BEHIND THE GROOVES: a music blog by Jeff Harris

On this day in music history: August 13, 1952 - The original version of “Hound Dog” by Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton is recorded. Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, it is the biggest hit for the Alabama born Rhythm & Blues singer. Recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood, CA, the track features legendary R&B bandleader Johnny Otis (featured on drums) along with members of his band. Otis (“Willie And The Hand Jive”) will co-produce the record with Leiber and Stoller. Released on Houston, TX based Peacock Records in March 1953, the single is an instant smash, spending 7 weeks at #1 on the Billboard R&B Best Sellers chart selling nearly two million copies. Four years and one week to the day that the original version is recorded, Elvis Presley’s cover version of the song will hit #1 on the Pop chart. In time, “Hound Dog” will be regarded as one of the most important and influential rhythm and blues songs music history.

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