6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Willie Mae Thornton: A Great Blues Singer.,
This review is from: The Original Hound Dog (Audio CD)
Willlie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton was a superb blues shouter in the tradition of Bessie Smith and Memphis Minnie. When she sang blues she didn't need to pose, like Elvis and Janis Joplin. She was the real thing.
No one denies that Elvis could sing, and his version of 'Hound Dog' is exciting--but Willie Mae's version has bite, thrust, and a hard-won emotional truth. And the song only makes sense when sung by a woman; the hound dog is clearly a no-account male (dig Willie Mae's take on the line 'You can wag your tail'). The previous reviwer calls the original version 'comfy R and B.' Talk about (mental) Anarchy in the U.K.!
For the record: Willie Mae Thornton died penniless in a Los Angeles rooming house in 1984, so it's hard to see how she 'is doing quite well' from Elvis.
Forget the Elvis-idolatry and buy the genuine article.