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Friday Feature #7: The Godmother Of Rock ‘n’ Roll

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Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1915 – 1973)

The meanwhile almost unknown Rosetta Tharpe was born on March 20th, 1915, in Arkansas. Her very religious parents Kathie Bell and Willie Satkins introduced her to Gospel Music. Later, when they moved to Chicago in 1921 the young girl got in touch with Blues and Jazz, and soon started to perform and became the main attraction at Robert’s Temple. Over the years she developed her unique singing and guitar style by combining gospel with the popular upbeating sound of music. Signed to Decca Records Rosetta joined succeeding collaborations with Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington and Lucky Millinder’s Jazz Orchestra in the early 40ies.

The Video for the song „Didn’t It Rain“ (publ. 1947) was filmed in 1964 at a closed railroad station in the vicinity of Manchester, UK. I simply love the comedy in acting and shown in the setting and the decoration of the platform. As the song lingers, one of Rosettas famous guitar solos can be heard. A style that had influence to numerous well known musicians as Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, just to name a few.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe, The Godmother Of Rock’ n’ Roll – no matter what she sang, people just loved her!

From the Tornado’s Box Of Oddities.