It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.

Please ensure you are using the latest Flash Player.


If you are unable or do not wish to upgrade your Flash Player,
please try a different browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora Plus subscription will expire shortly.
More Info
No Thanks
Your Pandora Plus trial will expire shortly.
Restore
Close
close
Your Pandora Plus trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
Upgrade Now
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora Plus.
More Info
No Thanks
Close
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
 Upgrade  sign up   |   help   |  
-0:00
0:00
Change Skin

Free personalized radio that
plays the music you love

Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station
People who also like this

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Alongside Willie Mae Ford Smith, Sister Rosetta Tharpe is widely acclaimed among the greatest Sanctified gospel singers of her generation; a flamboyant performer whose music often flirted with the blues and swing, she was also one of the most controversial talents of her day, shocking purists with her leap into the secular market -- by playing nightclubs and theaters, she not only pushed spiritual music into the mainstream, but in the process also helped pioneer the rise of pop-gospel. Tharpe was born March 20, 1915 in Cotton Plant, AR; the daughter of Katie Bell Nubin, a traveling missionary and shouter in the classic gospel tradition known throughout the circuit as "Mother Bell," she was a prodigy, mastering the guitar by the age of six. At the same time, she attended Holiness conventions alongside her mother, performing renditions of songs including "The Day Is Past and Gone" and "I Looked Down the Line."

In time, the family relocated to Chicago, where Tharpe began honing her unique style; blessed with a resonant vibrato, both her vocal phrasing and guitar style drew heavy inspiration from the blues, and she further aligned herself with the secular world with a sense of showmanship and glamour unique among the gospel performers of her era. Signing to Decca in 1938, Tharpe became a virtual overnight sensation; her first records, among them Thomas A. Dorsey's "Rock Me" and "This Train," were smash hits, and quickly she was performing in the company of mainstream superstars including Cab Calloway and Benny Goodman. She led an almost schizophrenic existence, remaining in the good graces of her core audience by recording material like "Precious Lord," "Beams of Heaven," and "End of My Journey" while also appealing to her growing white audience by performing rearranged, uptempo spirituals including "Didn't It Rain" and "Down by the Riverside."

During World War II, Tharpe was so popular that she was one of only two black gospel acts -- the Golden Gate Quartet being the other -- to record V-Discs for American soldiers overseas; she also toured the nation in the company of the Dixie Hummingbirds, among others. In 1944, she began recording with boogie-woogie pianist Sammy Price; their first collaboration, "Strange Things Happening Every Day," even cracked Billboard's race records Top Ten, a rare feat for a gospel act, and one which she repeated several more times during the course of her career. In 1946, she teamed with the Newark-based Sanctified shouter Madame Marie Knight, whose simple, unaffected vocals made her the perfect counterpoint for Tharpe's theatrics; the duo's first single, "Up Above My Head," was a huge hit, and over the next few years they played to tremendous crowds across the church circuit.

However, in the early '50s Tharpe and Knight cut a handful of straight blues sides; their fans were outraged, and although Knight soon made a permanent leap into secular music -- to little success -- Tharpe remained first and foremost a gospel artist, although her credibility and popularity were seriously damaged. Not only did her record sales drop off and her live engagements become fewer and farther between, but many purists took Tharpe's foray into the mainstream as a personal affront; the situation did not improve, and she spent over a year touring clubs in Europe, waiting for the controversy to die down. Tharpe's comeback was slow but steady, and by 1960 she had returned far enough into the audience's good graces to appear at the Apollo Theatre alongside the Caravans and James Cleveland. While not a household name like before, she continued touring even after suffering a major stroke in 1970, dying in Philadelphia on October 9, 1973. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The One And Only Queen Of Hot Gospel

1. Rock Me

2. I Looked Down The Line

3. God Don't Like It

4. The End Of My Journey

5. Sit Down

6. Just A Closer Walk With Thee

7. Trouble In Mind

8. Rock Daniel

9. Four Or Five Times

10. That's All

11. Didn't It Rain

12. Beams Of Heaven

13. Up Above My Head I Hear Music In The Air

14. Precious Memories

15. Strange Things Happening Every Day

16. How Far From God

17. When I Move To The Sky

18. Jesus Is Here To Stay

19. This Train

20. Family Prayer

22. Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?

x

Track List: How Sweet It Was

1. Stand By Me

2. I Am Bound For Canaan Land

3. How Sweet It Is

4. No Room At The Inn

5. Somebody Touched Me

6. My Imagination Of Heaven

7. He’s A High Class Physician

8. I Thank You Lord

9. I'm Waiting For Jesus

10. We Shall Walk Through The Valley

11. Medley: Going On With The Spirit / Didn’t It Rain

12. Will My Jesus Be Waiting

13. The Pilgrim’s Song

14. Stand By Me

15. I'm Not Unseasy

16. These Are They

17. Medley: What Could I Do / Search Me Lord

18. Satisfied

19. The Angels Keep Watching Over Me

20. When The Gates Swing Open

21. John Saw

22. Dot’s Testimony, Part Two

23. Coming Home

24. The Prodigal Son

25. Jesus Met The Woman At The Well

26. Something Within Me

x

Track List: Gospel 'N' Soul Revival

1. Up Above My Head I Hear Music In The Air

2. Down By The Riverside

3. That's All

4. Travelin' Shoes

5. Jesus Is Everywhere

6. This Train

7. Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho

8. Two Little Fishes And Five Loaves Of Bread

9. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child

10. Jonah In The Whale

11. Go Ahead

12. Precious Memories

13. When Jesus Was Born

14. Is Everyone Happy?

15. Can't Sit Down

16. Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen

17. Mansions In The Sky

18. Precious Lord

x

Track List: Sing Sister Sing

1. Precious Lord

2. Peace In The Valley

3. Didn't It Rain

4. The Gospel Train

5. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child

6. He's Got The Whole World In His Hands

7. Can't No Grave Hold On My Body Down

8. Mansions In The Sky

9. Is Everybody Happy

10. Vacation In The Sky

11. Two Little Fishes And Five Loaves Of Bread

12. Can't Sit Down

13. Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen

14. Jonah In The Whale

15. Travelin' Shoes

16. That's All

17. Go Ahead

18. Down By The Riverside

x

Track List: The Gospel Of The Blues

1. My Man And I

2. This Train

3. Sit Down

4. Trouble In Mind

5. Shout, Sister, Shout!

6. Rock Me

7. Nobody's Fault But Mine

8. I Want A Tall Skinny Papa

9. God Don't Like It

10. What Is The Soul Of Man?

11. Singing In My Soul

12. Strange Things Happening Every Day

13. Two Little Fishes And Five Loaves Of Bread

14. Jonah

15. Didn't It Rain

16. The Natural Facts

17. Down By The Riverside

18. Up Above My Head I Hear Music In The Air

x

Track List: Gospel Blues: The Very Best Of

1. Rock Me

2. Oh, When I Come To The End Of My Journey

3. Down By The Riverside

4. This Train (Live)

5. Sit Down

6. The Lord Followed Me

7. Didn't It Rain

8. This Train

9. Precious Memories

10. Stretch Out

11. Shout, Sister, Shout! (Feat. Lucky Millinder And His Orchestra)

12. Strange Things Happening Every Day

13. God Don't Like It (2012)

14. Jonah

15. Two Little Fishes And Five Loaves Of Bread

16. Nobody's Fault But Mine

17. All Over This World

18. Trouble In Mind

19. Beams Of Heaven

20. My Man And I

21. When I Move To The Sky

x

Track List: The Very Best Of Sister Rosetta Tharpe

1. When They Ring The Golden Bell

2. Rock Me

3. Let The Lower Lights Be Burning

4. Crying In The Chapel

5. Sin Is To Blame

6. Jesus Is Here To Stay

7. Ain't No Room In Church For Liars

8. This Train

x

Track List: The Authorized Sister Rosetta Tharpe Collection

1. It Ain't Necessarily So

2. Peace In The Valley (Live)

3. The Gospel Train

4. Didn't It Rain (Live)

5. That's All (Live)(1960)

6. He's Got The Whole World In His Hands

7. Can't No Grave Hold On My Body Down

8. Down By The Riverside (Live) (1960)

9. Is Everybody Happy

10. Two Little Fishes, Five Loaves Of Bread (Live)(1960)

11. Vacation In The Sky

12. That's All (Version 2)

13. Up Above My Head, I Hear Music In The Air (Live)(1960)

14. Travelin' Shoes

15. Jesus Is Everywhere

16. Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho

17. Rock Billy Boogie

18. Growl

19. Brand New Cadillac

20. Precious Memories

21. When Jesus Was Born

22. Two Little Fishes, Five Loaves Of Bread (Versions 2)

23. Down By The Riverside (Version 2)

24. Can't Sit Down

25. Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen

26. Mansions In The Sky

27. Precious Lord

x

Track List: Sister Rosetta Tharpe Vol. 2 1942-1944

1. I Want A Tall Skinny Papa (1942)(Mono)

2. What He Done For Me

3. I Want Jesus To Walk Around My Bedside

4. All Over This World

5. Pure Religion

6. This Train (J41)

7. Down By The Riverside (J38)

8. Rock Me (J75)

9. Rock Me (VP-391-D3-MC-464)

10. That's All (VD129)

11. Trouble In Mind (VP-392-D3-MC-465)

12. Rock Daniel (VD129)

13. That's All (J56)

14. Let That Liar Alone

15. The Devil Has Thrown Him Down

16. Sleep On Darling Mother

17. God Don't Like It (71526)

18. I Want To Live So God Can Use Me

19. What's The News?

20. Nobody Knows, Nobody Cares

21. Jesus Taught Me How To Smile

22. Forgive Me Lord And Try Me One More Time

23. What Is The Soul Of Man (Trad. Gospel)(Reworked)(1944)

24. Singing In My Soul (Trad. Gospel)(1944)

25. I Claim Jesus First

26. Strange Things Happening Every Day (Trad. African American Spiritual) (1944)

27. Two Little Fishes And Five Loaves Of Bread (Gospel 1956)

x

Track List: Live In 1960

1. Can't Sit Down (Live)

2. He's Got The Whole World In His Hands (Live)

3. Vacation In The Sky (Live)

4. Didn't It Rain (Live)

5. Can't No Grave Hold My Body Down (Live)

6. Two Little Fishes, Five Loaves Of Bread (Live)

7. The Gospel Train (Live)

8. Precious Lord (Live)

9. Down By The Riverside (Live)

10. Mansion In The Sky (Live)

11. Is Everybody Happy? (Live)

12. Peace In The Valley (Live)

x

Track List: Gospel Train

1. Jericho

2. When They Ring The Golden Bell

3. Two Little Fishes Five Loaves Of Bread (1956)

4. Beams Of Heaven (1956)

5. Cain't No Grave Hold My Body Down

6. All Alone

7. Up Above My Head There's Music In The Air (1956)

8. I Shall Know Him

9. Fly Away

10. How About You

11. Precious Memories

12. 99 1/2 Won't Do

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Very good love her music.
Report as inappropriate
mikekingston 1 1 1 1
Thanks she is great
Report as inappropriate
Splendid!
Report as inappropriate
one of the best
Report as inappropriate
I love her so much. Her music is beautiful.
Report as inappropriate
Not only could she sing, but she rocked the guitar!!! She was way ahead of her time! Check her out on UTube.
Report as inappropriate
A great talent.
dlc
Report as inappropriate
Sister Rosetta is amazing and anointed by our Lord to play and praise. Her chops are mighty and magnificent! Play on, Sister! I know heaven is rockin'!
Report as inappropriate
Heard her name on PBS. Sounds great.

Don't have a Pandora account? Sign up

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

It looks like your browser does not support modern SSL/TLS. Please upgrade your browser.

If you need help, please email: pandora-support@pandora.com.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[95, 113, 82, 71, 110, 66, 70, 77, 108, 110, 93, 70, 97, 82, 111, 77, 113, 86, 67, 86, 109, 121, 75, 85, 110, 73, 117, 95, 83, 101, 107, 105, 95, 99, 93, 83, 123, 100, 97, 108, 82, 124, 101, 89, 113, 78, 87, 118, 74, 78, 88, 106, 115, 87, 84, 97, 89, 80, 126, 93, 67, 94, 99, 72, 108, 88, 81, 115, 66, 91, 69, 68, 108, 104, 92, 95, 85, 71, 114, 120, 66, 118, 111, 75, 107, 115, 106, 120, 98, 72, 104, 84, 106, 125, 76, 88, 116, 73, 121, 106, 92, 108, 113, 110, 124, 110, 90, 97, 127, 78, 97, 82, 97, 115, 89, 92, 71, 116, 121, 108, 112, 67, 79, 97, 123, 78, 109, 102, 64, 118, 124, 90, 78, 116, 127, 112, 79, 87, 104, 83, 82, 65, 69, 89, 118, 119, 87, 83, 101, 75, 73, 106, 77, 91, 71, 65, 78, 67, 125, 74, 92, 64, 64, 118, 77, 70, 87, 120, 98, 98, 77, 117, 92, 117, 99, 67, 125, 121, 107, 100, 109, 75, 70, 70, 84, 67, 83, 67, 71, 84, 76, 82, 102, 75, 92, 90, 86, 66, 64, 106, 79, 66, 82, 87, 73, 91, 80, 75, 116, 78, 81, 127, 72, 68, 74, 98, 64, 121, 99, 103, 68, 116, 93, 114, 86, 82, 120, 78, 116, 125, 122, 122, 98, 78, 98, 98, 114, 67, 81, 90, 69, 127, 115, 106, 99, 123, 110, 109, 111, 65, 127, 81, 114, 102, 114, 119, 103, 71, 66, 110, 99, 87, 126, 80, 112, 78, 103, 118, 104, 86, 66, 98, 89, 123, 69, 118, 79, 110, 93, 71, 124, 70, 119, 101, 118, 102, 118, 121, 70, 99, 81, 125, 91, 105, 67, 117, 90, 122, 119, 84, 94, 106, 106, 103, 123, 76, 90, 65, 105, 112, 117, 120, 82, 65, 123, 124, 123, 110, 106, 95, 84, 67, 94, 91, 116, 97, 102, 88, 90, 79, 65, 96, 67, 81, 101, 66, 113, 100, 99, 99, 100, 77, 96, 74, 80, 70, 69, 67, 77, 90, 105, 85, 111, 117, 105, 110, 66, 115, 89, 80, 111, 91, 83, 106, 69, 67, 111, 89, 92, 112, 105, 93, 80, 81, 127, 122, 111, 87, 96, 110, 93, 95, 106, 87, 91, 79, 116, 102, 120, 120, 121, 119, 85, 100, 87, 77, 69, 65, 70, 68, 73, 70, 105, 118, 80, 73, 81, 77, 117, 96, 68, 88, 87, 98, 103, 117, 103, 124, 105, 116, 72, 104, 99, 73, 101, 121, 107, 91, 108, 85, 118, 113, 86, 72, 115, 93, 74, 117, 101, 115, 104, 114, 82, 118, 92, 101, 115, 98, 114, 79, 91, 99, 87, 122, 120, 85, 126, 105, 112, 97, 122, 70, 109, 110, 65, 122, 111, 115, 125, 109, 77, 91, 77, 112, 96, 121, 72, 83, 126, 64, 110, 71, 106, 93, 90, 99, 93, 115, 77, 100, 116, 109, 109, 111, 73, 122, 74, 126, 83, 98, 91, 115, 94, 77, 107, 117, 102, 66, 105, 96, 70, 122]