Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Sister Rosetta Tharpe (March 20, 1915 – October 9, 1973) was born Rosetta Nubin in Cotton Plant, Arkansas and was a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and recording artist. She attained popularity in the 1930s and 1940s with her gospel recordings that were characterized by her unique mixture of spiritual lyrics and music that was a precursor to rock and roll.
She was the first great recording star of gospel music and among the first gospel musicians to appeal to rhythm-and-blues and rock-and-roll audiences, later being referred to as the Godmother of rock and roll. She influenced early rock-and-roll musicians, including Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis.
She was felled by a stroke in 1970, after which one of her legs was amputated as a result of complications from diabetes resulting the curtailment of her performances. On October 9, 1973, the eve of a scheduled recording session, she died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as a result of another stroke. She was buried at Northwood Cemetery in Philadelphia.