Monday, August 8, 2011

ROCK GRRRL: Sister Rosetta Tharpe / Alabama 3, The Noisettes, Robert Plant & Allison Krause

ROCK GRRRL = 'She rocks. Revise your history with her story', dept.:

Sister Rosetta Tharpe was a rocker before there was Rock. She is a mother of us all.


She was the first Gospel star, while burning off Blues and Jazz licks on her guitar like a greasefire. She toured with The Jordanaires a decade before anyone heard of Elvis. She pulled a young kid onstage to sing with her who later changed his name to Little Richard. She was Johnny Cash's favorite singer for life.

And she may have recorded the first Rock'n'Roll song. Years before Muddy Waters' electric blues band (1948) or "Rocket 88" (1951), here is our angel with all the keys to the kingdom: boogie-woogie, blues licks, swaggering stance.

SISTER ROSETTA THARPE -"Strange Things Happening Every Day" (1944)

Though it was heresy to mix secular sounds with gospel music in the '50s, Rosetta didn't care a whit and poured on the rockin' guitar leads regardless. In the film AMELIE (2001) the elfin star is entranced with wonder watching Rosetta perform this song on her TV.


Check out her soloing during the second half. Who's your mama now?

SISTER ROSETTA THARPE -"Down By The Riverside" (live, 196_)

The influence of Sister Rosetta Tharpe never ends. Here are three recent songs about her:

ALABAMA 3 -"Sister Rosetta" (1997)

THE NOISETTES -"Sister Rosetta (Capture The Spirit)" (2007)

Sam Phiillips wrote this song, and here are two versions of it.

SAM PHILLIPS -"Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us" (2008)

ROBERT PLANT & ALLISON KRAUSE -"Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us" (2007)

© Tym Stevens

See Also:

-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

-Revolution 1950s: The Big Damn Bang of Rock'n'Roll!, with Music Player

-WOMEN OF ROCK: The 1950s, with 2 Music Players

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