In honour of Black History Month, Jazzanooga will present a live dramatic/musical performance the life of one of the "most important female architects of rock & roll and modern blues," Big Mama Thornton.
The event will be held on two nights; Friday, Feb. 27, and Saturday, Feb. 28, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at The Camp House, 149 E. ML King Blvd.
Review for Big Mama: -
Willie Mae Thornton, known as Big Mama, was the original vocal powerhouse of the hit song "Hound Dog," commonly associated with Elvis Presley, and "Ball and Chain," covered by Janis Joplin. In 1984, Thornton was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. Her song "Ball and Chain" appears in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame list of "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll."
“Big Mama’s life story and her struggles to stardom always fascinated me,” states Shane Morrow, director of Jazzanooga. “I wanted to place a spotlight on this African American Southern Blues legend that was billed at one time as the “New Bessie Smith” and bring forth a discovery of her prominent role in Blues and Rock & Roll in this one-woman musical.
Big Mama Thornton will be played by locally based vocalist and actress, Azusa Dance. “Having this opportunity to showcase the work and spirit of this woman who didn’t let racism or inequality stop her from becoming an American Legend is truly an honor for me,” states Ms. Dance. “I hope that the audiences really connect to her struggles as an African American woman trying to succeed in the 1950s and 60s as a professional singer.”