Big Mama Thornton – The Singles Collection – 1951-61


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Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton was an rhythm and blues and blues singer and songwriter, who is best-known for recording the original 1953 version of the legendary song “Hound Dog”, which Elvis Presley famously covered to have a big early career hit. Born in Alabama in 1925, she learnt to sing in church but became a disciple of Bessie Smith and Memphis Minnie, moving in 1948 to Houston, Texas, a buzzing centre of jump blues, where she built a reputation as a powerful performer and signed a contract with Don Robey’s Peacock Records in 1951. Working with Johnny Otis and the emerging young songwriting and producing duo of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, she recorded their song “Hound Dog”, and it provided her with her sole career hot, topping the US R&B charts, and becoming a landmark record. This 27-track CD comprises all her releases during the first decade of her career, initially for the Peacock label and then for the small Irma and Bay-Tone labels after she moved to San Francisco in the late ‘50s. She later became a popular performer during the ‘60s blues boom and made several albums. She was a powerful extrovert expressive perfomer, and this collection, representing her output from a key era of her career, underlines the distinctive nature of her talent as a blues stylist.

Track Listing:
Willie Mae Thornton: 1. Partnership Blues -   2. I'm All Fed Up -   3. No Jody For Me -   4. Let Your Tears Fall Baby -   5. Mischievous Boogie -   6. Every Time I Think Of You -  Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton: 7. Hound Dog -   8. Night Mare -   9.   Cotton Picking Blues -   10. They Call Me Big Mama -   11. I Ain't No Fool Either -   12. The Big Change -   13. I Smell A Rat -   14. I've Searched The Whole World Over -   Willie Mae Thornton: 15. Stop A Hoppin' On Me -   16. Story Of My Blues -   17. Rock A Bye Baby -   Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton: 18. Walking Blues -   Willie M. Thornton: 19. The Fish -   20. Laugh, Laugh, Laugh -   21. How Come -   Willie Mae Thornton & Elroy Peace: 22. Tarzan And The Dignified Monkey -   Willie Mae Thornton: 23. Just Like A Dog (Barking Up The Wrong Tree) -   24. My Man Called Me -   Big Mama Thornton And The Hi Tones: 25. Don't Talk Back -  26. Big Mama's Coming Home -   Big "Mama" Thornton: 27. You Did Me Wrong -   28. Big Mama's Blues -

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