Lma Loma Thornton Sfluence

analytical Essay
1369 words
1369 words

Willie Mae " Big Mama" Thornton Elvis who? If you ever thought of who inspired the styles of rock and roll and you thought of was Elvis Presley, then I'm sorry to tell you my friend; but, you're going to have to look back in time a little further than that. She was a part of an old generation yet was the new sensation that rocked the 1950's through the 1970's forever. With her boldness, swagger, and attitude, "Big Mama" Thornton reshaped the blues and jazz scene forever. Inspiring the styles of future stars like Elvis Presley and Janis Joplin, Thornton's big voice and risqué moves became one of the greatest influencers of the rebel genre loved by all. Often known as the "New Bessie Smith" or "Big Mama", Willie Mae Thornton, with her hit songs, …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that willie mae "big mama" thornton inspired rock and roll styles like elvis presley and janis joplin with her boldness, swagger, and attitude.
  • Narrates how willie mae thornton, born in ariton, alabama, went from lame to fame. she was introduced to music by her mother, who taught her how to play the harmonica.
  • Explains that thornton's career didn't take off until 1948 when she left sammy green and moved to texas.
  • Analyzes how willie mae gained a reputation for heavy drinking and masculine behavior by 1951. she wore khakis, shirts, and would never do anything she didn't want.
  • Narrates how big mama thornton recorded her single "i'm all fed up/partnership blues" and willie mae began touring with his orchestra in 1952.
  • Narrates how they stole the show when they sang the dominos' song 'have mercy, mercy baby' at the apollo in new york.
  • Explains that big mama thornton's fame began after she and johnny otis recorded "hound dog" in 1952. the song became a national hit with over 500,000 copies being sold.
  • Explains that thornton released songs with arhoolie records in the 1950s and 60s, and toured with the american folk blues festival in europe in 1965 and 1972.
  • Analyzes how thornton's excessive drinking eventually caught up to her and she suffered from a car accident, but that didn't stop her from performing at the newport jazz festival.
  • Explains that unlike elvis presley and janis joplin who received wealth and fame for their covers of thornton's song, she was never reimbursed the same way as her white counterparts.

By this time however, Willie Mae already gained a reputation for heavy drinking and masculine behavior. She always wore khakis, shirts, and would never do anything she didn't want to. Her dressing up like a man though sparked rumors and controversy that she may have been lesbian, yet there was no proof of this. Big Mama Thornton performing as supporting act for Johnny Ace in Texas in 1953 (courtesy Billy Vera Collection) x In 1951, Thornton recorded her single "I'm All Fed Up/Partnership Blues. And with the help of her friend Johnny Otis, Willie Mae began touring with his orchestra in 1952. With Otis, Willie Mae performed at the Apollo Theatre, where after stealing the show with a rendition of "have Mercy Baby" by Billy Ward and the Dominoes; she was given her nickname, Big Mama. "I didn't have no record and I was singing The Dominos' song 'Have Mercy, Mercy Baby', and I stole the show! We played the Apollo in New York and that's where they made their mistake. They put me first. I wasn't out there to put no one off stage. I was out there to get known and I did! I stopped the show!" - Willie Mae Thornton Interview Big Mama Thornton with Ralph J. Gleason, San Francisco Chronicle, April 6, …show more content…

and San Francisco. In 1965 and 1972 , Thornton toured with the American Folk Blues Festival in Europe. She toured in places like Germany, France, Switzerland, etc. In the United States the blues revival age was over, but in Europe, the people loved her. Afterwards though she performed at local spots and the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1966 and 1968. With Arhoolie, Thornton recorded her albums Big Mama Thornton with the Muddy Waters Blue Band with songs like "Ball and Chain" and renditions of "Wade in the

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