Photo by Henry Horenstein
Last night I DJed a party at a union hall and I immediately thought of this song by Koko Taylor. This Chicago blues standard was written by Willie Dixon and first recoded by Howlin’ Wolf, but Taylor’s version, released in 1966, is the best known and reached #4 on the R&B charts, and #58 on the Hot 100. I first heard it when the Grateful Dead started covering it in 1983.
“Tonite we’re gonna pitch a ball, Down to that union hall.”
Koko Taylor was originally from Memphis but like many of her contemporaries made her way to Chicago in the late 50’s. Dixon discovered her and her career lasted until her death in 2009.