Jan

14

When 23-year-old Sister Rosetta Tharpe (March 20, 1915 – October 9, 1973) first walked into the recording studio in 1938, she likely didn’t dare imagine that she would one day be celebrated as gospel music’s first superstar. The godmother of rock and roll. “The original soul sister.” But that’s precisely what the talented singer and electric guitarist went on to become, bridging the spiritual lyricism of gospel with the secular allure of rock and roll arrangements.

With her unique singing style and electrifying stage presence, Sister Rosetta has influenced a range of beloved musicians, including Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bonnie Raitt, and The Noisettes.

In 1998, the United States Postal Service honored Tharpe with a commemorative stamp. In 2003, a dozen contemporary musicians recorded the tribute album Shout, Sister, Shout!. In 2007, Tharpe was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

January 14, 2013

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