Big Mama Thornton Similar Artists

Koko Taylor - 100% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Cora Walton, 28 September 1935, Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Taylor is one of the few major figures that post-war Chicago blues has produced. Her soulfully rasping voice has ensured her popularity in the Windy City, and latterly further afield, for over 30 years, since she recorded her first single for the local USA label. Signed by the leading black music independent label Ches Read more

Ruth Brown - 83% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues R&B / Soul
Decades Active: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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12 January 1928, Portsmouth, Virginia, USA, d. 17 November 2006, Henderson, Nevada, USA. Brown started her musical career singing gospel at an early age in the church choir led by her father. In 1948 she was singing with a band led by her husband Jimmy in Washington, DC, when Willis Conover (from the radio show Voice Of America) recommended her to Ahmet Ertegun of the newly Read more

Memphis Minnie - 64% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Lizzie Douglas, 3 June 1897, Algiers, Louisiana, USA, d. 6 August 1973, Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Raised in Walls, Mississippi, Memphis Minnie learned banjo and guitar as a child, and ran away from home at the age of 13 to play music in Memphis; she worked for a time with Ringling Brothers Circus. When in Mississippi, she played guitar with Willie Brown, and in the 20s made a Read more

Big Maybelle - 53% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues R&B / Soul
Decades Active: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Mabel Louise Smith, 1 May 1924, Jackson, Tennessee, USA, d. 23 January 1972, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Maybelle was discovered singing in church by Memphis band leader Dave Clark in 1935. When Clark disbanded his orchestra to concentrate on record promotion, Smith moved to Christine Chatman’s orchestra with whom she first recorded for Decca Records in 1944. Three years late Read more

Bessie Smith - 49% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues Jazz
Decades Active: 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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15 April 1894, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, d. 26 September 1937, Clarksdale, Mississippi, USA. In her childhood, Smith sang on street corners before joining a touring black minstrel show as a dancer. Also in the show was Ma Rainey, and before long the young newcomer was also singing the blues. The older woman encouraged Smith, despite the fact that even at this early stage Read more

Jimmy Reed - 48% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Mathis James Reed, 6 September 1925, Leland, Mississippi, USA, d. 29 August 1976, Oakland, California, USA. Jimmy Reed was a true original: he sang in a lazy mush-mouthed ramble, played limited, if instantly recognizable, harmonica, and even more minimal guitar. He produced a series of hits in the 50s that made him the most successful blues singer of the era.

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LaVern Baker - 47% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues Pop / Rock R&B / Soul
Decades Active: 1950s 1960s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Delores Williams, 11 November 1929, Chicago, Illinois, USA, d. 10 March 1997, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA. Baker was a pioneering voice in the fusion of R&B and rock ‘n’ roll in the 50s. In 1947 she was discovered in a Chicago nightclub by band leader Fletcher Henderson. Although still in her teens, the singer won a recording contract with the influ Read more

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - 47% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues Christian & Gospel
Decades Active: 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Rosetta Nubin, 20 March 1915, Cotton Plant, Arkansas, USA, d. 9 October 1973, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. After first singing in a church choir, Tharpe quickly became a solo singer. In addition to her deeply held religious views, she was influenced by blues singers and musicians and took up the guitar to help broaden her repertoire. By the late 30s she was a popular per Read more

Big Bill Broonzy - 44% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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William Lee Conley Broonzy, 26 June 1893 (some sources give 1898), Scott, Mississippi, USA, d. 14 August 1958, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Broonzy worked as a field hand, and it was behind the mule that he first developed his unmistakable, hollering voice, with its remarkable range and flexibility. As a child he made himself a violin, and learned to play under the guidance of an Read more

Tampa Red - 43% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1960s 1970s 1990s 2000s
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Hudson Woodbridge aka Whittaker, 8 January 1904, Smithville, Georgia, USA, d. 19 March 1981, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Tampa Red was raised in Tampa, Florida, by his grandmother Whittaker’s family, hence his nickname. By the time of his 1928 recording debut for Vocalion Records, he had developed the clear, precise bottleneck blues guitar style that earned him his billing, Read more

Memphis Slim - 41% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues
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Willie Dixon - 41% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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1 July 1915, Vicksburg, Mississippi, USA, d. 29 January 1992, Burbank, California, USA. At an early age Dixon was interested in both words and music, writing lyrics and admiring the playing of Little Brother Montgomery. As an adolescent, Dixon sang bass with local gospel groups, had some confrontation with the law, and hoboed his way to Chicago, where he became a boxer. He e Read more

Alberta Hunter - 40% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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1 April 1895, Memphis, Tennessee, USA, d. 17 October 1984, New York City, New York, USA. Growing up in Chicago, Hunter began her remarkable career singing at Dago Frank’s, one of the city’s least salubrious whorehouses. There she sang for the girls, the pimps and the customers, earning both their admiration and good money from tips. Later, she moved on and marginal Read more

Little Walter - 40% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Magic Sam - 39% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1960s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Samuel Gene Maghett, 14 February 1937, Grenada County, Mississippi, USA, d. 1 December 1969, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Although Maghett’s immediate family were not musical, he received encouragement from his uncle, Shakey Jake, a popular blues singer on Chicago’s west side. Maghett arrived in the city in 1950 and by the age of 20 had secured a recording contract with Read more


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