Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments - "The Holmes Sisters"

May 9, 2021

The guitar playing Holmes Sisters were clearly acolytes of the immortal Sister Rosetta Tharp, as "Gonna Ride This Train" quickly makes clear.

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Welcome to Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments.  I’m Robert Darden.   Billed as the Holmes Sisters, Annie Robinson and Julia Marie Holmes released a handful of 45s for the Nashboro label in the mid-1960s. We know almost nothing about them – except that the duo clearly loved Sister Rosetta Tharpe! Their uptempo guitar-fueled songs favor Sister Rosetta’s fast-paced country boogie. Even the uncredited vocalist sings a lot like Tharpe. That devotion is nowhere more apparent on the nifty Nashboro 45, “Gonna Ride This Train.” While is credited to Robinson and Holmes, it’s clearly their joyful rendition of Sister Rosetta’s “This Train” – which was probably in public domain when Tharpe first heard it as a child. The Holmes Sisters add train sound effects and a wonderful, unexpected break for the conductor near the end of the song that’s just great fun. Incidentally, you can always hear the entire song we play here each week on SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments by going to our website ... KWBU.org ... and searching for the SHOUT! Tab.   MUSIC: “Gonna Ride This Train,” the Holmes Sisters, 45  I’m Robert Darden … “Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments” is produced by KWBU, the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project at Baylor University Libraries and is funded by generous support from the Prichard Foundation.