Hey, I love Elvis Presley and his version of “Hound Dog” but right now I’m groovin to the Big Mama Thornton belting out “There Ain’t Nothin But A Hound Dog…” It may not be scatting, but this talented lady knows how to but soul into her music. She knows when to put some throaty vocals in there, when to put a touch of sweetness, and more than that, when to growl, and even when to howl!
I don’t know her methods of vocal presentation, but it doesn’t sound, to me, like she sat down and penciled out all her vocal moves before recording. If she did, it is not detectable in this great ad lib sounding single. She makes my fingers want to dance while typing this. Of course, if I let them, you wouldn’t be able to read this post!
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Big Mama was such an asset to the Blues community and one of my favorite female musicians. In a world where there is so much of life that is “scripted” it is good to know that I am not crazy in my joy of the ad lib (non-scripted) in musical performances, interviews, speaking engagements, presentations, and hey, life in general! The greats have preceded us and if I have my way, it will not be a lost art – the art of the ad lib.