Before Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Keith Richards, Elvis, or Johnny Cash strummed their guitars, or banged out a melody on the piano, Sister Rosetta Tharpe created a musical style that would take the world by storm. Hailed as the godmother of rock and roll, Tharpe is both the originator of pop gospel and she brought an emotionally charged dimension to the electric guitar, creating the foundation of rock and roll. Tharpe is credited with introducing the spirituality of the gospel into the secular world of rock ‘n’ roll. Little Richard called her his greatest influence and Chuck Berry said that his entire career was just “one long Rosetta Tharpe impersonation.” In 1969, she was nominated for a Grammy for Best Gospel Performance for the album Precious Memories.
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