A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics
Sister Rosetta Tharpe plays ‘Didn’t It Rain’. Recorded in Manchester, England in 1964.
Tharpe (1915-1973) attained popularity in the 1930s and 1940s with her gospel recordings, characterized by a unique mixture of spiritual lyrics and rhythmic accompaniment. A pioneer of mid-20th-century music, 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 original soul sister” and “the godmother of rock and roll”. She influenced early rock-and-roll musicians, including Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis.