Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s electric gospel sound was crucial in paving the way for rock and roll, and the late singer and guitarist is finally getting her day at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. She joins this a class of inductees that includes big-name rock bands like Bon Jovi, Dire Straits and The Cars.
Rosetta Tharpe was a huge star in her time. Born in a small town in Arkansas in 1915, she was raised in the Pentecostal church. Tharpe honed her musical talent at tent revivals and churches, but found fame after moving to New York City in the 1930s. Her electric sanctified sound was an overnight sensation in the city’s nightclubs, and secular audiences fell in love with her ecstatic guitar playing.
Her fame faded by the 1960s as a new generation of musicians began to expand upon her style. She found new audiences in Europe, but otherwise settled into a quiet life in Philadelphia. Tharpe died in 1973 at the age of 58. Although her name fell into the shadows of history for decades, her influence did not.
“She influenced Elvis Presley, she influenced Johnny Cash, she influenced Little Richard,” says Tharpe’s biographer Gayle Wald. “She influenced innumerable other people who we recognize as foundational figures in rock and roll.”
Sister Rosetta Tharpe is set to be posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of fame on May 5. Gayle Wald says the musician would be tickled by the honor.
“When people would ask her about her music,” Wald says, “she would say, ‘Oh, these kids and rock and roll — this is just sped up rhythm and blues. I’ve been doing that forever.’ (by Bruce Warren)
And here´s a pretty good live recording (Recorded at the Church of God in Christ in New York) and we can hear this great mix between Gospel and Rock N Roll !
Tharpe, a striking woman who performed in evening gowns with an electric guitar, cannot be categorized easily. She sang with the cadence of a blues artist but looked like the gospel queen she was, with a crowning permanent wave and flowing dresses. Second only to her guitar, her face was her most expressive instrument, punctuating her licks and strokes with winks, raised eyebrows and a smile that set everything straight. (by Craig Belcher)
Sister Rosetta Tharpe (vocals, guitar)
a bunch of unknown session musicians
01. The Lord’s Prayer (Traditional) 3.06
02. One Morning Soon (Tharpe) 3.02
03. Things That I Used To Do (And I Don’t Do No More) (Nubin) 2.22
04. It’s Me (Tharpe) 2.42
05. I Have Good News To Bring (Tharpe) 2.59
06. Didn’t It Rain (Tharpe) 2.00
07. Bring Back Those Happy Days (Tharpe) 4.00
08. Saviour Don’t Pass Me By (Tharpe) 3.31
09. Go Get The Water (Tharpe) 2.17
10. Beams Of Heaven (Tharpe) 3.55
11. Steal Away (Tharpe) 3.15
12. Let It Shine (Tharpe) 1.58
13. Let’s Be Happy (Tharpe) 2.17
14. I’m Gonna Take A Trip On That Old Ship (Tharpe) 2.43
15. Honor (Tharpe) 1.47
Sister Rosetta Tharpe (March 20, 1915 – October 9, 1973)