Throwback: Black History Month: Big Mama Thornton

Today is the 22ndTo day of Black History Month. Over the course of the month, I’ll spend some time paying tribute to Black artists across a wide and diverse array of genres and styles. My hope is that these posts should serve as an important reminder that the Black experience is the American experience, that Black culture is American culture — and importantly, Black lives and Black art matter. You can’t love Black art and Black artists without giving a shit about Black people. 

This month won’t be a comprehensive study of Black music. It’ll be more idiosyncratic because — well, JOVM after all. Now, if you’ve been following this site, you may recall that so far I’ve paid tribute to:

I must pay tribute to the Queen of the Blues, the Queen of R&B, Big Mama Thornton. It’s criminal that Thornton has been so largely unrecognized. But it’s time to correct that. You know who adored her and her work? Elvis, who covered “Hound Dog,” which became one of his greatest hits. Janis Joplin, who covered “Ball and Chain,” which was one of her earliest hits; but Janis paid her back by having Thornton tour with her.