I T Bell, Newcastle upon TyneReuse content
WILLIE MAE 'Big Mama' Thornton was the first to record the song 'Hound Dog' but she did not write it ('Girls who rock that role', Books, 28 February). The songwriters were Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, two Jewish boys from the East Coast. They promoted the song to Johnny Otis, a bandleader who gave the song to Thornton, who recorded it. Otis actually tried to take part of the composers' credit but Leiber and Stoller fought successfully to regain it.