sábado, 15 de diciembre de 2012

Big Mama Thornton

BIG MAMA THORNTON

Willie Mae Thornton. Montgomery, Alabama, (11 de diciembre de 1926 - Los Ángeles, 25 de julio de 1984) -reconocida como Big Mama Thornton en la escena musical-, fue una cantante estadounidense de blues y rhythm and blues. Tocó también la armónica y la batería. Estereotipo de vocalista de blues, su voz es apasionada y exuberante, tendente a los desplazamientos de volumen. Su fuerte sentido de la independencia la privó probablemente de haber conseguido más contactos que hubiesen impulsado una carrera no excesivamente exitosa. Entre las influencias que se le pueden apreciar están las de Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Mahalia Jackson y Julia Lee. Fue la primera en obtener un gran éxito con la canción "Hound Dog" en 1952. El tema fue número uno en Billboard charts durante siete semanas.

Su padre fue predicador y su madre cantaba en la iglesia. Los comienzos de Thornton se produjeron en la iglesia, pero en vez de dedicarse al gospel prefirió el blues. Cuando cumplió los 14, abandonó su casa para realizar una gira con la Hot Harlem Revue de Sammy Green durante los años cuarenta, permaneciendo en este espectáculo hasta 1948 cuando recaló en Houston. Nadie la enseñó ni a cantar ni a tocar la armónica y la batería.

Thornton realizó su primera grabación en 1950 para un pequeño sello de Houston. La grabación se hizo bajo el nombre de los Harlem Stars, aunque con Willie Mae cantando. En 1951 se introdujo definitivamente en el circuito musical de Houston cuando firmó con Peacock Records. Debutó ese mismo año con "Partnership Blues", acompañada por la banda del trompetista Joe Scott. Durante su estancia en Houston conoció y observó a muchos de los grandes blusistas como Junior Parker, quien la influiría enormemente en su estilo de armónica, a Lightning Hopkins, Lowell Fulson, Clarence Gatemouth Brown y muchos otros. Seguir leyendo...... 
 Big Mama Thornton, Buddy Guy (guitar)
John Lee Hooker, Big Walter Horton & Dr Ross (harmonica)

Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton (December 11, 1926 – July 25, 1984) was an American rhythm and blues singer and songwriter. She was the first to record the hit song "Hound Dog" in 1952. The record was #1 on the Billboard R&B charts for seven weeks in 1953; the single sold almost two million copies. Its B-side was "They Call Me Big Mama." Three years later, Elvis Presley recorded his even more broadly successful rendition of "Hound Dog," based on a version performed by Freddie Bell and the Bellboys. Similarly, Thornton wrote and recorded "Ball 'n' Chain", which became a hit for her, yet Janis Joplin's later recording of it made a bigger impact in the late 1960s.

Thornton was born in Ariton, Alabama, United States. Her introduction to music started in a Baptist church, where her father was a minister and her mother a church singer. She and her six siblings began to sing at very early ages. Thornton left Montgomery at age 14 in 1941, following her mother's death.She joined Sammy Green's Georgia-based Hot Harlem Revue.Her seven-year tenure with them gave her valuable singing and stage experience, and enabled her to tour the South. In 1948, she settled in Houston, Texas, where she hoped to further her career as a singer She was also a self-taught drummer and harmonica player, and frequently played each instrument onstage.

Thornton began her recording career in Houston, signing a recording contract with Peacock Records in 1951. While working with another Peacock artist, Johnny Otis, she recorded "Hound Dog," written by young songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller as requested by Johnny Otis. Both songwriters were present at the recording with Leiber singing the song in the style they had envisioned. The record was produced by Johnny Otis, and went to number one on the R&B chart. Although the record made her a star, she saw little of the profits. She continued to record for Peacock until 1957 and performed with R&B package tours with Junior Parker and Esther Phillips. In 1954, Thornton was one of the eyewitnesses to the accidental self-inflicted handgun death of blues singer Johnny Ace. Read more...

Ball &Chain. Big Mama Thornton & Buddy Guy's Blues Band

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