Rosetta Tharpe, Queen of Rock & Roll

When I say Elvis, you picture flared trousers and an almighty quiff, blue steeled smoulder and a voice that will make you buckle unwillingly at the knees. You refer to him as ‘The King’ of Rock and Roll.

But when there is a King there is almost always a Queen and in the case of Rock & Roll, the Queen came first.

This Queen was a black female gospel singer who you’ve probably never heard of. Her name is Sister Rosetta Tharpe and she is considered responsible for the Rock & Roll genre.

Honing and owning her skills 20 years before Elvis, she could play the rock and roll guitar before anyone else, better than anyone else and owned it until the day that she died in 1973.

Way ahead of her time and parenting one of the biggest movements in musical history, Rosetta Tharpe deserves to be recognised for her contribution, acting as the vein between American Blues and Swing and Country, a new genre of music was born and a way had been paved for her successors; leaving her name behind and her style at the fingertips of all great musicians to come.

Jamming her guitar wherever the crowds came to see her she thrilled the audience with hits like “Down by the Riverside” featuring a pretty impressive solo shred section and my personal favourite “Didn’t it Rain” which sees her performing to audiences at a train station.

And so it is because of that, that I urge that if there is one thing that you do today, it is watch her performance of “Didn’t It Rain” available on YouTube and revel in the beauty that is a fierce female and her guitar.

 

These sweet rock and roll melodies would sound even sweeter on our Soundbook X3.

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