Whilst reading about the birth of Rock ‘N’ Roll, Rosto discovered Sister Rosetta Tharpe. In the late 1930’s she became the first great recording star of Gospel music with her unique mix of spiritual lyrics and electric guitar based accompaniment that in some ways contained major elements of mid-1950’s rock and roll. Known as the “Original Soul Sister” her showmanship and guitar playing had a huge influence on many musicians ranging from Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis to Isaac Hayes and Aretha Franklin.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe ruled in so many ways. Often her Gospal song intros were 100% rapped, her guitar playing and showmanship was 30 years before Hendrix and she was willing to cross the line between sacred and secular by performing her inspirational music in nightclubs and concert halls. While she offended some conservative churchgoers with her forays into the world of pop music, she stuck to her guns and never left gospel music. Badass. Just watch these if you don’t believe us…especially the guitar solo in this first one.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Down By The Riverside
Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Didn't it Rain
Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Up Above My Head
Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Strange Things Happening Everyday (1944)