Song of the Day #4,065: ‘That’s All’ – Sister Rosetta Tharpe

This next 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee strikes me as exactly the kind of artist for whom the Rock Hall was invented in the first place.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe was an influential electric guitar player/singer and one of the early pioneers of rock music, bridging from gospel into early R&B and serving as an inspiration for Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and other acts who are often credited with the birth of rock-n-roll.

Sister Rosetta actually gave Little Richard his first opportunity to perform publicly, inviting him onstage during one of her shows.

Of course, as a black woman, she received very little credit for any of this and instead saw all of the men she influenced go down in music history as the founding fathers of rock and roll. She moved to England after the American music scene turned its back on her.

Get this: Sister Rosetta Tharpe has been eligible for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame since its inception in 1983 (in fact, she would have been eligible as far back as 1963 had the Hall existed that long). She is known as the “Godmother of Rock & Roll.” And yet she was not even considered for inclusion until 2018, overlooked for 35 years!

Fortunately, she made it in as soon as she was nominated.

I’m glad she did, because otherwise I would have remained ignorant of her very existence. As I said, artists like Sister Rosetta Tharpe are the reason a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame makes sense in the first place.

On another note, I would like to recognize another talented and influential sister… my own. Happy Birthday, Amy!

I’m gonna tell you the natural facts
That the man don’t understand the good book right and that’s all
That’s all

You know what?
We got to have more love
More understanding everyday of our lives
And that’s all
Yeah

When you see folks jump from this or that
They don’t know they don’t know where the devil’s at
That’s all
That’s all

They got to have more love, more understanding
Everyday of their lives I tell ya that’s all

Listen, people fighting one another
And think they’re doing swell
And all they want is your money
And you can go to heeeeyyyyy

That’s all
That’s all

Ya’ll got to have religion, yeah, I tell ya that’s all
Now you can go to the college
Go to the schools
Have a good religion he use for educated blues

That’s all
Yeah, that’s all

He got to have more love, more understanding
Everyday of our lives and that’s all

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,065: ‘That’s All’ – Sister Rosetta Tharpe

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    This is also the reason for your blog to exist — to shine a light on artists with whom your readers may not be familiar.

    I have never heard (or heard of) Sister Rosetta Tharpe, but she clearly deserves recognition as a pioneer of rock and roll. (And Amy deserves recognition for her birthday😊)

  2. Peg says:

    Than you for bringing Sister Rosetta Thorpe to our attention! And Happy Birthday to our wonderful daughter/sister/mother/spouse and so much more ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  3. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    I had heard of Sister Rosetta Tharpe before, but in a similar context of her being majorly overlooked as the creator of rock and roll. It’s great that she finally has received recognition from the Rock Hall of Fame if a little too late. It’s also amazing that through social media we are able to learn about artists like this and even watch their performances so that their legacy can be preserved. It’s very cool that in 2019 we can watch a live video of an artist from the 50s.

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