Sister Rosetta Tharpe rocked even before Rock was born!
Last week, I was super excited to learn that the „Godmother of Rock and Roll“ was FINALLY inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in December 2018, alongside Nina Simone, by the way. Both artists are more than deserving of this honor, but it is especially Rosetta Tharpe I was excited about: Although her guitar playing was simply amazing and she did develop ground-breaking electric guitar technique and sound, she's not nearly as famous as her male contemporaries.
Hailing from a background in Gospel music and singing in the church choir, she became one of the most influential musicians of the 20th Century. Here's an episode from The Last Ovation dedicated to her if you want to learn about her musical roots, her sound, and her legacy.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe is often considered to have invented rock and roll, beating most of her male contemporaries to the punch. It’s almost unbelievable that guys like Chuck Berry or Buddy Holly became household names, while Rosetta Tharpe's guitar skills could easily measure up to or surpass those of her peers, yet she is not nearly as known to a broad public. Check out her amazing shredding in the embedded video, and then try to get this song out of your head! And then check out her awesome Gibson SG!
I would totally love to introduce a Rocksack baby sleeping bag in Sister Rosetta Tharpe's honor next year, inspired by her beautiful axe! Let’s hope I have enough time, since I’d also like to introduce two other models next year. A Sister Rosetta Rocksack has a good shot though, because aside from the fact that she's simply amazing, I would also be able to introduce a beige Rocksack: My god, how glam and how rock and roll would that be!