Presenting Sister Rosetta Tharpe,
the Godmother of Rock & Roll
A TRUE TALE WITH
A CHERRY ON TOP
(pub.2.14.2023) 40 pages
Author: Tonya Bolden
Illustrator: R. Gregory Christie
Character: Sister Rosetta Tharpe
" Before there was Elvis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Johnny Cash, there was Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
The godmother of rock & roll started as a little girl from Arkansas with music in her air, in her hair, in her bones, wiggling her toes. With a big guitar in hand and a big voice in her soul, she grew into a rock & roll trailblazer in a time when women were rarely seen rocking out. Her guitar picking was like nobody else’s!"
" And, man, didn't you play all kinds of ways.
Up on your toes!
Down on the floor!
Behind your back!
Jumping up onstage -
in high heels at that!
Hip-hugging your guitar.
Duckwalking it too!
You even rocked fans in the English rain.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe,
with all your
fiery-fierce-feisty picking and plucking,
you blazed a trail for a fast-paced,
hard-driving, gritty, gutsy sound that made
the electric guitar
A music called Rock & Roll."
And something more: Tonya Bolden, in the Author's Note explains: "After Rosetta died, for years a host of folks didn't know that she had ever existed, didn't know what a phenomenal, blow-'em-away talent she was.
But then, don't you know, the lady had a comeback - became a star again!...
In 2018 - more than forty years after her death - Sister Rosetta Tharpe was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, in the category of Early Influences."