A Celebration of Sister Rosetta Tharpe

– by Elk Creek

Sunday May 1 @ 4:00

A Celebration of Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Curated by Hannah Bingman

Before Elvis. Before Johnny Cash. Before Little Richard. There was
Sister Rosetta Tharpe. At a time when almost no woman dared to front the stage with a guitar, Sister Rosetta did. Starting with a 1932 National resonator guitar to her now-famous 1961 white Gibson Les Paul SG Custom. Confident and sanctified, she was one of first successful crossover artists from gospel to the mainstream music world.

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In 1921, at six years old, she was booked alongside her mother as a “singing and guitar playing miracle.” More recently, she’s being remembered as the “Godmother of Rock and Roll.” But for several decades in between, it seemed like Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s legacy would be forgotten almost entirely.

Born Rosetta Nubin in 1915 in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, Sister Rosetta Tharpe began her music career in the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) along with her deaconess mother, Katie Bell Nubin. Migrating to Chicago and then to New York City, Tharpe began her recording career in 1938 mixing the secular with the sacred. Her biggest crossover hit “Strange Things Happening Every Day” was recorded in 1944 and is now thought to be one of the first “rock ‘n roll” songs ever recorded.

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Why we wish to celebrate the music of Sister stems from the fervent love and obsession for the artist by local singer-songwriter, Hannah Bingman. With the current resurrection of Tharpe’s status as rock and roll pioneer, what better time to spread the good news about her work to all those in Central Pennsylvania who have not yet heard it? And what better place than Elk Creek Café + Aleworks? At least, that’s how Bingman sees it.

Join Hannah Bingham and friends for a “Sunday with Sister” afternoon of talented local musicians:

Terri Parker with Jerry Zolten
Anchor and Arrow
Kristi Jean
Steve Crawford

interpreting the songs of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, whether she sang them in a rural church or in a city nightclub.

The groovin' starts at 4pm!
Please bring some cash for when we pass the plate for the musicians!

The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau publishes up-to-date event information at HappyValley.com/events