This is one of the most powerful vocal performances I’ve ever heard! When I was in junior high school I listened to a late night radio show called Blues with Fitz, and I heard a live version of this song that impressed me so much. I used to tape record hours of that show, because that was really the only way to hear that kind of music back then. I didn’t have any blues records, and there was no YouTube, Spotify, or iTunes to just pull up any song you wanted to listen to.
I wore out the cassette with Koko Taylor on it. Whenever I hear any version of this song I compare it to Koko’s. She put her foot in it like nobody else! The original Howlin’ Wolf recording is superb, but composer Willie Dixon knew what he was doing when he brought Koko to Chess to lay down her own version. It is this rendition that was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1995, and it’s the song that became her signature.
“Wang Dang Doodle” will fuck you up in the very best of ways.