Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sister Rosetta Tharpe: Didn't It Rain

This is my new favourite clip on Youtube. The two quotes below what is going on.

From BBC News:
On 7 May 1964, a gaggle of excited passengers alighted on to a rainy disused railway station platform in south Manchester and took their seats for what one of the city's leading music academics says was a "massively culturally significant" gig. 
The show at Whalley Range's Wilbraham Road station, recorded for Granada TV as the Blues and Gospel Train, saw greats including Muddy Waters and Sister Rosetta Tharpe perform. 
The University of Salford's Dr Chris Lee says the show "influenced nearly everyone who saw it" and was as important as the Sex Pistols' 1976 show at the city's Lesser Free Trade Hall, which spurred attendees Morrissey, Mark E Smith and the musicians who would become Joy Division and Buzzcocks into action.
And from Richard Williams earlier this year in the Guardian:
By the time Sister Rosetta Tharpe sang Take My Hand, Precious Lord to a Copenhagen audience in 1970, she was 55 years old and shortly to suffer the stroke that prefaced her death two years later. 
The funeral of a performer for whom audiences had once packed venues across the US attracted only enough mourners to half-fill a church, and she was buried in an unmarked grave. Yet if you wanted to identify a performer who incarnated the qualities of rock’n’roll before such music had a name, she would top the list of candidates. 
Nobody – not Chuck Berry, not Scotty Moore, not James Burton, not Keith Richards – played wilder or more primal rock’n’roll guitar than this woman who gave her life to God and would have celebrated her 100th birthday on 20 March. With a Gibson SG in her hands, Sister Rosetta could raise the dead. And that was before she started to sing.
In view of the comment that she had given her life to God, it is worth pointing out that the 'Sister' was just a stage name. She was not a funky version of Julie Andrews.

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