Universal - Volbeat's Michael Poulsen discusses the impact guitarist/producer Rob…
- Posted on Jun 8th 2009 4:00PM by Benjy Eisen
The Song: 'Wang Dang Doodle' (original version by Willie Dixon)
The Contestants: Koko Taylor vs. PJ Harvey
In this corner -- Koko Taylor: Willie Dixon's blues classic 'Wang Dang Doodle' was originally intended for Howlin' Wolf but he sure had no complaints when his protege, Koko Taylor, turned the song into a platinum seller, taking it to No. 4 on the R&B charts in 1966 and riding its wails as her first claim to fame. In fact, her version of 'Wang Dang Doodle' has become more than just her greatest hit -- it's become an artifact of American cultural history. It was also, fittingly, the last song Taylor performed publicly before she passed away on June 3rd.
Koko Taylor, 'Wang Dang Doodle'
In this corner -- PJ Harvey: Anybody who covers 'Wang Dang Doodle' has big shoes to fill, whether its Ted Nugent or the Grateful Dead, who've taken a stab at it. None of them quite replicate Koko Taylor's rendition (and if that's what they're actually going for, well, they fall short). PJ Harvey knows better. Her version makes an obligatory nod to Taylor but, with its guitar crunches and vocal acrobatics, it becomes something that Willie Dixon never bargained for: it becomes PJ Harvey's own thing. Kinda.
PJ Harvery, 'Wang Dang Doodle'