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Big Mama Thornton
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Vocalist
    (December 11, 1926-July 25, 1984)
    Died at 58, in Los Angeles, California
    Birth Name was Willie Mae Thornton
    Albums include 'Big Mama Thornton & Chicago Band,' 'Quit Snoopin' Round My Door,' 'Big Mama Thornton with the Chicago Blues Band' and 'Complete Vanguard Recordings'
    Songs include 'Hound Dog,' 'They Call Me Big Mama,' 'Ball & Chain,' 'Saved,' 'Jail' 'She's Back' and Sassy Mama!'
    She had six siblings.
    Her voice has been described as coarse.
    She performed at two penitentiaries.
    She left home at age fourteen and joined Hot Harlem Revue, based in Atlanta, Georgia .
    She has been described as having a style that was 'rough, beautiful and crazy though controlled in her singing.'
    She preferred touring only in the southern states of America.
    A fan in the audience nicknamed her 'Big Mama' after a show and the name stuck.
    She only received one $500.00 check for her hit 'They Call Me Big Mama,' that sold over 2 million copies.
    Towards the end of her career, she became bitter over injustices she felt the music industry dealt her.
    She became openly bitter, started dressing as a man when onstage, but was often too drunk or ill to perform.
    The website, femmenoir, likes to describe her as the pitiful, poor black lesbian who was dealt a bad card in life.
    She ranked #80 on VH1's Top 100 Women of Rock 'n Roll.
    She was open about being a lesbian.
    She died of a heart attack.
    She taught herself to play drums and harmonica, often using both onstage while singing.
    Her one huge hit 'Hound Dog' spent seven weeks on the R&B chart in 1953.
    Elvis Presley made her hit song 'Hound Dog' even more popular.
    Janis Joplin made her song 'Ball & Chain' more popular.
    She was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame (1984) the same year of her death.
    Her father was a minister, singing in his church influenced her career and aided in winning an amateur singing contest.
    She played at the Apollo in New York as part of a package show for Johnny Otis.
    She played the Monterey Jazz Festival during the 60's and 70's.

Credit: Skunk Butt


    For 2019, as of last week, Out of 2 Votes: 100% Annoying
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    In 2012, Out of 10 Votes: 40.0% Annoying
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    In 2010, Out of 23 Votes: 56.52% Annoying
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    In 2006, Out of 130 Votes: 46.15% Annoying
    In 2005, Out of 193 Votes: 43.52% Annoying
    In 2004, Out of 300 Votes: 46.33% Annoying
    In 2003, Out of 537 Votes: 45.44% Annoying
 
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