Thursday, October 06, 2011

Finally! -- The Sister Rosetta Tharpe Documentary

sister rosetta tharpe was an internationally recognized powerhouse performer and guitar-slinger that infused the rock 'n roll she played with gospel lyrics. although she was versatile -- she sang and played jazz with big bands -- she was the very first gospel recording star, with a heyday that began in the 30s and 40s and continued through the 60s. combining the sacred with the secular may not be a big deal to many but for some, this was (and still is) absolutely unthinkable. sister tharpe did it first, way before ray charles or even sly stone -- and she set rock 'n roll in motion, way before chuck berry or even little richard. the fact that a black woman did this on guitar can't possibly be overemphasized enough. and yes -- in a genre (rock 'n roll) that was (and still is) a (white) boy's club, she was formidable.

i have always admired sister tharpe. she has inspired me to become a guitarist. if they make a biopic of her (and someone should), i want to star in it. on second thought, maybe i should hurry up and get famous, so i can make that movie myself.

absolutely anyone that thinks they know anything about popular music and rock and roll in this day and age should know who she is. if they don't, they are missing the mark, and then some.

i highly recommend the biography shout, sister shout! the untold story of rock and roll trailblazer sister rosetta tharpe by gayle f. wald. until you get ahold of that book, here's sister tharpe's documentary, in its entirety -- only about an hour long and well worth watching.

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