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Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton
Birth: Dec. 11, 1926
Montgomery
Montgomery County
Alabama, USA
Death: Jul. 25, 1984
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Musician. Born in Montgomery, Alabama, she was a blues singer and songwriter. She began career in the 1940s, became well known and as the opening act the New York Apollo in 1952, was nicknamed "Big Mama" for her vocal tension and coarseness. Signed to Peacock Records, she sang the original version of the song "Hound Dog", with the B-side "They Call Me Big Mama" and the single sold almost two million copies. She received a lifetime total of $500 for the song, even though Elvis Presley went on to make "Hound Dog" a rock-and-roll classic in 1956. She also wrote and recorded "Ball and Chain" which became a hit for her. The song was recorded by Janis Joplin and it became a huge success in the 1960s. "Big Mama" toured with shows in America, Europe and played the Monterey Jazz Festival throughout the 1960s and 1970s. She died of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California, and was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame the same year of her death. (bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith) 
 
Burial:
Inglewood Park Cemetery
Inglewood
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: 'M' Plot, Lot 2486-B
GPS (lat/lon): 33.96479, -118.34387
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Nov 10, 1998
Find A Grave Memorial# 3958
Willie Mae Big Mama Thornton
Added by: Curtis Jackson
 
Willie Mae Big Mama Thornton
Added by: Curtis Jackson
 
Willie Mae Big Mama Thornton
Added by: Bobb Edwards
 
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- Lora Peppers
 Added: Jun. 20, 2017

- Ronald Walton
 Added: Apr. 21, 2017
RIP
- van bacon
 Added: Mar. 15, 2017
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