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Jill Scott

Jill Scott’s New Album, “The Real Thing” and Big Mama Thornton

Ever listen to Amy Winehouse and have a flickering question in your head, “This is nice and all, but where in the world is Jill Scott?” Not to diminish Amy’s music at all, it’s just that there are so few artists in the good food category that break mainstream, that when they disappear - no music, no sightings, no news - you’ve got to wonder if they’ve given up trying to nourish the fast food addicts and just took a job at Popeye’s chicken.

Don’t think that every big-boned chick in the burgundy and gold could be Jilly on the low.

She’s currently in and out of the studio, laying tracks for an album titled The Real Thing.

Her one word description of its sound: sassy.

“If you can imagine me with my hand on my hip and my neck bopping, that’s what the music sounds like to me. It’s more aggressive and somewhat bold.” - quote from Hip-Hop Soul

Don’t bother doing a search for a release date just yet, the whole thing is still in the kitchen. Mama’s got to let it simmer and absorb the spices. That’s the secret to fine cooking.

In the meantime, she’ll play a Mama of a different kind in the movie Hound Dog.

It’s a drama set in the American South, where a precocious, troubled girl (Dakota Fanning) finds a safe haven in the music and movement of Elvis Presley. - IMDb

Jil Scott will play Big Mama Thornton.

Big Mama Thornton

When music heads say blacks invented rock and roll, they’re really talking about the soulful sounds of blues artists like Robert Johnson, Leadbelly, Howlin Wolf, and Muddy Waters.

Later the rhythm got in it with Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Little Richard.

Little Richard

Dialing back to the blues, women such as Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey were also influential.

The Hound Dog Story
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Big Mama Thornton recorded “Hound Dog” in 1953.

It sold 2 million copies.

She received $500 in royalties.

What’s that sound? Oh, it’s just a robbery.

In 1956, Elvis Presley recorded his version of Big Mama’s “Hound Dog.” It is one of Elvis’s most famous songs, yet the thievery continued as he gave her no credit, and of course there were no publishing checks sent to her mailbox.

Swiping music and styles from black artists was the order of the day..

In How Blacks Invented Rock and Roll Kevin Chapell elaborates.

“Disc jockeys at white radio stations played the songs of Elvis, The Beatles and others as if they were originals.

Elvis Presley

As a result, songs like Pat Boone’s version of “Tutti-Frutti” became a hit, instead of Little Richard’s original, and Bill Haley’s cover of the first rock ‘n’ roll song “Rocket 88” became just as popular as the original by Jackie Brenston and the Ike Turner band.”

For the non-believers

“If there is any doubt that some of the early White artists, such as Elvis Presley, were influenced by Blacks, consider that Elvis used to go to all-night gospel sings in Memphis where they would have Black quartets and choirs. That’s how he developed his singing, voice and style.

Once White companies and radio stations saw the success of such performers as Elvis, many got behind the music and began to push White artists to the forefront.

In the end, White artists made the money, and White America was finally able to openly embrace and dance to the music, which they had long listened to on Black-formatted radio stations in the privacy of their homes.”

————————

The Hound Dog movie is more about the girl’s obsession with Elvis than where the song came from. Casting Jill Scott it seems they will at least touch on the backstory - then move on.

Let’s do a.. “Who Did It Better?”

Admission: Watching re-runs of Elvis’s movies as a tiny kid, I dug him.

That said - I’m going with Big Mama.

Hear that grit? It’s the cooking.

Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan Show

Big Mama Thornton - Original 78 Gets a Spin


☼ What's Your Opinion? ☼

gravatar iconWHAT CRAP- Tue, May 22, 2007 - 2:43 pm

I am sick of hearing that Elvis stole Black music - Elvis used a hybrid of sound to create his style including country and gospel.  No doubt he was influenced by black artists but only because he ‘dug’ them not because he was out to steal from them - his version of Hound Dog was not taking from Mamma Thornton but from a group he saw in Las Vegas called the Bell boys and it was not meant to be recorded but was to be used as an end act for his show - it was through the demand of the public and DJs after seeing him perform it on TV that was the catalyst that had him eventually record it.  Elvis was constantly daring the public to listen to the true sounds of black artists - just watch him go into Flip Flop and Fly after singing Shake Rattle and Roll - he is almost challenging the public to understand where the song originated from - yes he had true respect for black artists BUT he did not steal from them.

gravatar iconDave M.- Wed, May 23, 2007 - 2:44 pm

There is no doubt that black artists did not get the royalties they had coming to them back in the day. Otis Blackwell wrote “Don’t Be Cruel” The flip side of “Hound Dog”. The song was sold to Shalamar Publishing Co. for next to nothing. That is where the problem lies. When Elvis recorded the song it was the property of Shalamar. He didn’t steal it. He is not responsible for Otis Blackwell’s royalties.

gravatar iconyou gotta be kidding me?- Thu, Jul 19, 2007 - 1:22 am

The two entries above must’ve been written by someone white. Elvis had absolutely no respect for Black artists.  To not give the artist whose music he “borrowed” (or whatever you’re calling it) is downright thievery. 
And just in case you didn’t know, Elvis was a proud Racist.  He once stated that the only thing a black person can do for me is shine my shoes.  Does that sound like Respect to you?

gravatar iconJennifer- Mon, Sep 24, 2007 - 6:47 pm

ELVIS DID STEAL BLACK MUSIC!! There I said it. He didn’t give credit to Big Mama Thorton, even though she sang “Hound Dog” before him. He made a ton of money off of black artists, without giving them credit or royalty or even the respect that the deserved. Chuck Berry was the original “King of Rock n Roll” but white people didn’t want a black man with the title. Elvis was more than influenced by black artists, he was made by them—all by taking thier style, lyrics, melodies—our music. It’s in the history books, check it out!! ELVIS STOLE BLACK MUSIC!!

gravatar iconHell Yeah- Thu, Nov 22, 2007 - 10:42 am

Its damn true that he stoled black music, and black people made rock music, just think of big mama, lil richard, gloria jones, and tons moreee!
all of the rock artists like pat boone, elvis, jerry lee lewis are FAKE! and they owe a lot to black artist!

gravatar iconJunior- Sun, Dec 09, 2007 - 3:41 am

I agree!  Otis Blackwell was a songwriting legend and now that he has passed on i do realize that white america gets all the money.  He wrote some songs for Elvis but Elvis kept all the money.  But it is a blessing to know that he helped create rock and roll.  contact me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  (Over 185 million copies sold)  I wish some could help us out!

gravatar iconRhondo- Thu, Feb 26, 2009 - 7:00 pm

It amazes me that this ignorance still runs rampant. Elvis never “stole” anything from Big Mama Thornton. Hound Dog was written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, two WHITE song writers from NY who wrote a TON of 50’s and 60’s R&B hits.

Never mind the fact that Big Mama’s version had run its #1 chart success a full 3 years before Elvis ever touched it, so it’s not like his version knocked hers off the charts.

Also, listen to both versions. Elvis’ is COMPLETELY different!! It’s practically a different song. He even changed some of the lyrics! His take is actually based on a version he heard performed by Freddy Bell and the Bellboys, a WHITE lounge act in Las Vegas in 1956.

One last thing, Elvis’ Hound Dog was #1 on the R&B(BLACK)charts for a full SIX WEEKS!! It was a bigger chart success on the black charts than Ray Charles’ What I’d Say, among many others. So the initial black audience of the time were groovin’ to some Elvis and buying a ton of his records.

So please, try to do just a little research and get your facts straight before you make such ridiculously ignorant, hate filled claims.

gravatar icon1 up- Thu, Feb 26, 2009 - 7:52 pm

Elvis stole black music but just like the white people that stole America from the Indians, like Bush stole the 2000 election, they will never admit to stealing anything. Elvis hated black people because he was trying so hard to be like one.

gravatar iconRhondo- Fri, Feb 27, 2009 - 10:58 am

“Elvis stole black music but just like the white people that stole America from the Indians, like Bush stole the 2000 election, they will never admit to stealing anything. Elvis hated black people because he was trying so hard to be like one.”

gravatar iconRhondo- Fri, Feb 27, 2009 - 11:13 am

You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, son.  Did Chuck Berry “steal” country music?  His first hit, Maybellene, was based on an old country song called “Ida Red”.  His great Promised Land was based on an old country tune as well.  A big part of Ray Charles’ career was recording country music.  He put out several albums, entirely country.  Are Berry and Charles thieves for adapting a country sound?

“Ladies and gentlemen in the audience tonight is the true King of Rock n’ Roll, Fats Domino!”
     
That’s what Elvis Presley said, during one of his stage shows in Las Vegas.  He must have been thrilled to death to have one of his biggest musical hero’s in attendance.

gravatar icon1 up- Fri, Feb 27, 2009 - 1:12 pm

You don’t know what you are talking about daughter. Everyone but you knows Elvis was the first white/black singer out there. He started doing what WE have been doing for years and white people caught onto it. It’s just like rap music. It started out bein strictly black and now we see white kids wearing thei pants off their ass just like black people.

gravatar iconMetalhead- Thu, Jun 11, 2009 - 11:33 pm

who cares. America is supposed to be a melting pot, mending cultures into one, but how is that supposed to happen when black people still gripe about the past? who cares if elvis sang songs that black people wrote? he did give them credit. Blacks just want an excuse to considered the best. White people didnt steal from the indians, the english stormed the states and flushed the indians out. i think the native americans has more of a right to bitch than the blacks. besides the blacks didnt have it that bad. look at the jews. no one has the right to bitch about it anymore anyways, none of you 20 yr olds were never slaves so get over it and stop living in the past.

gravatar iconMetalhead- Thu, Jun 11, 2009 - 11:37 pm

I’m sick of hearing this shit. who cares. blacks will still stereotype every white person no matter what their heritage lies. Blacks, take history once again, the english bought you as slaves, and the south enslaved you.and the north (whites) launched a war to free you. maybe the blacks should curse england rather than white america. lol.

gravatar iconAbove- Fri, Jun 12, 2009 - 8:56 am

Sorry Metalhead, whites are the ones that stereotype. You don’t see black women clutching their purses when a white guy walks by them. You don’t see black cops pulling people over because they are white. So stop with the blacks stereotype shit because it is YOU guys that do all the stereotyping. Blacks should curse white America because they are the ones that are cursing us. To tell us to get over it is disrespectful because in white America we are still living it. Whites are the ones that need to move on from the past not us

gravatar iconAnonymous- Thu, Jul 02, 2009 - 4:55 am

To “You gotta be kidding me” you’re an idiot.

“The two entries above must’ve been written by someone white. Elvis had absolutely no respect for Black artists.  To not give the artist whose music he “borrowed” (or whatever you’re calling it) is downright thievery.
And just in case you didn’t know, Elvis was a proud Racist.  He once stated that the only thing a black person can do for me is shine my shoes.  Does that sound like Respect to you?”

That shoe shine comment has been proven a false rumor for over 50 years now. He never said that. Do some research… and now to quote the genius Rhondo who knows what he’s talking about:

It amazes me that this ignorance still runs rampant. Elvis never “stole” anything from Big Mama Thornton. Hound Dog was written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, two WHITE song writers from NY who wrote a TON of 50’s and 60’s R&B hits.

Never mind the fact that Big Mama’s version had run its #1 chart success a full 3 years before Elvis ever touched it, so it’s not like his version knocked hers off the charts.

Also, listen to both versions. Elvis’ is COMPLETELY different!! It’s practically a different song. He even changed some of the lyrics! His take is actually based on a version he heard performed by Freddy Bell and the Bellboys, a WHITE lounge act in Las Vegas in 1956.

One last thing, Elvis’ Hound Dog was #1 on the R&B(BLACK)charts for a full SIX WEEKS!! It was a bigger chart success on the black charts than Ray Charles’ What I’d Say, among many others. So the initial black audience of the time were groovin’ to some Elvis and buying a ton of his records.

So please, try to do just a little research and get your facts straight before you make such ridiculously ignorant, hate filled claims.

gravatar iconPaul- Tue, Aug 04, 2009 - 11:47 am

This Elvis stole black music myth, and Elvis was a racist myth has been going on far to long.  Many of the blues artists never sold nationally , even before Elvis. The money is from the publishing company. In the 1950s whoever own the publishing rights gets the money-NOT the performer. The finger of blame should be pointed at the owners of the publishing companies that tried to hide the true numbers of records sold, so that they wouldnt have to pay more royalties than they had to. Also, some black songwriters opted to see the rights to their songs for a flat fee. Elvis was a performer, it wasnt up to him to pay to use a song.

Elvis was attacked for singing in the style that he grew up watching /listening. Is this a crime? Does it only belong to the black community? He helped bring this rich tradition of black performance and song to segregated white America exposing them via television to a style of music that they may not have even known existed-( or were in denial about) Elvis should be thanked, not attacked.

gravatar iconTerrence Hamilton- Mon, Nov 16, 2009 - 8:43 am

Elvis sucked!!!He was the white Jackie Wilson..imitator,imposter same as it is today with Justin(Ralph Tresvant)Britney(Janet Jackson).What you fail to realize is black people don’t copy whites its the other way around!!!!Whites been stealing and coniving for century’s and Elvis just falls in line.’‘The King’‘,man please,wit 2 moves!!!U gotta be kidding me….Wanna see real talent or hear it (MICHAEL JACKSON)

gravatar iconjames carl- Sun, Nov 22, 2009 - 9:31 pm

What a bunch of ignorant comments on here. I found this site because I love big mama thornton. The most foolish is the last one from terrence hamilton, Jackie Wilson,like james brown and most other real entertainers from that era, Loved elvis.

Unlike 99% of these people elvis actually grew up miserably poor and lived in housing projects in Memphis and shotgun shacks without water
here are some quotes from real black entertainers

Jackie Wilson and elvis:

Jackie Wilson famously said that while everyone accused Elvis of stealing from black music, it was black performers who stole their stage moves from Elvis. Presley was having none of it. On the Million Dollar Quartet tapes he can be heard raving to Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash about Wilson whom he had just seen in Las Vegas. Presely ecstatically tries to recreate Wilson’s take on the Presley single “Don’t Be Cruel”. There was a reason Jackie Wilson was known as Mr. Excitement - there were few who could match the man for phenominal performance energy, while singing with the a voice unsurpassed in r&b and rock. See for yourself in this clip of That’s Why from the Ed Sullivan Show.

quotes from black entertainers

“I wasnt just a fan, I was his brother. Last time I saw Elvis alive was at Graceland. We sang Old Blind Barnabus together, a gospel song. I love him and hope to see him in heaven. Therell never be another like that soul brother.” James Brown.

“Elvis was an integrator. Elvis was a blessing. They wouldnt let Black music through. He opened the door for Black music.” Little Richard.

“On a scale of one to ten, I would rate Elvis eleven.” Sammy Davis Jnr.

the best site for people who care to really research the web site is black voices and titled elvis wasnt racist,deals with real black entertainers from that era

http://www.blackvoices.com/boards/entertainment/entertainmnt/entertainment/elvis-presley-wasnt-a-racist-black-folk/274754/message/1

gravatar iconjames carl- Sun, Nov 22, 2009 - 9:38 pm

more quotes from black voices site

“When Jackie Wilson had a stroke in 1975 leaving him unable to perform and hospitalised, Elvis covered a large proportion of Wilson’s medical bills.”

“I remember Elvis as a young man hanging around the Sun studios. Even then, I knew this kid had a tremendous talent. He was a dynamic young boy. His phraseology, his way of looking at a song, was as unique as Sinatra’s. I was a tremendous fan, and had Elvis lived, there would have been no end to his inventiveness.” - B.B. King

“We were friends for a long time, for twenty years. And he told me, he’d ride around Memphis around the streets he’d come up in, all alone at night. Ride around on his motorcycle when he was sure the rest of the world was asleep, just kind of hauntin’ them places he hung around in as a kid. He was a country boy.” – James Brown.

“Elvis had an influence on everybody with his musical approach. He broke the ice for all of us.” – Al Green.

“Elvis was my close personal friend. He came to my Deer Lake training camp about two years before he died. He told us he didn’t want nobody to bother us. He wanted peace and quiet and I gave him a cabin in my camp and nobody even knew it. When the cameras started watching me train, he was up on the hill sleeping in the cabin. Elvis had a robe made for me. I don’t admire nobody, but Elvis Presley was the sweetest, most humble and nicest man you’d want to know.” - Muhammad Ali.

“Elvis and I are the only true American originals. I love him and hope to see him in heaven. There’ll never be another like that soul brother.” - James Brown. (1933 -2006) R.I.P.

gravatar iconPaul- Fri, Jun 25, 2010 - 5:59 pm

1st off “Hound Dog” was not written by Big Mama Thornton-it was written by the rock hall of fame songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Big Mama Thornton was not due any royaltees for the song-she did not write it.
Why people are so filled with hate that they accuse Elvis of things he did not do is unfathonable.
Elvis had a great relationship with the great black songwriter Otis Blackwell….. Blackwell did receive his share of the songwriting royaltees and was very very happy with Elvis recording his songs.
Blackwell even recorded an Elvis tribute album after Elvis passed away. Yet some have spread the “rumors” that Blackwell was cheated-far from the truth.
The truth is we have a reverse discrimination factor here. It is one thing to not like someone-its another to claim he is a thief-on hearsay evidence.
Chuck, LIttle Richard, Jackie Wilson, Fats Domino were all friends with Elvis and they never claimed he stole.

gravatar iconlovie2000- Sun, Aug 29, 2010 - 12:28 pm

No, Elvis didn’t steal it… he just re-recorded it, didn’t acknowlede the original artist, and made money off of it, Lieber and Stoller…. stole it, didn’t give Big Mama Thorton credits or royalties….


Everyone knows that black music (if it was a known hit) were taken to white artists, re-recorded by them and distributed as an original by them, never giving credit to the real creator, the originator, the artists…..they were never given their royalties and their records were thrown in the trashcan and the white artist version was put into heavy rotation.

One man that made noise and wasn’t standing for it and got some results was “Chuck Berry” sued the hell out of the Beach Boys for his copyright for “Surfin” and WON   !!!!!!!

gravatar iconallie- Tue, Oct 19, 2010 - 9:19 pm

from what i see today black music dominates the music industry

gravatar iconAaron Wilkins- Sat, Mar 24, 2012 - 2:26 am

The alleged racist Elvis quote is nothing more than an urban legend.It originated from White Owned ‘Sepia’ magazine. Jet magazine attempted to verify it without success. It was kept alive in the public imagination for various reasons up to the present day.;  http://www.snopes.com/music/artists/presley1.asp

gravatar iconTCP- Thu, Mar 06, 2014 - 12:37 pm

james carl, THANK YOU for providing those quotes to shut everyone else up. Who is going to argue with James Brown, B.B. King, or Al Green?

Elvis was an original, just as Chuck Berry was an original. They had their influences all across the board (like every artist does), from country to gospel, to blues—but still unique artists in their own right.

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