Shout, Sister, Shout!: The Untold Story of Rock-And-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Long before “women in rock” became a media catchphrase, African American guitar virtuoso Rosetta Tharpe proved in spectacular fashion that women could rock. Born in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, in 1915, Tharpe was gospel’s first superstar and the preeminent crossover figure of its golden age (1945-1965).

“Shout, Sister, Shout ” is the first biography of this trailblazing performer who influenced scores of popular musicians, from Elvis Presley and Little Richard to Eric Clapton and Etta James. Tharpe was raised in the Pentecostal Church, steeped in the gospel tradition, but she produced music that crossed boundaries, defied classification, and disregarded the social and cultural norms of the age; incorporating elements of gospel, blues, jazz, popular ballads, folk, country, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll. Tharpe went electric early on, captivating both white and black audiences in the North and South, in the U.S. and internationally, with her charisma and skill. People who saw her perform claimed she made that guitar talk. Ambitious, flamboyant, and relentlessly public, Tharpe even staged her own wedding as a gospel concert-in a stadium holding 20,000 people.

Wald’s eye-opening biography, which draws on the memories of more than a hundred people who knew or worked with Tharpe, introduces us to this vibrant, essential, yet nearly forgotten musical heavyweight whose long career helped define gospel, r&b, and rock music. A performer who resisted categorization at many levels-as a gospel musician, a woman, and an African American-Tharpe demands that we rethink our most basic notions of music history and American culture. Her story forever alters our understanding of both women in rock and U.S. popular music.

Source: Shout, Sister, Shout!: The Untold Story of Rock-And-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Paperback) | Charis Books & More and Charis Circle

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

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Sister Rosetta Tharpe

alwaysbewoke:

itwritteninblood:

munksrevolution:

hip-hop-zombie:

slxcc:

alwaysbewoke:

Black creative geniuses like Sister Rosetta Tharpe is why it hurts me that BLACK PEOPLE think Rock & Roll is “white people music.” We invented all of it. Rock & Roll is so Black that white people drained every drop of Blackness out of it and called what remained Metal. That’s how much Rock & Roll is Black music.

Don’t let white people and their “Elvis created Rock & Roll” nonsense fool you. Rock & Roll IS Black music. Even if it’s not your cup of tea, don’t deny or forget that it’s OURS.

I never knew this

even what is known as metal is derived from Jimi Hendrix

And punk is sourced from a band called Death, who existed 7 years prior to the Ramones

Can’t music just be everyone’s I listen to every type of music I don’t worry about what’s mine and what’s not mine it’s just music man.

In a perfect world, yes. However this is far from a perfect world and when the lie that is perpetuated about your people is that you have not contributed anything of value to this country or to society at large, it’s time to start GRABBING our credit from those who would belittle and erase us.

To quote the great Maya Angelou “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

gotinterest:

alwaysbewoke:

itwritteninblood:

munksrevolution:

hip-hop-zombie:

slxcc:

alwaysbewoke:

Black creative geniuses like Sister Rosetta Tharpe is why it hurts me that BLACK PEOPLE think Rock & Roll is “white people music.” We invented all of it. Rock & Roll is so Black that white people drained every drop of Blackness out of it and called what remained Metal. That’s how much Rock & Roll is Black music.

Don’t let white people and their “Elvis created Rock & Roll” nonsense fool you. Rock & Roll IS Black music. Even if it’s not your cup of tea, don’t deny or forget that it’s OURS.

I never knew this

even what is known as metal is derived from Jimi Hendrix

And punk is sourced from a band called Death, who existed 7 years prior to the Ramones

Can’t music just be everyone’s I listen to every type of music I don’t worry about what’s mine and what’s not mine it’s just music man.

In a perfect world, yes. However this is far from a perfect world and when the lie that is perpetuated about your people is that you have not contributed anything of value to this country or to society at large, it’s time to start GRABBING our credit from those who would belittle and erase us.

To quote the great Maya Angelou “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”

The point was not that music can’t be for everyone, or listened to anyone. The point is that credit should go to where credit is due. The problem is that racism very often leads to white people stealing (whether intentionally or no) the credit for certain things from people of color. Were and are there quite a few influential and innovative white people in rock music? Yes, however, it is important to remember that they were not the ones who invented the genre in the first place, that they were and are merely building upon a black invention.

Black Women In Rock: If Sister Rosetta Tharpe is too old school for you, then maybe Santigold flips your wig. Either way, sisters have been part of rock music for as long as guitar feedback’s been loud

Forget what it sounds like for a minute, let’s consider the spirit of rock and roll: Rebellious. Energetic. Vocal. Independent. Driven. Unapologetic. Powerful. They’re characteristics I could attribute to damn-near every sister I know.
In fact, my personal Who’s Who of Rock and Roll is stacked with bomb Black women. Betty Davis. Grace Jones. Tina Turner. Aretha Franklin. Nona Hendryx. Poly Styrene. Joan Armatrading. Joyce Kennedy… and that’s just 1976-77.
So why do so many people go out of their way to marginalize or flat-out disregard Black women as both pioneers and torchbearers of rock? Why are we so indifferent to the fact that more than a few African-American women strapped an instrument to their back and helped carry the genre from the fields to the church to the juke joint to the charts to a multimillion-dollar industry?
Probably because someone told us it wasn’t ours and we chose to believe it. They said it was devil’s music, so we cast it out. We let it go because someone gave it white skin, a penis, and the green light to cross boundaries that Black people couldn’t. And in so doing, they convinced the world that our pioneers didn’t deserve equal recognition, equal exposure or equal ownership.
Damn shame.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

classicladiesofcolor:

Sister Rosetta Tharpe was one of many African-American gospel singers who contributed to the fabric of American music. She was known for her signature guitar style, and she introduced gospel music into nightclubs as well as concert halls. This stamp was issued in 1998.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

didierleclair:

All this new stuff they call rock ’n’ roll, why, I’ve been playing that for years now… Ninety percent of rock-and-roll artists came out of the church, their foundation is the church.
SISTER ROSETTA THARPE (The pioneer)

I’ve reblogged this quote before but I don’t even care because TRU

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

fenderoffcuts:

I know what you’re thinking, this is a Fender blog and Sister Rosetta Tharpe is playing a Gibson!

Well that may be true, but there’s a Telecaster on the chair there, and it’s too good a picture not to post.

When it comes down to it a guitar’s a guitar and we wouldn’t be playing what we’re playing today without Sister Rosetta inventing Rock n Roll.

Chuck Berry? Little Richard? Totally important, but Sister Rosetta Tharpe was doing it before them, and being a huge influence on them both.