Swing out, Sister!


I’m not at all religious but perhaps if I’d gone to a Sunday School where Sister Rosetta Tharpe was in charge then things might have turned out rather differently.

Primarily a gospel singer, Sister Rosetta also had her roots in jazz and blues and she was a really fine guitarist who wasn’t afraid to rock out when she felt like it, which fortunately she often did.

I’ve never seen any photos of her with a Fender and she seems to have favoured Les Pauls, SGs and Gretsches, very often with her amp cranked up until it distorted.

Here’s a fine clip of her performing  ‘Up Above my Head’ with a huge gospel choir and toting a very nice Gibson SG Custom – and you just wait for the solo…

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for that Steve – had never heard of her before today. Guitar solo was truly excellent – felt a bit incongruous to begin with seeing a gospel singer doing her stuff on the electric guitar, but really great.

  2. Great vid, Steve – I assume that song must have been the inspiration for the King’s X song “Over My Head”.

    Looks like a ’52 Les Paul in that first picture, too…

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