Personalities | Big Mama Thornton | Roots of Rock
Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ Thornton had a big, no-nonsense voice perfect for the blues, yet she was able to manage only one big R&B hit with a song that soon became associated with Elvis Presley, leaving her original version in the dust. Thornton’s recording of ‘Hound Dog’ topped Billboard’s R&B chart for seven weeks in 1953. Thornton would record and perform into the 1970s, but never achieve similar success.
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