I’m writing this on Sunday, right after putting together my Two for Tuesday featuring the music of Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller.

Both Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton and Elvis Presley had #1 hits with Lieber & Stoller’s “Hound Dog.” Big Mama’s reached #1 on the R&B chart in 1953; Elvis’s reached #1 on both the pop and R&B charts in 1956. I know you’ve heard Elvis, but you might not have heard Big Mama’s, so… your challenge is to tell me which of the two artists did a better job.

CONTESTANT #1: Big Mama Thornton

CONTESTANT #2: Elvis Presley

Now, time to vote…

So, did you like Big Mama’s version of this better, or Elvis’s? Let me know in the comments which you liked better, and why. They’re both outstanding, I think, but let’s hear it from you.

And, when you’ve voted in this battle, how about visiting some of the other people running battles this week as well?

Tossing It Out
Far Away Series
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands
Your Daily Dose
Mike’s Ramblings
Curious as a Cathy
DC Relief – Battle of the Bands
This Belle Rocks
Book Lover
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Shady Dell Music & Memories
Debbie D. at The Doglady’s Den
Angels Bark
Jingle Jangle Jungle
Women: We Shall Overcome
Cherdo on the Flipside
Holli’s Hoots ‘n’ Hollers
J. A. Scott
Quiet Laughter

Voting is open until Thursday night, and I’ll announce the winner next Friday, August 21. Enjoy!


Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

17 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Hound Dog””

  1. Oh I definitely have to go with Elvis on this one. That’s one of my favorite songs, Hound Dog. Hard to beat the King! But Big Mama’s version is pretty kickass too though…
    Michele at Angels Bark


  2. Absolutely Elvis for this one, though the song itself has never been one of my favorites. Have to say though, with Big Mama I could envision an old wooden porch in the woods, a large lazy dog sleeping beside a heavy brown jug…Ha!


  3. JOHN ~
    Major kudos for kourage to you! That’s pretty gutsy to put ANYONE up against “The King Of Rock ‘N’ Roll” in BOTB. You’re practically BEGGING for a shutout.

    But sometimes I like doing that, too, when I feel confident I have a really good cover that can give the famous hit a run for its money. Occasionally it’s like I’m just daring the shutout to happen. Like when I used Wilbert Harrison’s ‘Kansas City’, War’s ‘Low Rider’, Brubeck’s ‘Take Five’, Seger’s ‘Get Out Of Denver’, The Mamas & Papas’ ‘California Dreamin”, etc.

    And so far, I’ve always gotten away with it – avoiding what seemed like it could easily be a shutout.

    And guess what! You’ve gotten away with it here, too.

    I vote for BIG MAMA THORNTON. I’ve always liked her rough, ragged, Bluesy version of ‘Hound Dog’, with that overly electrified guitar and the drums (or the empty cardboard gin boxes that are getting pounded by hand).

    Elvis’ version is really good – full of energy and retaining some of that early Sun Sessions Rockabilly sound – and Elvis is indisputably “The King Of R’N’R”, but I lean more toward that rambunctious Blues/R&B sound of Big Mama.

    ~ Stephen


  4. I like Elvis’ voice better. I like the music better, the guitar and the drums, and the upbeat feel of the song. Although I’m a great fan of blues, and Big Mama’s version sounds more bluesy, I just don’t think you can beat Elvis on this song. His version just makes me smile. My vote goes to Elvis.


  5. Please put me down for Elvis. He had a great voice and that resonated the most, for me. This was one of his biggest hits as well and it’s difficult to be impartial. Obviously, Big Mama Thornton was a blues legend and deserves much respect.


  6. I can’t say that I cared for Big Mama Thornton. Too ragged sounding for me maybe? Plus I just love the Elvis version. So, one more vote for Elvis!


  7. Of course Elvis is magnificent and all, but — first, although I acknowledge his musical value, I’m not really a fan, and second, Big Mama Thornton did a great job on this one. The grittiness, the grungy quality of the sound, gave new life to a song that I thought I never wanted to hear again 🙂

    Great battle!


  8. I’m not overly fond of Big Mama’s style of singing, but I do like her back up. That being said I’ve got to give my vote to Elvis. After all he’s the King and she’s just a mama.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


  9. I think it’s going to be very interesting to see how this goes. Regardless of who came out with the song first, Elvis made this song HIS. It would be against my better conscience to vote for anyone other than Elvis.


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