Big Mama Thornton Part One

Big Mama Thornton Part One

Big Mama Thornton Part One

Big Mama Thornton Part One

You may like Elvis Presley’s version, but you haven’t heard Houndog, well in this blog, Big Mama Thornton Part One, you will finally hear it.

Willie Mae Thornton (December 11, 1926– July 25, 1984) much better referred to as Big Mama Thornton, was an American rhythm-and-blues vocalist and also songwriter. She was the initial to tape-record Leiber as well as Stoller’s “Hound Dog”, in 1952, which became her most significant hit, remaining 7 weeks at leading on the Billboard R&B graph in 1953 and also marketing nearly 2 million duplicates. Thornton’s various other recordings consisted of the initial variation of “Ball ‘n’ Chain”, which she created.

Large Mama Thornton

Thornton concerning 1955– 1960

History details

Birth name

Willie Mae Thornton


December 11, 1926

Ariton, Alabama, U.S.


Oakland, California

Passed away

July 25, 1984 (aged 57)

Los Angeles, California, U.S.


Rhythm and also blues, Texas blues

Line of work

Vocalist, songwriter


Vocals, drums, harmonica

Years energetic

1947– 1984


Peacock, Arhoolie, Mercury, Pentagram, Backbeat, Vanguard, Ace

Associated acts

Muddy Waters Blues Band, Lightnin’ Hopkins, John Lee Hooker


Thornton’s Style

Thornton’s efficiencies were defined by her deep, effective voice as well as solid feeling of self. She was provided her label, “Big Mama,” by Frank Schiffman, the supervisor of Harlem’s Apollo Theater, as a result of her solid voice, dimension, and also character. Thornton specified that she was louder than any kind of microphone and also really did not desire a microphone to ever before be as loud as she was. Alice Echols, the writer of a bio of Janis Joplin, stated that Thornton might sing in a “beautiful voice” however did not wish to. Thornton stated, “My vocal singing originates from my experience … My very own experience. I never ever had no person show me nothin’. I never ever mosted likely to college for songs or nothin’. I showed myself to sing as well as to blow harmonica and also to play drums by watchin’ other individuals! I can not check out songs, however I understand what I’m vocal singing! I do not sing like no one yet myself.”

Her design was greatly affected by scripture songs, which she matured paying attention to at the house of a preacher, though her style might be referred to as blues. Thornton was estimated in a 1980 write-up in the New York Times: “when I was comin’ up, paying attention to Bessie Smith as well as all, they sung from their body and soul and also shared themselves. That’s why when I do a track by Jimmy Reed or someone, I have my very own means of vocal singing it. Since I do not wish to be Jimmy Reed, I wish to be me. I such as to place myself right into whatever I’m doin’ so I can feel it”.

Scholars such as Maureen Mahon have actually applauded Thornton for overturning standard functions of African-American ladies. She included a women voice to an area that was controlled by white men, and also her solid character oversteped stereotypes of what an African-American lady ought to be. This disobedience was an essential component of her efficiency and also phase character. Elvis Presley and also Janis Joplin appreciated her distinct design of vocal singing and also bundled aspects of it in their very own job. Her singing audio as well as design of shipment are vital components of her design and also are identifiable in Presley’s as well as Joplin’s job.



Early life

Thornton’s birth certification specifies that she was birthed in Ariton, Alabama, yet in a meeting with Chris Strachwitz she asserted Montgomery, Alabama, as her birth place, possibly due to the fact that Montgomery was much better understood than Ariton. She was presented to songs in a Baptist church, where her daddy was a preacher as well as her mommy a vocalist. She and also her 6 brother or sisters started to sing at very early ages. Her mommy passed away young, and also Willie Mae left college as well as obtained a task cleaning as well as cleaning up spittoons in a neighborhood pub. In 1940 she left house as well as, with the assistance of Diamond Teeth Mary, signed up with Sammy Green’s Hot Harlem Revue as well as was quickly billed as the “New Bessie Smith”. Her music education and learning began in the church yet proceeded with her monitoring of the rhythm-and-blues vocalists Bessie Smith and also Memphis Minnie, whom she deeply appreciated.


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