This presents the best of Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton's work. She only notched up one national hit in her lifetime, but it was a true monster - "Hound Dog" held down the top slot on Billboard's R&B charts for 7 weeks in 1953. She was ensconced on the Houston circuit when Peacock Records boss Don Robey signed her in 1951. She debuted on Peacock with "Partnership Blues" that year, backed by trumpeter Joe Scott's band. But it was her third Peacock date with Johnny Otis's band that proved the winner. With Pete Lewis laying down some truly nasty guitar behind her, Big Mama shouted "Hound Dog", a tune whose authorship remains a bone of contention to this day (both Otis and the team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller claim responsibility), and soon hit the road a star.