Grace Cavalieri
Grace Cavalieri
January 29, 2015

Big Mama Thornton

Last time I saw her
she wasn't so big. Actually
she was downright skinny,
singing the final time
in Washington, D.C.
 
Backstage she drank a
quart of milk
mixed equal parts with
gin -
Seagrams, she told me.
 
Then she got the idea.
Could I contact the Seagrams
people and then she could
advertise for them and
they'd like her for
drinking a full quart a day - their gin.
 
I said no, I didn't
think so, and I didn't
think the milk people
would like the commercial so much
either. She still felt bad
about Elvis stealing "Hound Dog,"
The way he did, even though
she was much too much of a lady to say so.
Once she talked about it, long ago,
before she started milk with gin.
 
I guess the drink left a
sweet taste in her mouth.
 
Acknowledgement: Cuffed Frays, Argonne House Press