“Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ Thornton’s Blues and the Sound of Rock and Roll,” Lecture by Maureen Mahon

This event is part of Ladies First: Celebrating African-American Women Who Rock during Black History Month at the Rock Hall.

Maureen Mahon, a cultural anthropologist, teaches in the ethnomusicology program in the Department of Music at New York University. She will discuss the “transgressive” music and image of “Big Mama” Thornton, who recorded the original version of “Hound Dog.”  Mahon contends that Thornton tapped into a liberated black femininity through which she freed herself from many of the expectations for black women. She is the author of Right to Rock:  The Black Rock Coalition and the Cultural Politics of Race (2004). Her current research on the intersection of gender, race, sexuality, and music production has been published in The Journal of Popular Music, Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture, the reader African American Music: An Introduction, and EbonyJet.com. Mahon is at work on a book about African American women and rock and roll.

This event is FREE with a ticket reservation online at http://tickets.rockhall.com or in-person at the Rock Hall Box Office.  Tickets will become available to Rock Hall Members on Thursday, February 2 at 10 a.m. EST and will become available to the general public on Friday, February 3 at 10 a.m. EST.  A limited number of tickets will be available for those without internet access through the Rock Hall’s RSVP phone system by calling (216) 515-8426.


This event will also be streamed on rockhall.com.

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