Women Who Rock: Greatest Breakthrough Moments

The achievements that changed everything, from Bessie Smith to Adele

1953: Big Mama Thornton Introduces 'Hound Dog'

Big Mama Thornton
Gilles Petard/Redferns

A songwriter, drummer and harmonica player, this blueswoman is best known for composing "Ball and Chain," later covered by Janis Joplin, and for originating Elvis' breakthrough hit, written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

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