Sunday, March 30, 2008
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Big Mama Thornton
Artist:Big Mama Thornton
Album:Hound Dog:The Peacock Recordings
Of course most folks associate the song Hound Dog with Elvis Presley but legendary songwriters Jerry Lieber & Mike Stoller wrote the song for blues shouter Wille Mae "Big Mama" Thornton and it topped the R & B charts for seven weeks in 1953. She was born Dec. 11, 1926 in Montgomery, AL. She grew up singing in her daddy's church in Houston and toured with Sammy Green's Hot Harlem Revue in the 40s. Peacock Records owner Don Robey signed her in 1951. He sent her to Los Angeles to work with Johnny Otis and he produced this down and dirty version of Hound Dog featuring really nasty guitar by Pete Lewis. It was Thornton's only national hit in her long career. Ironically, Elvis never heard her version. He heard Freddie Bell perform it in Las Vegas and based it on Bell's cleaned up version. This comp has all her Peacock recordings. Big Mama Thornton continued to tour the blues circuit for many years until her death on July 25, 1984 at age 57. She suffered from alcoholism and had withered away to nothing by the time she died. But Big Mama Thornton will forever be remembered for Hound Dog. Here's Big Mama Thornton with Buddy Guy performing Hound Dog in 1965.