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Nothin’ But a Hounddog

The King is no Big Mama

by
Liel Leibovitz
December 22, 2010
(Tablet Magazine)

Behold No. 46 on our monumental list of the 100 greatest Jewish songs of all time, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller’s “Hound Dog.” The two songwriters were teenagers when they composed this rock n’ roll classic, which explains the naughty lyrics (click on the link above to learn what a “hound dog” really means). But if you think Elvis has the definitive version, you don’t know Big Mama Thornton, who rocked the tune to the top of the Rhythm and Blues charts four years before the King started shaking his hips. Here she is, for your viewing pleasure.

Liel Leibovitz is editor at large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One.

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