Gospel singer and electric guitarist Sister Rosetta Tharpe was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this past weekend. Tharpe is best known for her innovative guitar playing and the influence she had on the early roots of rock and rock music.
Inducting Tharpe in the category of “Early Influences” was Brittany Howard, lead singer and guitarist of Alabama Shakes, a rock band that absorbs influences from R&B, blues. “I’m honored to induct Sister Rosetta Tharpe into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” Howard told the audience at the induction ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio. With The Roots’ drummer Questlove performing in the band, Paul Shaffer on keyboards, and Felicia Collins on guitar. Shaffer and Collins are perhaps best known as long time members of the CBS Orchestra on Late Night With David Letterman. Collins though, played guitar in the theater production of Marie and Rosetta, about Sister Rosetta and her protege and collaborator, Marie Knight.
Above, watch Tharpe’s “That’s All” performed by Howard. This was followed by Collins and the band performing “Strange Things Happening Every Day” below.
Below, watch Tharpe perform “Strange Things,” and listen to “That’s All.”
Listen to an interview about Sister Rosetta Tharpe produced by Alex Lewis for the Gospel Roots project and heard on World Cafe here.
This article was written for WXPN’S GOSPEL ROOTS OF ROCK AND SOUL.
GOSPEL ROOTS OF ROCK AND SOUL has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.