Sister Rosetta Tharpe was the creator/inventor of Rock and Roll. I know there are many disputes that Chuck Berry, and/or Little Richard were the actual creators (all black individuals), but, Sister Tharpe predates both of those men. Two of Tharpe’s hit songs were released around 1944-45 when Chuck Berry was both incarcerated and still a high school student. On December 23, 1959, Chuck Berry was arrested in St. Louis, Missouri, yeah the same place Michael Brown was murdered by Darren Wilson, on charges relating to his transportation of a 14-year-old girl across state lines for allegedly “immoral purposes.” Now, before you go gasping and blowing smoke out your ears, Berry was charged by an all male, and all white jury. A Federal Appeals Court in October 1960 ordered a new trial due to disparaging racial comments made by the judge in his original trial. Yet again though, Berry was convicted. But, more about my dearest Sister Tharpe.
She rocked and she damn rolled! Sister Tharpe was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, recording artist, and creator of Rock And Roll. It was also speculated that my Queen here was bisexual. Born on March 20, 1915, she lived a life full of memories until her unfortunate passing on October 9, 1973. Sister Tharpe crossed the line between sacred and secular by performing her music in nightclubs and concert halls with big bands behind her. Sister Tharpe additionally pushed spiritual music into the mainstream and pioneered the rise of pop–gospel beginning with her 1939 hit This Train. She received multiple recognitions including that from the American Library of Congress National Recording Registry in 2004, for her 1944 hit Down By The Riverside. This Black History Month, we remember and thank Sister Tharpe.