Big Mama Thornton

Willa Mae Thornton

Also known as "Big Mama" Thornton, 'Big Mama' Thornton, B.M. Thornton, Big Mama Thorton, Big Mamma Thornton, M. Thornton, Mama T., Thornton, W. M. Thornton, W. M. Thorton, W. Thornton, W.M. Thornton, W.M. Thorton, Willie M. Thornton, Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton, Willie Mae 'Big Mama' Thornton, Willie Mae 'Big Mamma' Thornton, Willie Mae (Big Mama) Thornton, Willie Mae ‘Big Mama' Thornton, Willie Mae Thornton, Willie Mae Thorton, Willie MaeThornton, Willie May "Big Mama" Thornton
This performer (group) in the Internet: http://home.earthlink.net/~jaymar41/bigmama.html, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Mama_Thornton

Discography of Big Mama Thornton:

# Release title Total tracks Type of release is Imprint date Label
1 Live At Newport 6 Audio 1984 Blue Moon
2 Stronger Than Dirt 10 Audio 1969 Mercury
3 Hound Dog / Night Mare 2 Audio 1953 Peacock Records
4 The Way It Is 8 Audio 1969-12-00 Mercury
5 Hound Dog / Rock A Bye Baby 2 Audio 2010 Peacock Records
6 Stronger Than Dirt/The Way It Is 18 Audio 1988 Charly Records
7 Sassy Mama! 7 Audio 1975 Vanguard
8 Jail 7 Audio 1975 Vanguard
9 Ball And Chain 12 Audio 1974 Arhoolie Records
10 Stronger Than Dirt 10 Audio 1969 Mercury
11 Sweet Home Chicago / Hound Dog 2 Audio American Pie
12 Big Mama The Queen At Monterey 10 Audio Arhoolie Records
13 Live At Newport 6 Audio 1985 Famous Music
14 Live At Newport 6 Audio 1984 Astan
15 I Smell A Rat / They Call Me Big Mama 2 Audio
16 Stronger Than Dirt / The Way It Is 20 Audio 1988 Charly R&B
17 Born Under A Bad Sign 10 Audio 1969 Mercury
18 Saved 8 Audio 1971 Pentagram
19 The Complete Vanguard Recordings 24 Audio 2000 Vanguard
20 She's Back 10 Audio Backbeat Records
21 Ball 'N' Chain 16 Audio 1989 Arhoolie Records
22 Misty 7 Audio 1972 Trio Records
23 You Did Me Wrong / Big Mama's Blues 2 Audio Bay-Tone Records
24 Jail 7 Audio 2013 Vanguard
25 Jail 7 Audio 2013-04-20 Vanguard
26 Jail 7 Audio 1985 Vanguard
27 Live At Newport 6 Audio Quicksilver Records
28 She's Back 10 Audio 1977 MCA Records
29 Live At Newport 6 Audio 1982 Intermedia Records
30 Jail 7 Audio 1987 Vanguard
31 Live At Newport 6 Audio 1982 Intermedia
32 Tom Cat / Monkey In The Barn 2 Audio
33 In Europe 11 Audio 1966 Stateside
34 In Europe 18 Audio 2005 Arhoolie Records
35 Ball And Chain 12 Audio 1974 Arhoolie Records
36 The Original Hound Dog 22 Audio 1990 Ace
37 1966 17 Audio 2004 Arhoolie Records
38 Mercy / Yes I Cried 2 Audio Carolyn
39 The Way It Is 8 Audio 1998 Mercury
40 Life Goes On 2 Audio Galaxy
41 Saved 8 Audio 1971
42 Don't Talk Back / Big Mama's Coming Home 2 Audio 2009 IRMA
43 A Proper Introduction To... 23 Audio 2005 Proper Records (2)
44 Hound Dog / Rock A Bye Baby 2 Audio Peacock Records
45 Tom Cat / Monkey In The Barn 2 Audio 1965 Sue Records
46 Jail 7 Audio 1991 Vanguard
47 The Rising Sun Collection 8 Audio 1994 Just A Memory
48 Saving My Love For You / Yes, Baby 4 Audio 1953-12-00 Duke
49 No Jody For Me / Let Your Tears Fall Baby 2 Audio 1951 Peacock Records
50 Just Like A Dog / My Man Called Me 2 Audio 2014 Peacock Records (2)


Born 11th December 1926, Montgomery, Alabama, USA

Died 25th July 1984, Los Angeles, California, USA

[b] Thornton[/b] was the first artist to record "Hound Dog", with which she had a Number 1 hit in the Billboard R&B chart in 1952. On the flipside of the single was "They Call Me Big Mama". Selling two million copies, this release helped immortalize her nickname in the world of funky gospel and R&B music. She also wrote and recorded "Ball And Chain", which gained Janis Joplin attention in the late 1960s.

One of seven children, born to a Baptist church minister, she began singing and touring the South with the Georgia Hot Harlem Revue at the age of fourteen. She also played drums and harmonica and signed her first contract in Houston with Peacock Records in 1951.

In the latter part of her career Thornton appeared at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1966 & 1968, and the San Francisco Blues Festival in 1979. In 1966 she recorded the album Big Mama Thornton With The Chicago Blues Band on the Arhoolie label. She wrote a total of twenty-two blues releases and her first name "Willa Mae" is often credited as "Willie Mae".

Thornton died in Los Angeles in 1984 of heart and liver complications, compounded by years of alcohol abuse. It was the same year that she was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall Of Fame.


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