BIG MAMA THORNTON, American singer died (b. 1926) As an influence over the music and musicians which followed her, her importance cannot be overstated. Her name and legacy will forever remain amongst the very greatest of blues legends. Thornton’s mighty voice, take-no-guff attitude, and incendiary stage performances influenced generations of blues and rock singers and carried on the tradition of tough “blues mamas” like Bessie Smith, Memphis Minnie, and Ma Rainey. In 2007, the movie “Hounddog” included various characters, including that of Big Mama, and Elvis Presley, as well as their relevant versions of the song.