Sunday, 18 April 2021

Big Mama Thornton - Ball And Chain

Sunday, time for a classic.

Big Mama Thornton, was an American rhythm-and-blues singer and songwriter. She was the first to record Leiber and Stoller's "Hound Dog", in 1952, which became her biggest hit, staying seven weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B chart in 1953 and selling almost two million copies. Thornton's other recordings included the original version of "Ball and Chain", which she wrote.

Today's tune "Ball And Chain" is a blues song written and recorded by American blues artist Big Mama Thornton. Although her recording did not appear on the record charts, the song has become one of Thornton's best-known, largely due to performances and recordings by Janis Joplin.

In the early 1960s,Thornton recorded several songs for Bay-Tone Records. Two were released on a single, "You Did Me Wrong" and "Big Mama's Blues".A review by Billboard magazine noted "moderate sales potential", but it did not enter the magazine's R&B single chart. According to music writer Gillian Gaar, Thornton also recorded "Ball And Chain" for Bay Tone, although it was never released.

In 1968, Arhoolie Records released "Ball And Chain". An edited version, titled "Ball And Chain Part 1" was released as a single, while the complete four and a half minute song is included on a joint album by Thornton, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Larry Williams titled "Ball And Chain". Thornton is backed by a small combo with her frequent guitar accompanist Edward "Bee" Houston. She later recorded several live and studio performances of the song, included her 1969 Billboard Top 200 album "Stronger Than Dirt".

Today's version of "Ball And Chain" is Big Mama Thornton with Buddy Guy's Blues Band. Enjoy!

More info @

Official Big Mama Thornton Wiki

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