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Big Mama Thornton

Big Mama Thornton, best known for her gutsy 1952 rhythm and blues recording of "Hound Dog," later covered by Elvis Presley, and for her original song "Ball and Chain," made famous by Janis Joplin.

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Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton - Dec. 11, 1926 (Montgomery, AL). Singer, harmonica player, songwriter - Blues GREAT. First singer of Leiber Stoller's "Hound Dog". Was present at the infamous Johnny Ace death. Played a little drums too. Known for wearing men's clothing. Passed away in Los Angeles - July 25, 1984, age 57. In this picture: Buddy Guy on guitar.

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