Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1915-1973)

“Rock ‘n’ roll was bred between the church and the nightclubs in the soul of a queer black woman in the 1940s named Sister Rosetta Tharpe. She was there before Elvis, Little Richard and Johnny Cash swiveled their hips and strummed their guitars [and was a major influence for all three]. It was Tharpe, the godmother of rock ‘n’ roll, who turned this burgeoning musical style into an international sensation…

Through her unforgettable voice and gospel swing crossover style, Tharpe influenced a generation of musicians including Aretha Franklin, Chuck Berry [Bob Dylan, Jerry Lee Lewis,] and countless others.”

“My emotion is real and my everyday life is filled with the same feeling.”

Sister Rosetta’s authenticity – to herself as well as her music – is a large factor in what inspired so many others. In what ways can you open up and become more authentic with yourself? With others?

[excerpt from “Forebears: Sister Rosetta Tharpe, The Godmother Of Rock ‘N’ Roll” by Jessica Diaz-Hurtado, NPR]