Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

I hadn't heard of Sister Rosetta Tharpe until the THC Sister brought her to my attention.  How could I have missed her?  Sister Rosetta is really something.  A pioneer in gospel and blues music, an inspiration to many of the early rock n rollers and a fine guitarist as well as singer, she was born in Cotton Plant, Arkansas in 1915.  Raised by her parents in the gospel tradition, she began recording in 1938 and was popular through the early 1950s, before seeing her career briefly revive during the early 1960s in the wake of the British fascination with American blues.  Sister Rosetta died in 1973.

From 1938, her first gospel hit, This Train.

That's All was also from Sister Rosetta's first recordings.  This version is probably from the 1950s.

In 1944 she recorded the old standard, Down By The Riverside.  This version is probably from the 1950s (catch the guitar solo!).

And finally, from her British tour in 1964, this is Sister Rosetta on a British TV show, singing and playing Didn't It Rain, in the rain.

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