logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
Painting
Heart Disease
Horror Literature
Dating
Hiking & Backpacking
SF/Fantasy Books
Healthy Foods


dailyclick
All times in EST

Autism Spectrum Disorders: 4:00 PM

Full Schedule
g
g Blues and Jazz Site

BellaOnline's Blues and Jazz Editor

g

Big Mama Thornton sings Hound Dog!

Guest Author - Sue Sutherland-Wood

There was so much interest last week in the not-so-well-known Arthur Crudup that I thought it might be equally cool to give a similar shout-out to Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton - a female blues artists you may not be familiar with and who preceded Elvis Presley’s version of ‘Hound Dog’ in the early fifties with a gutsy, bluesy and waaaaay more suggestive version of her own.

Of course Big Mama was not the only one to record this song, written by Leiber and Stoller. ‘Hound Dog’ has been recorded by dozens of artists over the years - but she was the first. Incidentally, a rock ‘n roll version was mildly popularized by Freddie Bell and the Bell Boys before Elvis released his and made it into the huge iconic hit we know today. (You’ll notice too that the Bell/Elvis version has completely different lyrics too – it’s a happy, wholesome, more sterile version and almost nonsensical, really.
Big Mama’s version is much more straightforward and shows no concern for rabbit-catching abilities or being a “friend o’mine.”)

If you haven’t heard Big Mama Thornton you owe it to yourself to do so right now. (See bottom of this page!) ‘Big Mama’ did not get this title randomly incidentally and she’s all about the swanky, sashaying full-on blues woman you might hope for. (Also - her hats are unspeakably cool!) Youtube also features an interesting version of ‘Hound Dog’ with Big Mama and a sleek and attentive Buddy Guy in tow. Basically, Big Mama Thornton could be Koko Taylor’s older, more street-wise cousin – her voice is gravelly, world-weary, rough but gently expressive. When she says “you made me weep and moan” there is just no reason to doubt her and the ad-libbing she ably supplies (entreating the back-up singers to yelp or on the Buddy Guy effort adding a sultry “Mmmm-hmmm, bow Wow to you too” at the end of the set) would make Mae West blush.

Big Mama was also a songwriter herself and played several instruments. She sang at the Monterey Jazz Festival in the sixties and went on to be paired up with many of the traditional blues greats such as B.B.King and Muddy Waters. Willie Mae Thornton passed away in 1984 at the age of 57.



This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

Add Big+Mama+Thornton+sings+Hound+Dog%21 to Twitter Add Big+Mama+Thornton+sings+Hound+Dog%21 to Facebook Add Big+Mama+Thornton+sings+Hound+Dog%21 to MySpace Add Big+Mama+Thornton+sings+Hound+Dog%21 to Del.icio.us Digg Big+Mama+Thornton+sings+Hound+Dog%21 Add Big+Mama+Thornton+sings+Hound+Dog%21 to Yahoo My Web Add Big+Mama+Thornton+sings+Hound+Dog%21 to Google Bookmarks Add Big+Mama+Thornton+sings+Hound+Dog%21 to Stumbleupon Add Big+Mama+Thornton+sings+Hound+Dog%21 to Reddit




RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Blues and Jazz Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2013 by Sue Sutherland-Wood. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Sue Sutherland-Wood. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

g


g features
Listen to Adele ... and Keep Listening

Django Reinhardt - Jazz Guitarist Extraordinaire

Amy Winehouse - Rest in Peace

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2013 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor