Big Mama Thornton

Blues giant Willie Dixon assembled a few of his best friends and hosted a Labor Day Weekend Festival in Grant Park on Saturday, August 30, 1969. Bob Koester (Delmark Records) suggested to the newly arrived Adelphi film crew that they "catch" a little of it. Unfortunately, they were equipped with only a couple hours of film and were not set up to record the event from beginning to end. After reviewing the talent roster, the decision was made to stretch supplies and capture a couple of songs by each performer, which resulted in about an hour of the greatest blues show in history.

Here's a snippet of Big Mama Thornton in her prime. (Please note, audio crumbles at the end of the clip due to sync problems with the initial film to video transfer.)

Big Mama in RealPlayer 8 format--Time: 00:53, Size 532 Kb

Click here to play a Windows Media file of Big Mama.


Adelphi Records does not own any of Ms. Thornton's work, but there are some great recordings available from other blues labels, including Arhoolie. You can check out Big Mama's "Ball and Chain," recorded in 1968, at Arhoolie's website.

Return to Adelphi Film page.

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