Whenever you hear about some early rock 'n' roll artist being influenced by gospel music, and wonder where the tangible connection is, you don't have to look any further than Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Holy shit, was she ever the package: a gospel singer who ignored the traditional boundaries, and a red hot guitarist, good enough that Chuck Berry was taking notes. Having hit her stride a decade or two earlier, she was already in her forties when rock 'n' roll hit, but when your fans include Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Elvis, it's pretty evident there's something going on. You already know the blues connection with rock 'n' roll, and the rhythm and blues connection. If you don't know the gospel connection, here's lesson one.
Dig the solo at 1:24
Rather than rehash other stuff online, let me just direct you to the documentary linked below, Sister Rosetta Tharpe. The Godmother Of Rock and Roll. If you don't have time for it, it's making the rounds on PBS stations so check your listings. At the very least visit YouTube and Wikipedia. There's tons of stuff out there, so you have no excuse for missing this chapter...wait, this essential chapter.
~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~Listen:
Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Didn't It Rain mp3 at Keep the Coffee Coming
Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Up Above My Head mp3 at More Things
Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Strange Things Happen Every Day mp3 at More Things
Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Rock Daniel mp3 at Internet Archive
Sister Rosetta Tharpe. The Godmother Of Rock and Roll at PBS
Sister Rosetta Tharpe. The Godmother Of Rock and Roll at YouTube
Sister Rosetta Tharpe at Wikipedia
Sister Rosetta Tharpe at PBS