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Koko Taylor & Willie Dixon

Collaboration between two Chicago blues legends

Armando Bellmas
Armando Bellmas
Koko Taylor & Willie Dixon

Today on Ecléctico you're listening to two Chicago blues legends: Koko Taylor, the Queen of the Blues, and Willie Dixon, the "architect of the blues," as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame refers to him, because of his singing, bass playing, producing, and standard-setting blues songwriting. Dixon produced and wrote this song and many others for Taylor, establishing her reign as an iconic singer and interpreter of the blues.

You'll go deeper with an excerpt transcribed from an audio interview between Willie Dixon and Koko Taylor and historian and broadcaster Studs Terkel in 1982.


"Insane Asylum" by Koko Taylor & Willie Dixon
1969 | Collaboration between two Chicago blues legends


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Willie Dixon: Well, the story, the record, actually explains itself, but there's just like someone you hadn't missed then thought, well, here's somebody that I love and they love me but then all of a sudden they're gone and your don't know where they're at.

Then all of a sudden you happen to go out to an insane asylum and then you see somebody that's sittin' there and they recognize you and you recognize them. This is the whole entire song. We begin to break down in tears and cry and we begin to talk with each other backwards and forwards. But everybody's glad to see each other, you know, it's a beautiful feeling.

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Well you see the blues have so many ways, there's so many ways and so many contrasts to the blues. You know the blues is the type of music, like you can have the blues one day because your girlfriend or your wife leave you, your boyfriend. Then you can have the blues the next day because [they] come back to you. So many different ways that the blues you can have them from lot of different things you know.

["Insane Asylum"] is one that they had been separated and then all of a sudden found them in the insane asylum and they are glad to see together, so glad to get back together and know that love still there.

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