Howlin’ Blues and Dirty Dogs

Everyone knows the “Hound Dog,” the character whose lazy, down-on-your-luck spirit inspired a ton of early R&B and Rock n’ Roll artists to pick up their guitars in the ‘50s. Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix are just two music legends to croon about the sad fortunes of a frustrated owner’s sluggish pet. But what a lot of people don’t know is that Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton, not Elvis, was the first to sing about the famous dog. “Ain’t Nothin’ but a Hound Dog” and “Ball and Chain” were two of Thorton’s hits that paved the way for a generation of blues singers. Blues lovers dare not miss this tribute to the music pioneer, starring Sunday Scott at the Long Beach Playhouse.
Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: June 27. Continues through July 11, 2010

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