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  • Writer's pictureTerry Pace

Sister Rosetta Tharp: Didn't It Rain

Updated: Jun 20, 2020

Sister Rosetta Tharp (RIP 1915 - 1973). The Godmother of Rock n Roll and Rock n Roll Hall of Fame member. Her powerful, creative singing and guitar playing had direct influence on Little Richard, Chuck Berry and may other early rock n roll musicians. Thus its clear she had a huge influence on modern music in America and the world. I can listen to her all day and be caught up in her emotional expressions and intuitive jazz style guitar playing. She is also known as the first gospel superstar in the United States but like so many after her, the gospel foundation only allowed her to soar higher and reach many more people as she evolved into the blues and invented rock n roll. The song here "Didn't It Rain (1947) was one of her hits and this performance shows some of her presence, her range and her pioneering guitar licks. Of note, if you watch the video it shows the world of the 1940's and 50's with only well dressed white folks in the audience. We must keep marching for full equality and justice for every human being. After all she gave to us, following Sister Rosetta Tharp along this path of hopefulness seems a sacred obligation in my view. All that is needed for guidance is to listen to her songs "This Train" and "Trouble in Mind." Trouble in Mind is also played here. This song as been recorded by almost every modern Blues musician and many others as well. It is considered anAmerican classic now with ts lyrics: "Trouble in mind, I'm blue, but I won't be blue always, cause that sun is gonna shine in my backdoor someday," expressing hope. I guess when gospel, blues, jazz and rock are all mixed together in a gumbo it is called soul music? At least it is to me.

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