Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments - Sister Rosetta Tharp

Apr 11, 2021

Sister Rosetta Tharp's legacy as one of the greatest gospel artists of all time is cemented by breezy, bouncy gospel swing tunes like this one, "Go Ahead".


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Welcome to Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments.  I’m Robert Darden.  When Sister Rosetta Tharpe was finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, most musicians and historians felt like it was about 20 years too late. Tharpe is considered not only one of the founders of gospel music – but rock itself.
 But in truth, she’s truly one of a kind, an influential, iconic artist who really only sounds like herself. Propelled by her confident guitar-picking, Tharpe’s songs – including “Didn’t It Rain,” “This Train,” “Up Above My Head,” “Strange Things Happening Every Day” and dozens more are a unique combination of gospel, spirituals, swing, jump jazz and ... yes ... the beginnings of rock’n’roll.
 In recent years, Tharpe’s legacy has finally begun to receive its due – with books, documentaries, postage stamps and even movies celebrating her life and music. Her career extended from the 1940s into the 1970s and there simply has never been anybody quite like her, before or since. And here’s a great example of what the fuss is all about – this is “Go Ahead” from 1954, featuring Sister Rosetta Tharpe, accompanied by the pride of Waco, Texas, the Sammy Price Trio. MUSIC: “Go Ahead,” 45 by Sister Rosetta Tharpe 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.