Big Mama Thornton (Willie Mae Thornton, December 11, 1926, Montgomery, AL - July 25, 1984, Los Angeles, CA) was an American blues
musician. Her introduction to music, as with most fellow blues legends, started in the Baptist church. The daughter of a minister, she and her six siblings began to sing at a very early age. While still a child, Willie Mae taught herself to play the drums and harmonica, and by the age of 14, she had run away from home to make her career in secular music.