Koko Taylor

I’m sorry to hear that the great Koko Taylor has died. When I think of her I always remember one story.

When Stevie Ray Vaughan died, one of the DJs at Chicago’s great radio station, WXRT — I’m pretty sure it was Lin Brehmer — made some phone calls to get reactions. He got numbers from the various record companies and set to work. He tried to get in touch with Keith Richards, but the closest he could get was the secretary of the personal assistant of Keith’s publicist, or something like that. And this was the way the day went: usually six degrees of separation between him and the person he wanted to talk to.

But then he called the number Alligator Records had given him for Koko Taylor. The phone rings; someone picks it up: “Hello.”

The DJ says, “Um, yes, I’m trying to get in touch with Koko Taylor.”

“Just a minute.” Hand over receiver, shouting: “Hey, Mom!”