Koko Taylor sometimes spelled KoKo Taylor (September 28, 1928 – June 3, 2009) was an AmericanChicago blues singer, popularly known as the "Queen of the Blues." She was known primarily for her rough, powerful vocals and traditional blues stylings.
Born Cora Walton in Shelby County, Tennessee, Taylor was the daughter of a sharecropper. She left Memphis for Chicago, Illinois in 1952 with her husband, truck driver Robert "Pops" Taylor. In the late 1950s she began singing in Chicago blues clubs. She was spotted by Willie Dixon in 1962, and this led to wider performances and her first recording contract. In 1965, Taylor was signed by Chess Records subsidiary Checker Records where she recorded "Wang Dang Doodle," a song written by Dixon and recorded by Howlin' Wolf five years earlier. The song became a hit, reaching number four on the R&B charts and number 58 on the pop charts in 1966, and selling a million copies. Taylor recorded several versions of "Wang Dang Doodle" over the years, including a live version at the 1967 American Folk Blues Festival with harmonica player Little Walter and guitarist Hound Dog Taylor. Taylor subsequently recorded more material, both original and covers, but never repeated that initial chart success.
National touring in the late 1960s and early 1970s improved her fan base, and she became accessible to a wider record-buying public when she signed with Alligator Records in 1975. She recorded nine albums for Alligator, 8 of which were Grammy-nominated, and came to dominate the female blues singer ranks, winning twenty five W. C. Handy Awards (more than any other artist). After her recovery from a near-fatal car crash in 1989, the 1990s found Taylor in films such as Blues Brothers 2000 and Wild at Heart, and she opened a blues club on Division Street in Chicago in 1994, which relocated to Wabash Ave in Chicago's South Loop in 2000. (The club is now closed.)
Gandil enlisted several of his teammates, motivated by a dislike of club owner Charles Comiskey (whose miserliness they resented) to implement the fix; Comiskey had developed a reputation for underpaying his players for years (under the MLB reserve clause, players either had to take the salary they were offered, or couldn't play Major League Baseball, as no other team was allowed to sign them). All of them were members of a faction on the team that resented the more strait-laced players on the squad, such as second baseman Eddie Collins, a graduate of Columbia College of Columbia University, catcher Ray Schalk, and pitcher Red Faber. By most contemporary accounts, the two factions almost never spoke to each other on or off the field, and the only thing they had in common was a resentment of Comiskey.