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Big Mama Thornton

1926 -1984

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Big Mama Thornton - Ball and Chain - with the Buddy Guy Band
 

Big Mama Thornton

 
Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton (December 11, 1926 – July 25, 1984) was an American rhythm and blues singer and songwriter. She was the first to record Leiber and Stoller's "Hound Dog" in 1952, which became her biggest hit. It spent seven weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B charts in 1953 and sold almost two million copies. However, her success was overshadowed three years later, when Elvis Presley recorded his more popular rendition of "Hound Dog". Similarly, Thornton's "Ball 'n' Chain" (written in 1961 but not released until 1968) had a bigger impact when performed and recorded by Janis Joplin in the late 1960s.
 
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Big Mama Thornton website links

 

Big Mama Thornton Discography - Album CD

Title
Date
Cover
Remarks
       
       
1965 Big Mama Thornton – In Europe
1966 Big Mama Thornton with the Muddy Water Blues Band
1969 Stronger Than Dirt
1970 The Way It Is
1970 Maybe
1970 She's Back
1973 Saved
1975 Jail (Live)
1975 Sassy Mama! (Live)
1978 Mama's Pride
     
       
       
plus greatest hits, anthology, and other compilations
 

Bio

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Awards

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During her career, Thornton was nominated for the Blues Music Awards six times. In 1984, she was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. In addition to "Ball 'n' Chain" and "They Call Me Big Mama," Thornton wrote twenty other blues songs. Her "Ball 'n' Chain" is included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame list of the "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll".[
 
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Coming soon

Blind Willie McTell (1898–1959)
Pops Staples (1914-2000) - soon
Big Mama Thornton (1926-1984) - soon
Kokomo Arnold
Tampa Red (1904-1981) - soon
[ Blues music ]
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Big Mama Thornton in concert

Big Mama Thornton - Hounddog and Down Home Shakedown
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