Sister Rosetta Tharpe is a musical whirlwind of a stepping stone between Gospel music and The Blues.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s powerful place in Gospel and The Blues makes her an important and fascinating tether between two warring worlds as she successfully combines the Gospel style with The Blues.
Here’s an example of such in her incredible rendition of “Up Above My Head.” There she is in front of a Black Gospel Choir in 1960 and she’s wearing proper church hair, a flower-print dress and wailing on a white Gibson
SG electric with howling P90 pickups — all without breaking a nail or missing a beat:
That performance is such a joy to watch because it is a forever moment showing the direct relationship between Old School Gospel and the newer wave of hardcore electric Blues.
We must always celebrate Sister Rosetta Tharpe for her energy, her magnetic personality, and her unique place as a trailblazing musical pioneer between two powerful styles of music. Without her life as a bridge, the line between Gospel and The Blues becomes more theoretical and less emotionally satisfying.