CD submissions accepted! Guest writers always welcome!!

I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


Please email me at Info@Bmansbluesreport.com
Showing posts with label Big Mama Thornton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Big Mama Thornton. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Third Man Records: Ann Arbor Blues Festival 1969 - Various Artists - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent 2 cd release, Ann Arbor Blues Festival 1969 from Third Man Records and it's terrific! Opening with Dirty Mother For You, a classic by Roosevelt Sykes, this classic track really gets the ball rolling with his suggestive language and his classic piano style. JB Hutto and his Hawk do a terrific Too Much Alcohol with Hutto's dynamic slide work. An excellent contribution by Jimmy Dawkins, I Wonder Why shows exactly why his nickname was Fast Fingers. Luther Allison and the Blue Nebulae play a super log take on Everybody Must Suffer/Stone Crazy and really gives his guitar a workout... makes you sweat just listening to it. Excellent! Another really fat guitar laden track is Otis Rush and So Many Roads. This is an excellent closer for disc one.

Disc 2 opens with Muddy Waters and Long Distance Call. Muddy's vocals are super and he has that crying slide work, backed by Paul Oscher on harp. Very nice. Charlie Musselwhite really brings the tempo up with Movin and Groovin, a super harp boogie. Of particular interest is Shirley Griffith's delta style rendition of Jelly Jelly Blues accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. Very strong. T-Bone Walker performs his classic, Stormy Monday and a nice long 10 minute plus guitar duet with Luthur Allison. Must be heard. Big Mama Thornton performs her classic, Ball and Chain, supported by T-Bone Walker. I mean, what else could you ask for...really? Sam Lay performs Key To The Highway with Luther Tucker another stellar track with excellent piano by possibly Skip Rose. When you think this is winding down you get the triple whammy. Lightnin' Hopkins on Mojo Hand with Luther Tucker, James Cotton blowing the walls down on Off The Wall with Luther Tucker and Bill Nugent on sax and Lastly... Son House... Son House...  on Death Letter Blues. I was born far too early. This concert is totally off the hook. Thankfully it is released by Third Man. Excellent!

View Bman Blueswriter's profile on LinkedIn

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

 For added exposure - Blues World Wide Group "LIKE" 

  qrcode

“Like” Bman’s Facebook page and get support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE
 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Early One Morning - Big Mama THORNTON

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[vague] 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. Thornton's account was that Johnny was sitting with girlfriend Olivia on his lap, waving his pistol around, pointing it at Willie Mae. "Don't snap that on me," she told him. Johnny grinned and put the gun to Olivia's head. "Stop that, Johnny, you'll git someone killed," Willie Mae shouted at him. "Nothin' to worry about," Johnny replied, coolly, "ain't but one bullet here and I know exactly where it is." He turned the gun on himself, put it to his temple and pulled the trigger. Her career began to fade in the late 1950s and early 1960s. She left Houston and relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she mostly played local blues clubs. In 1966, Thornton recorded Big Mama Thornton With The Muddy Waters Blues Band, with Muddy Waters (guitar), Sammy Lawhorn (guitar), James Cotton (harmonica), Otis Spann (piano), Luther Johnson (bass guitar), and Francis Clay (drums). Songs included "Everything Gonna Be Alright", "Big Mama's Blues", "I'm Feeling Alright", "Big Mama's Bumble Bee Blues", "Looking The World Over", "Big Mama's Shuffle", and "Since I Fell For You", amongst others. Her Ball 'n' Chain album in 1968, included other artists: Lightnin' Hopkins and Larry Williams. Big Mama's portion included only the songs "Wade in the Water", "My Love" and "Ball 'n' Chain". Songs by Hopkins included "Money Taker" and "Prison Blues". One of Thornton's last albums was Jail (1975) for Vanguard Records. It captured her performances during a couple of mid 1970s concerts at two northwestern prisons. She became the talented leader of a blues ensemble that featured sustained jams from George "Harmonica" Smith, as well as guitarists Doug Macleod, B. Huston and Steve Wachsman, drummer Todd Nelson, saxophonist Bill Potter, bassist Bruce Sieverson, and pianist J.D. Nicholson. Thornton performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1966 and 1968, and at the San Francisco Blues Festival in 1979. In 1965 she performed with the American Folk Blues Festival package in Europe. While in England that year, she recorded Big Mama Thornton in Europe and followed it up the next year in San Francisco with Big Mama Thornton with the Chicago Blues Band. Both albums came out on the Arhoolie label. Thornton continued to record for Vanguard, Mercury, and other small labels in the 1970s and to work the blues festival circuit until her death in 1984, the same year she was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. During her career, she appeared on stages from New York City's Apollo Theater in 1952 to the Newport Jazz Festival in 1980, and was nominated for the Blues Music Awards six times. In addition to "Ball 'n' Chain" and "They Call Me Big Mama," Thornton wrote twenty other blues songs. In the 1970s years of heavy drinking began to hurt Thornton's health. She was in a serious auto accident but recovered to perform at the 1973 Newport Jazz Festival with Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, a recording of which is called The Blues—A Real Summit Meeting on Buddha Records. Thornton died of a heart attack in Los Angeles on July 25, 1984, at age 57 If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ball and Chain - Big Mama Thornton with Buddy Guy


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 song was #1 on the Billboard R&B charts for seven weeks in 1953. The B-side was "They Call Me Big Mama," and the single sold almost two million copies. Three years later, Elvis Presley recorded his version, based on a version performed by Freddie Bell and the Bellboys. In a similar occurrence, she wrote and recorded "Ball 'n' Chain," which became a hit for her. In 1965 she performed with the American Folk Blues Festival package in Europe. While in England that year, she recorded Big Mama Thornton in Europe and followed it up the next year in San Francisco with Big Mama Thornton with the Chicago Blues Band. Both albums came out on the Arhoolie label. Thornton continued to record for Vanguard, Mercury, and other small labels in the 1970s and to work the blues festival circuit until her death in 1984, the same year she was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

During her career, she appeared on stages from New York City's Apollo Theater in 1952 to the Newport Jazz Festival in 1980, and was nominated for the Blues Music Awards six times. In addition to "Ball 'n' Chain" and "They Call Me Big Mama," Thornton wrote twenty other blues songs.

In the 1970s years of heavy drinking began to hurt Thornton's health. She was in a serious auto accident but recovered to perform at the 1983 Newport Jazz Festival with Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, a recording of which is called The Blues—A Real Summit Meeting on Buddha Records.

Thornton died of a heart attack in Los Angeles on July 25, 1984, at age 57.
“Like” Bman’s Facebook page (available in over 50 languages). I will not relay senseless nonsense. In this way I can get out the word on new talent, venues and blues happenings! - click Here

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ball & Chain - Big Mama Thornton with Francis Clay


Big Mama's last appearance in 1984.Same year she died from heart and liver complications since she drunk too much and brought 350 pounds Big Mama to a mere of 95 pounds.Big Mama was nominated for the Blues Music Awards six times.In her history,1966 Thornton recorded Big Mama Thornton With The Muddy Waters Blues Band, with Muddy Waters (guitar), Sammy Lawhorn (guitar), James Cotton (harmonica), Otis Spann (piano), Luther Johnson (bass guitar), and Francis Clay (drums). Songs included "Everything Gonna Be Alright", "Big Mama's Blues", "I'm Feeling Alright", "Big Mama's Bumble Bee Blues", "Looking The World Over", "Big Mama's Shuffle", and "Since I Fell For You".
Her Ball 'n' Chain album in 1968, recorded with Lightnin' Hopkins (guitar) and Larry Williams (vocals), included the songs "Hound Dog", "Wade in the Water", "Little Red Rooster", "Ball 'n' Chain", "Money Taker", and "Prison Blues".

Francis Clay's work is well known to those who have studied Chicago Blues. If you've listened to Muddy Waters, you've heard Francis. He was Muddy's drummer on and off for about 15 years starting in 1957. Francis was in the thick of things during the heyday of Chicago blues and played with all the greats. His highly original and immensely propulsive drumming drives numerous recordings by Muddy Waters and others. You can find his name on some of the classics of Chicago blues, including the much-acclaimed album "Muddy Waters At Newport." He has toured and recorded with Little Walter, Otis Spann, Clifton Chenier, John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thornton, Lightnin' Hopkins and Jimmy Reed (to name a few) and was a founding member of the James Cotton Blues Band. Francis Clay is truly one of the all-time masters of blues drumming.
One of Thornton's last albums was Jail (1975) that captures her charm during a couple of mid-'70's gigs at two northwestern prisons.Enjoy !!!
“Like” Bman’s Facebook page. I use Facebook to spread the word about my blog (Now with translation in over 50 languages). I will not hit you with 50 posts a day. I will not relay senseless nonsense. I use it only to draw attention to some of the key posts on my blog each day. In this way I can get out the word on new talent, venues and blues happenings! - click Here

Monday, June 13, 2011

Down Home Shakedown - Big Mama Thornton, John Lee Hooker, Big Walter Horton & Dr Ross


Big Mama Thornton, John Lee Hooker, Shakey Horton & Dr Ross each playing the harmonica
Get Facebook support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE


Monday, June 6, 2011

Hound Dog - Big Momma Thornton


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 song was #1 on the Billboard R&B charts for seven weeks. The B-side was "They Call Me Big Mama," and the single sold almost two million copies. Three years later, Elvis Presley recorded his version, based on a version performed by Freddie Bell and the Bellboys. In a similar occurrence, she wrote and recorded "Ball 'n' Chain," which became a hit for her. Janis Joplin later recorded "Ball and Chain," and was a huge success in the late 1960s.
Get Facebook support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE