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Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
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Sister Rosetta Tharpe was inducted this month into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland as an "Early Influencer," 45 years after her death in 1973. I'm just getting introduced to this extraordinary woman's music and life. She was an electric-guitarist and gospel (and everything else) singer who was enormously popular in the 40s and 50s but whose memory has faded in the years since. Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Elvis, Chuck Berry, and many others were influenced by Rosetta.

I'm reading Gayle Ward's excellent bio Shout, Sister, Shout! The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe. There's a well-done documentary here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_n0vkzc8PU

Many of her performances, including live performances, are on youtube. Here's a nifty live performance that illustrates her great musicianship and electric stage presence https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9bX5mzdihs

Rosetta's mother, Katie Bell Nubin, was an evangelist and mostly amateur singer who recorded a couple of singles with her daughter. I like this rollicking version of 99 and a Half Won't Do, with Rosetta: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcOIgSbkacU

Stranger-than-fiction fact: Katie recorded a single album as a leader, in 1960 when she was in her mid-70s, Soul, Soul Searching on Verve with a family friend from the jazz world, Dizzy Gillespie and his band of the time. Unfortunately it seems to have never been reissued, and I can't find it on youtube.

 

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A great singer, charismatic performer, & guitarist who blazed a trail others followed. This recognition is long overdue & richly deserved.
 

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She's just amazing. Considering the many mediocrities who have been inducted into that Hall of Fame, it's surprising it took this long to recognize such blazing talent and originality.
 

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Legend! A true great...back at school in the mid 60's our R E teacher used to play the Sister's records..she was a helluva guitar player by all accounts before she made it as a top gospel singer
 
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