Those who have followed this blog for a while know that I’ve long been a fan of the great Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a rock and roll pioneer of the ’40s and ’50s who showed the way to later superstars such as Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis. She brought the electric guitar out of the church and into the world of secular music, changing it forever.
In his speech accepting induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, for example, Johnny Cash credited Sister Rosetta as a great early influence. And Ginger Baker, the great drummer for Blind Faith and Cream, recalls touring with Rosetta back in 1958 in Scandinavia. Apparently, she used to tease Ginger about his red hair, and when he insisted that was his natural hair color, she threatened to pull down his pants to see if that was true.
Rock and roll, baby. Here she is doing a gospel number, but check out the guitar solo at about 1:25:
But here’s the thing: While the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland is thick with her musical offspring, Rosetta herself is nowhere to be found. Can you say “INJUSTICE!!!!” I knew that you could. So here’s a contact to make your sentiments known to directly to the folks who run the Hall, and here’s the Hall Facebook page.
Let’s put this right.