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Sat, 03.20.1915

Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Gospel Singer, and more born


*Sister Rosetta Tharpe was born on this date in 1915. She was a Black singer and one of the first gospel singers to tour Europe.

Born Rosetta Nubin in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, her family moved to Chicago when she was five. Her singing debut with her mother was before an audience of 1,000 people. The 1920s and ’30s were years when Sister Rosetta sang the gospel songs of composers such as W.H. Brewster and blues-tinted gospels songs of Thomas A. Dorsey. Rosetta Tharpe was married three times.

Her career spanned five decades.  She was featured in Life magazine, and her biggest hit was Rock Me while recording for Decca records. Her style was unmistakably flamboyant.  She sang at the Apollo Theater with Cab Calloway and performed consistently into the 1960s. Heart ailments took their toll on the last five years of her life; Sister Rosetta Tharpe died in Philadelphia in 1973.

To Become a Musician or Singer




Black Women in America An Historical Encyclopedia
Volumes 1 and 2, edited by Darlene Clark Hine
Copyright 1993, Carlson Publishing Inc., Brooklyn, New York
ISBN 0-926019-61-9

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