Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Big Mama Thornton
Her one hit was Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller's "Hound Dog," which she recorded in 1953 with the Johnny Otis band. Her lively rendition of this song held the #1 spot in the Billboard rhythm and blues charts for seven weeks. Elvis Presley's smoother and bowdlerized version was a major pop hit in 1956. Her name gained wider prominence as her song Ball and Chain was covered by Janis Joplin in her own unique intense style, making it a regular number in her repertoire.
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