FEATURED ARTIST / S
|Sister Rosetta Tharpe|
DOCD-5607 Sister Rosetta Tharpe Vol 3 1946 -1947
Sister Rosetta Tharpe, guitar, vocal.
With contributions by;
Marie Knight, vocal.
The Dependable Boys, vocal group.
Sammy Price, piano.
Billy Taylor Snr., stand-up bass.
Wallace Bishop, drums.
Ben Moten, stand-up bass.
George "Pops" Foster, stand-up bass.
Informative booklet notes by Ken Romanowski.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe (born Rosetta Nubin in Cotton Plant, Arkansas on March 20, 1915) was already a seasoned veteran of the gospel highway by the time she burst upon the national scene in 1938. During the next two years she performed in New York at the Cotton Club with Cab Calloway and Andy Kirk, played the Apollo and the Savoy Ballroom with Lucky Millinder, and appeared at John Hammond's historic Spirituals To Swing concert at Carnegie Hall, bringing gospel music to the attention of mainstream America and becoming gospel's first national star in the process.
In September 1944 she began a fruitful recording association with Sam Price and his Trio that was to endure for the next ten years. Their first release together: Strange Things Happening Every Day (see DOCD-5335) was a solid hit on the Race charts and a huge influence on the budding white and black boogie styles that eventually coalesced into rock and roll over the next decade. In fact, if it were not for the religious texts, Rosetta's recordings with Sammy Price could be characterized as rhythm and blues themselves, and more than a few of them could just as easily pass for rock and roll. With no change in style from her solo recordings, Rosetta fit like a glove into Sam Price's small combo and swung with a vengeance. Her guitar introductions and solos certainly sound as if they had an impact upon the guitarists who came of age after the Second World War, with extensive use of triplets against the eight-to-the-bar boogie underpinning, double-stops, and dramatic slurs - all utilized with an uncanny sense of when and where to place each riff for maximum effect.
How Far From God (I Looked Down The Line And I Wondered), This Train, The End Of My Journey, Beams Of Heaven, and The Natural Facts (That's All) are re-recordings with Sam Price's Trio of titles already successfully cut by Rosetta as solo vehicles. Although the originals do not lack an infectious swing, there is no denying that the group provides Sister Tharpe with solid, loping grooves upon which she floats her adventurous vocals and incendiary guitar solos. Decca's stroke of genius, was recording Rosetta with Marie Knight, a fine singer from Newark, New Jersey, in a series of memorable duets. The duo's breath taking vocal interplay on numbers like Didn't It Rain and Up Above My Head I Hear Music In The Air helped further expand the audience for gospel music (the latter title was another chart hit) while producing music whose appeal has not diminished over the course of time. Around the time Rosetta first recorded with Marie Knight for Decca, she cut two titles in Los Angeles for Down Beat/Swing Time as Sister Katy Marie, one of which was a re-recording of the duo's first number for Decca: When I Come To The End Of My Journey. The final two titles here find Rosetta in the company of a male vocal group: The Dependable Boys. Whatever the combination - big band, R & B jump combo, female vocal duet, or male vocal group - Sister Rosetta Tharpe's resilient voice and propulsive guitar were the constants that made her style immediately identifiable and enormously popular.