Archive for Little Esther Phillips

Pat Blythe …and The Blues Continue – Big Mama Thornton

Posted in Opinion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2015 by segarini

pblythe

Who pops into your mind when you hear the song title Hound Dog”? How about Ball and Chain”? Big Mama Thornton? Probably not. However, “Hound Dog” was her biggest hit, selling more than two million copies when it was first released in 1953. Hound Dog”reached number one on the R&B charts and made Thornton a star. However, her total compensation was the paltry sum of $500. Elvis Presley recorded it three years later and with it (for Presley) came fame and great financial reward. After meeting Big Mama, Janis Joplin recorded Ball and Chain” ¬†with her band Big Brother and Holding Company, but it was Joplin’s famous performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 that made this song a hit (note Cass Elliot’s face in the crowd) with “bluesaphobes” everywhere, reintroducing the genre to a brand new audience and rekindling interest in Big Mama herself.

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