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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,<ref name="russell"/> which became her biggest hit. It spent seven weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B charts in 1953<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> and sold almost two million copies.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> However, her success was overshadowed three years later, when Elvis Presley recorded his more popular rendition of "Hound Dog".<ref name=pc7/> 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.


Big Mama Thornton sections
Intro  Style  Biography  Recognition  Discography  References  External links  

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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,<ref name="russell"/> which became her biggest hit. It spent seven weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B charts in 1953<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> and sold almost two million copies.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> However, her success was overshadowed three years later, when Elvis Presley recorded his more popular rendition of "Hound Dog".<ref name=pc7/> 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.


Big Mama Thornton sections
Intro  Style  Biography  Recognition  Discography  References  External links  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Style
<<>>