Today would have been the 100th birthday of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Godmother of Rock & Roll.
A pioneering crossover artist from the gospel world, Tharpe came from Cotton Plant, Arkansas, a town on the banks of the Mississippi. Born to musical parents, she toured the country with her mother in revival performances across the south and made her first record at the age of 23. By the time she took the Manchester stage to sing “Didn’t it Rain” Tharpe was 49 years old and a highly seasoned, confident performer who could captivate any audience with her powerful voice and phenomenal playing.
Above see a younger Tharpe play some jazz-inflected blues in “That’s All,” a sexy-sounding song about tolerance for sinful men. Sister Tharpe worked clean, but she could get down with the best of ‘em. [source]
Find out more by watching this 2014 documentary.