I've just discovered her on a BBC4 documentary entitled "The Godmother of Rock & Roll: Sister Rosetta Tharpe". How I've not heard of her before God only knows. A revolutionary, amazing singer and guitar player. Wow!
Wonderful singer and guitar player. The tribute Shout Sister Shout is made in a sensitive way. When you listen to the songs they are played by modern singer/songwriter, with passion to Sister Rosetta Tharpe. For people interested in the story of Sister Rosetta Tharpe read Shout,Sister,Sister ! by Gayle F. Wald. "The untold story of rock-and-roll trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Great book.
Keep on Shout,Sister,South.
There is an interesting tribute album Shout, Sister, Shout! A Tribute To Sister Rosetta… in which a whole series of well respected contemporary singers pay tribute - Bonnie Raitt, Maria Muldaur, Michelle Shocked and lots of others. Nice to know there is a biography of her.
There is a biography: Shout, Sister, Shout, by Gayle F. Wald. Just over 80,000 plays on last.fm for someone who influenced so many - is there another musician with a higher ratio of importance to obscurity?
Tharps's an exceptionally interesting character. I first became aware of her in a documentary of the roots of the English rock scene, and there was the extraordinary shot of what appeared to be a crazed, guitar playing nun, in front of a chorus of other nuns. This was Tharpe, who came over to London in the 1950s, on her record as a serious, respected pioneer of electric guitar. Going back into her history, you discover that she was a major star in the late 1930s, alternating between gospel and big band material. If I remember right, she was one of only a handful of stars who were recorded during World War 2 specifically for the troops. She attracted 25,000 people to her wedding. I am sure there is a fascinating biography to be written about her (maybe it's been done). She was a pioneer as Black Woman, also in her Gospel/Pop career where she preceded later giants such as Aretha Franklin. I think she ended her career in Europe, where she made an impact. Remarkable woman. Unfashionable?