Related Artists

Johnny Copeland

Koko Taylor

Luther Allison

T-Bone Walker

Memphis Minnie

Big Joe Turner

Bessie Smith

Ruth Brown

Lightnin' Hopkins

Elmore James

Big Mama Thornton

Home > Music > B > Big Mama Thornton

Birth Name: Willie Mae Thornton
Born: 1926/12/11
Birth Place: Ariton, Alabama, United States
Died: 1984/07/25
Years Active: 1947–1984
Genres: Rhythm And Blues, Texas Blues

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 the hit song "Hound Dog" in 1952. The song was #1 on the Billboard R&B charts for seven weeks. The B-side was "They Call Me Big Mama," and the single sold almost two million copies. Three years later, Elvis Presley recorded his version, based on a version performed by Freddie Bell and the Bellboys. In a similar occurrence, she wrote and recorded "Ball 'n' Chain," which became a hit for her. Janis Joplin later recorded "Ball and Chain," and was a huge success in the late 1960s.

Listen to Big Mama Thornton
and similar artists - Play Now
All Albums >>

Latest Tracks:
Hound Dog
On: Inspiring Elvis
$0.99 Buy Song
Hound Dog
On: The Early Roots Of Rock 'n' Roll, Vol. 2
$0.99 Buy Song
Since I Fell For You
On: The 50 Best Torch Songs Ever
$0.99 Buy Song
I Smell A Rat
On: Her Unforgettable Voice: Classic Women Of Son…
$0.99 Buy Song
Sometimes I Have A Heartache
On: The Valentine's Day Blues: 30 Classic Blues S…
$0.99 Buy Song
I Smell A Rat
On: Queens Of Rhythm & Blues, Vol. 1
$0.99 Buy Song

More Tracks >>