Big Mama Thornton Lyrics
(3 songs)

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Big Mama Thornton is also known as

  • Big Mama Thornton & Her Hound Dogs
  • Willie Mae Thornton

Big Mama Thornton Lyrics Discography

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Big Mama Thornton biography

Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton (December 11, 1926-July 25, 1984) was an American rhythm and blues singer and songwriter.


Thornton was born in Ariton, Alabama. 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 Alabama 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. 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.


In 1951, Thornton began her recording career in Houston, signing a recording contract with Peacock Records, owned by Don D. Robey.1

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Big Mama Thornton Lyrics
(3 songs)

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