Yahoo: Rufus Thomas had his first success as a recording artist in 1953 with “Bear Cat,” a funny answer record to Big Mama Thornton’s “Hound Dog.
The African American Registry : Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton only had one national hit in her lifetime, but it was a true monster. Hound Dog held down the top slot on Billboard’s R&B charts for seven weeks in 1953.
JohnLeeHooker.com : Hooker found work as a janitor in the auto factories, and at night, like many other transplants from the rural Delta, he entertained friends and neighbors by playing at “house parties”.
Broonzy.com : Bill’s father Frank Broonzy and his mother, Mittie Belcher had both been born into slavery and Bill was one of seventeen children. His first instrument was a violin which he learned to play with some tuition from his uncle, his mother’s brother, Jerry Belcher.
Hobemian Records : (Memphis) Minnie is rumored to have joined a Ringling Bros. circus in Clarksdale around 1917. There were traveling shows of all kinds, from lowdown to grand, but they all included comedy, dancers and musicians of every type from jug bands to elegant pianists.
earlyblues.com : “Catfish Blues” was another example of animal-symbolism in blues which according to Paul Oliver extended along the lines of the ‘black-snake’ motif made famous in recordings by Victoria Spivey and Blind Lemon Jefferson in the 1920s; interestingly, both from the state of Texas.
SThe Red Hot Jazz Archive : Cow Cow Davenport is remembered most for his famous song “Cow Cow Blues” which is one of the earliest recorded examples of the Boogie-Woogie or Barrelhouse, as it’s sometimes called.