Big Mama Thornton Similar Artists

Ruth Brown - 100% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues Funk R&B / Soul Vocals
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

Koko Taylor - 96% 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

Memphis Minnie - 88% 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 - 80% 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 - 77% 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

Lightnin' Hopkins - 76% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues Blues Jazz R&B / Soul
Decades Active: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1990s 2000s
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Sam Hopkins, 15 March 1912, Centreville, Texas, USA, d. 30 January 1982, Houston, Texas, USA. One of the last great country blues singers, Hopkins’ lengthy career began in the Texas bars and juke joints of the 20s. Towards the end of the decade he formed a duo with a cousin, Texas Alexander, while his Lightnin’ epithet was derived from a subsequent partnership with Read more

Memphis Slim - 71% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues Blues Folk Jazz
Decades Active: 1960s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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John ‘Peter’ Chatman, 3 September 1915, Memphis, Tennessee, USA, d. 24 February 1988, Paris, France. One of the most popular performers of the blues idiom, Memphis Slim combined the barrelhouse/boogie-woogie piano style of the pre-war era with a sophisticated vocal intonation. A prolific songwriter, his best-known composition, ‘Every Day I Have The Blues’ Read more

Elmore James - 67% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues Jazz
Decades Active: 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Elmore Brooks, 27 January 1918, Richland, Mississippi, USA, d. 23 May 1963, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Although his recording career spanned 10 years, Elmore James is chiefly recalled for his debut release, 1951’s ‘Dust My Broom’. This impassioned, exciting performance, based on a virulent composition by country blues singer Robert Johnson, was marked by the arti Read more

T-Bone Walker - 66% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues Music Theme Pop / Rock
Decades Active: 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Aaron Thibeaux Walker, 28 May 1910, Linden, Texas, USA, d. 16 March 1975, Los Angeles, California, USA. Walker, whose T-Bone acronym is a corruption of his middle name, was raised in Dallas where his parents operated an ‘open house’ to all the touring blues musicians. During his childhood, Walker was brought into contact with artists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Read more

Big Joe Turner - 62% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Big Band & Swing Blues Jazz Jazz Pop / Rock R&B / Soul
Decades Active: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Joseph Vernon Turner, 18 May 1911, Kansas City, Missouri, USA, d. 24 November 1985, Los Angeles, California, USA. ‘Big’ Joe Turner (aka Big Vernon) began singing in local clubs in his early teens upon the death of his father, and at the age of 15 teamed up with pianist Pete Johnson. Their professional relationship lasted on-and-off for over 40 years. During the lat Read more

Jimmy Reed - 59% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues Pop / Rock R&B / Soul
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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Sonny Boy Williamson - 59% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues Blues
Decades Active: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Aleck/Alex Miller, 5 December 1899, Glendora, Mississippi, USA, d. 25 May 1965, Helena, Arkansas, USA. Being a man who would never compromise a good story by affording undue attention to veracity, and mischievous to boot, Sonny Boy’s own various accounts of his life were never to be trusted and led to much confusion. This artist was also known as Alex Ford (after his mo Read more

LaVern Baker - 58% 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

Willie Dixon - 57% match to Big Mama Thornton

Genres: Blues Blues Folk
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

Big Bill Broonzy - 55% 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


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