The Mothers of Rock and Roll: Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton

We heard a lot about Elvis, Chuck Berry, and numerous other male performers from the 1940’s- 50’s I think many of these great performers made great contribution to the music. But I think those who first put it on the scene should be accredited for it.  And genders should be a reason for discrediting them.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe (March 20, 1915 – October 9, 1973) She often called the Mother of Rock and Roll. Although, surpising she wasn’t a blues singer. She was a gospel singer. Rock and Roll has it root in  Negro spirituals which grew out of slavery in America. In African American church. She was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and recording artist. As a pioneer of mid-20th-century music, she attained popularity in the 1930s and 1940s with her gospel recordings, characterized by a unique mixture of spiritual lyrics and rhythmic accompaniment that was a precursor of rock and roll. She was the first great recording star of gospel music and among the first gospel musicians to appeal to rhythm-and-blues and rock-and-roll audiences, later being referred to as “the original soul sister” and “the Godmother of rock and roll” She influenced early rock-and-roll musicians, including Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Roy, Orbison, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and many others.

There would be no Beatles nor Rolling Stones had not been for Sister Rosetta Tharpe winning the world over with her new sound to a very old music. So it is hard to get around her influence no matter who is your favorite singer. She influenced everything from Country to Rap.

Another memorable lady is Willie MaeBig MamaThornton (December 11, 1926 – July 25, 1984) was an American rhythm-and-blues singer and songwriter. She was the first to record Leiber and Stoller’s “Hound Dog”, in 1952, which became her biggest hit, staying seven weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B chart in 1953 and selling almost two million copies. Thornton’s other recordings included the original version of “Ball ‘n’ Chain”, which she wrote


You hear next to nothing of the women who gave birth to Rock and Roll. Even down to the stage performance of Elvis you will find Big Mama Thornton rocking the guaitar the same but she predate all these men who susppisedly founded Rock and Roll.

About unholypursuit

A. White, an award winning former librarian, who is also a long time member of Romantic Time and Publisher's Weekly. A. White has been writing for over fifteen years. She took classes in creative writing in college, specializing in ancient myths and legends. and later at a local community center while living in Chicago. In college she won the national contest to verbally list every country in the world, it's capital and ingenious language. Her works are mainly horror, fantasy, extreme, and sci-fi as well as, as some may says, "the truly strange predicament and puzzling." Books that I've written are "Clash with the Immortals, and eleven others which are part of the "Unholy Pursuit saga,". She has been working on the Chronicles since 2007. She wished to complete them all before introducing them to public so the readers wouldn't have to for the continuation to be written. The ideas of the book come from classic literature such as whose work greatly influence the world world such as Homer, Sophocles, Herodotus, Euripides, Socrates, Hippocrates, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle and many more. The "Book of Enoch" influenced the usage of Azazael as a main character and love interest. I created the primary main character from the Chronicle of Saints. I wanted to show them as real flesh and blood with thoughts, desires and yearning as any human. Not as they are so often depicted. So I created one of my own to show her as a real human that everyone can relate to.
This entry was posted in African American History, ANNOUNCEMENTTS, Artists, Blues & Rock and Roll, diversity, gospel, slavery and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Mothers of Rock and Roll: Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton

  1. Alisha says:

    Alma, things like this is what I and so many others like about your blog. You present useful information. Thanks.

    On Fri, Jul 13, 2018 at 5:31 AM, The Novel: UnHoly Pursuit: Devil on my Tra

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Chloe says:

    Sister Rosette Tharpe have been induced in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Music Lifetime Achievement Hall as the Mother Of Rock and Roll

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Walgris says:

    I have heard of both of these women!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Encountering Racism in Literature? Have I encountered it? Sure, I have. I have been encountering it since the first book came out. | The Novel: UnHoly Pursuit: Devil on my Trail

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