

She died of complications from a May 19 surgery for gastrointestinal bleeding, her Web site reported.

Just days before the surgery, Taylor won her 29th Blues Music Award, picking up the trophy for Traditional Female Blues Artist Of the Year. She performed her signature song, "Wang Dang Doodle," at the ceremony.

Known for her powerful vocals, Taylor was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1997, won the Blues Foundation Lifetime Achievement Ward in 1999 and was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship in 2004.

She also won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album in 1985 for her album "Queen of the Blues."

Also, the man responsible for some of the most recognizable swing arrangements said goodnight.

Sam Butera, the hard-driving, hard-swinging New Orleans saxophonist who was Louis Prima's longtime musical partner, died Wednesday in Las Vegas following a long illness. He was 81.

Mr. Butera joined Prima's band in 1954. With singer Keely Smith, they built one of the most popular acts in the golden age of Las Vegas. Mr. Butera cooked up the arrangements that gave the likes of "Just a Gigolo," "I Ain't Got Nobody" and "Jump Jive An' Wail" maximum impact.

"Louis's ace-in-the-hole was Sam Butera," said Gia Prima, the fifth of Louis's five wives and the singer in his band from 1962 to 1975. "That animal attraction that they had, with Sam's honking sax and Louis's jumping and jiving -- without Sam, Louis couldn't have pulled it off."

06-04-2009, 07:40 AM
What a voice. RIP Koko.

06-06-2009, 09:23 AM
oh man i just saw this now. Koko Taylor was awesome.

06-06-2009, 10:00 AM
I heard about Koko Taylor yesterday on the radio, such a shame.

06-06-2009, 04:57 PM
yeah, the djs talked about her a bunch on 93xrt last few days...