Shout, Sister, Shout!: The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe
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Shout, Sister, Shout!: The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  55 ratings  ·  10 reviews
A New York Times Book Review Editor's Pick

Long before "women in rock" became a media catchphrase, African American guitar virtuoso Rosetta Tharpe proved in spectacular fashion that women could rock. Born in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, in 1915, Tharpe was gospel's first superstar and the preeminent crossover figure of its golden age (1945–1965).

Shout, Sister, Shout! is the fir...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published January 15th 2008 by Beacon Press (first published January 15th 2007)
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Early on Elvis was mightily inspired by Sister Rosetta Tharpe's singing and guitar style, and Eric Clapton, B. B. King, Muddy Waters, Johnny Cash are others who have tipped their guitars her way. Thanks to local jazz radio station KJAZZ, NPR, PBS' American Masters, a quick clip in the French film Amélie, and this recent biography, there should be wider knowledge and credit for the woman who is known as the godmother of rock 'n roll. Despite a good deal of campaigning from singers, musicians and...more
Lashawn
Sister Rosetta Tharpe died in 1973 when I was two years old. 39 years later, I am listening to her for the first time in my life.

Shout Sister Shout is a wonderful account of Tharpe's life, but also gives insight and history into gospel music as a whole. I have grown up being surrounded by gospel music, but it was always contemporary. In reading this book, the only gospel names I recognized was Thomas Dorsey and Mahalia Jackson, the former because my mother had a record of his, the latter because...more
Rick Segers
Perhaps not the most technically well written bio I have ever raid but quite enjoyable none the less. I have heard of Sister Rosetta Tharpe since my early days in radio. This answered a lot of questions about her and her music.
Primarily a gospel singer, Sister Rosetta Tharpe's influence is felt across the music landscape and should be much more appreciated by the music loving public.
Aliza
This book is by my professor from GW. She was my advisor for my Mahalia Jackson project during the time she was working on this book. We went to Chicago to do research - fun times!
Gina
I just was writing a thoughtful review and it got deleted... :(
Sister Rosetta Tharpe was an amazing musician and an incredible performer. Most of her performing was done between the 1940s and the 1970s, and most people today have never heard of her. I think part of the reason is that she didn't fit readily into one category. She was a black woman who sang gospel and played the electric guitar. She was a pioneer in rock-and-roll--Elvis, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard all mentioned her as one of...more
Sean Kennedy
(3.5 / 5) I found this book after I stumbled across a YouTube video of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and despite the fact that I'm not really a fan of gospel there was something about her that just made me want to know more. You really should look her up on YouTube, she is such an exemplary performer.

And that is the trouble with writing a biography about her. After seeing her manic energy, passion and strong-willed character in action, it is hard work for a book to try and get that across on the writte...more
Susan B.
This book would be worth the price for the intro alone. Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a lesser known gospel singer who crossed over into r&b was one of the first rockers, long before Elvis was ever a gleam in Sam Phillips' eye. She was an amazing guitarist, an incredible singer, and a hell of a woman making her way through segregated and sexist America with gusto. Apart from having three marriages, she also was rumored to have a relationship with sometime singing partner Marie Knight. You can check...more
John Hattan


I thought Sister Rosetta Tharpe was definitely worthy of a full-length biography. I just wish the author had a better thesis about her. Ultimately SSR while highly influential is not necessarily recognized. The reason for this is tragic - as SSR seems very much of the same mold of entertainer as Marilyn Monroe or Hank Williams, in effect, driven to entertain to an extent that was unhealthy & ultimately doomed her to an early death. Great guitarist & musical groundbreaker. Anyone who lis...more
Nick
Apr 23, 2007 Nick rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in music
Shelves: music, biography
I bought my first CD of Sister Rosetta Tharpe's recordings some time ago, impressed by her powerful voice and powerful guitar playing. This biography tells her life story and attempts, with only some success, to convey the power of her music. The only way I know to understand Sister Rosetta's importance is to listen to her music. There are some filmed performances on YouTube.com, but the best thing to do is to download or purchase the Document or Savoy CDs of her work--wow! The spirit certainly...more
Amanda
I had to stop after about 40 pages. not very well written. better off you-tubing some of Sister Rosetta's performances, which are amazing.
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