Sister Rosetta Tharpe – The GodMother Of Rock N Roll

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

There’s so much rich cultural history that lies across the various musical genres.

So many different sounds, cadences, and aesthetics born from different circumstances. As a result, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly who deserves credit for what. But one figure whose impact could never be understated is Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Godmother of Rock N Roll.

Think of the Rosetta Tharpe as the precursor to the originators. Some of the most popular musicians in history, both domestic and universal, cite Tharpe's innovative playing style as an inspiration. She even inspired an entire subgenre of rock in the UK.

Starting Rock N Roll

Before becoming the Godmother of Rock N Roll, you may be surprised to know that Tharpe got her start as a gospel singer. This came after her early years of playing guitar. Such was common at the time, but it wouldn’t take long before her creative proclivities saw her change course.

The result was almost a fusion of gospel and rock.

It was the soul of her voice over the contemporary strings she plucked that made the sound what it is. It was a direct predecessor to the Elvis’, James Browns, and Little Richards. A a Black, Queer woman, Tharpe would forever change the course of music history, going down as one of the greats with her kind of talent.

Meet The Paradigm Shifters

ParadigmHHC wishes to acknowledge Rosetta Tharpe for her tremendous contributions to black history. Music is a powerful tool, and people like Tharpe use it the right way every chance they get. All musicians post 1938 owe her a debt of gratitude for her innovation and influence. 

To Rosetta Tharpe, thank you for shifting the culture!

Photos taken by Charles Peterson, Courtesy Don Peterson

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