On today in 1926, Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thorton was born in Ariton, Alabama. She was a rhythm & blues singer and a songwriter. Thorton left home at the age of 14 to pursue a musical career. Her biggest hit was “Hound Dog” and it spent seven weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B charts in 1953. She was the first to record “Hound Dog,” but it was over shadowed when Elvis Presley recorded it three years later. The song was written by Leiber and Stoller. She also had the ability to play the harmonica and drums. Thorton recorded ten studio albums. She died on July 25, 1984, in Los Angeles, California.
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