Big Mama Thornton

By Jonny Whiteside

 

            Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton was one of the toughest blues belters ever,  an artist who paid dues as a youthful performer touring on the hardscrabble chitlin’ circuit and had to claw her way through the shadowy rhythm & blues jungle until she eventually made it to the top. On tough numbers like "I Smell a Rat," Thornton delivered a powerhouse vocal that combined a dramatic, biting style with a palpable sense of scorn and misfortune so effectively that it's... Read More

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