By Gayle Wald

ISBN-10: 0807009849

ISBN-13: 9780807009840

ISBN-10: 080700989X

ISBN-13: 9780807009895

A New York occasions ebook Review Editor's Pick

Long ahead of "women in rock" grew to become a media catchphrase, African American guitar virtuoso Rosetta Tharpe proved in fabulous style that ladies might rock. Born in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, in 1915, Tharpe used to be gospel's first celebrity and the preeminent crossover determine of its golden age (1945–1965).

Shout, Sister, Shout! is the 1st biography of this trailblazing performer who stimulated rankings of well known musicians, from Elvis Presley and Little Richard to Eric Clapton and Etta James. Tharpe used to be raised within the Pentecostal Church, steeped within the gospel culture, yet she produced tune that crossed obstacles, defied category, and left out the social and cultural norms of the age; incorporating parts of gospel, blues, jazz, renowned ballads, folks, kingdom, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll. Tharpe went electrical early on, fascinating either white and black audiences within the North and South, within the U.S. and across the world, together with her air of secrecy and talent. those who observed her practice claimed she made that guitar speak. formidable, flamboyant, and relentlessly public, Tharpe even staged her personal marriage ceremony as a gospel concert-in a stadium preserving 20,000 humans!

Wald's eye-opening biography, which attracts at the stories of greater than 100 those that knew or labored with Tharpe, introduces us to this bright, crucial, but approximately forgotten musical heavyweight whose lengthy occupation helped outline gospel, r&b, and rock track. A performer who resisted categorization at many levels-as a gospel musician, a girl, and an African American-Tharpe calls for that we reconsider our most elementary notions of track heritage and American tradition. Her tale ceaselessly alters our figuring out of either ladies in rock and U.S. renowned track.

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Additional resources for Shout, Sister, Shout!: The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Example text

For Rosetta, leaving the church to pursue a secular career was inseparable from leaving Tommy Tharpe; she knew that her husband couldn’t 33 34 SHOUT, SISTER, SHOUT! pursue his career and condone her move. And yet her unhappiness in her marriage may not have been Rosetta’s only motivation. To someone who had grown up wearing secondhand shoes and donated clothes, the promise of money must have been powerfully seductive. 1 With few such lucrative opportunities open to black performers, the sacrilegious thought may well have crossed Rosetta’s mind that some worldly opportunities were worth pursuing.

Campbell. She also performed songs written by Bishop C. H. 10 21 22 SHOUT, SISTER, SHOUT! Before gospel’s most prolific and influential composer, Thomas A. Dorsey, and his colleague Sallie Martin made copyrighting and selling gospel sheet music the norm, in the early 1930s, most of these compositions went unpublished. Yet they traveled orally, through church revivals and state convocations, as well as the annual national COGIC convocation, held every November in Memphis, from which a Fortieth Street delegate might return with one or two new numbers for the gospel choir.

When Rosetta was singing and people from other churches came to hear her, it was understood that the collection—which was not announced, just freely oƒered—was hers, and belonged to her. They would put it in an envelope and present it to her mother,” Camille says. In Chicago, Rosetta also discovered music as a means of earning others’ approval. Although “it was like a leash,” recalls Camille, referring to Katie’s stringent protection of her daughter, Rosetta nevertheless grew to be outgoing. Raised by a mother who demanded obedience, she became playful and attention-seeking, not through acts of rebellion, but by entertaining others.

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Shout, Sister, Shout!: The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe by Gayle Wald


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