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Author Topic: Shout, Sister, Shout!--Sister Rosetta Tharpe  (Read 2703 times)

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Offline Stuart

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Shout, Sister, Shout!--Sister Rosetta Tharpe
« on: January 28, 2007, 09:23:14 PM »
Here's a link to a forthcoming book on Sister Rosetta Tharpe:

http://www.shoutsistershout.net/
« Last Edit: January 28, 2007, 09:43:33 PM by Slack »

mississippijohnhurt1928

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Re: Shout, Sister, Shout!--Sister Rosetta Tharpe
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2007, 05:45:02 PM »
Say, that looks good. I might pick that one up.

Offline Richard

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Re: Shout, Sister, Shout!--Sister Rosetta Tharpe
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2007, 12:32:29 AM »
I'm sure I've said this before, but I saw her perform in the 60s  :-X she was a very short lady in a sequinned dress almost dwarfed by the white (I think) Gibson semi acoustic she was playing - and did she have some energy!
(That's enough of that. Ed)

mississippijohnhurt1928

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Re: Shout, Sister, Shout!--Sister Rosetta Tharpe
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2007, 04:08:18 AM »
Wow, cool I wish I could have seen her live.

Right now these are the two concerts I've been to:

1. Robert Lockwood Jr. At Fat Fish Blue (Twice)
2. Little Richard, In The Flats Of Cleveland.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Shout, Sister, Shout!--Sister Rosetta Tharpe
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2007, 01:02:49 PM »
Check out the SRT tag to see a review of a 50s concert held in Britain which is buried in a Broonzy topic.

Tags rule ok!  ;D

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Shout, Sister, Shout!--Sister Rosetta Tharpe
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2007, 11:31:00 AM »
Here's a link to a forthcoming book on Sister Rosetta Tharpe:
http://www.shoutsistershout.net/
And here's a review of the book by a Weenie member

http://www.baddogblues.com/reviews.htm

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Shout, Sister, Shout!--Sister Rosetta Tharpe
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2007, 12:26:32 PM »
This a veering somewhat from the topic (better placed Main Forum?) but couldn't resist adding the following from Jazz Music; The International Jazz Magazine (May-June 1958). This review is very much of "its time" and perhaps allowance should be made for the "language factor". What caught my eye was that her pianist for the concert being none other than Horst Jankowski who had a 1965 UK top 10 with "Walk In The Black Forest". There?s no writer credit, but would it be too cynical of me to suggest that the enthusiastic praise for each individual band performances that it was a member of same writing?  ;D

"I wanted very much to make a trip to Germany", explained Sister Rosetta Tharpe, "but we had no contact with anyone likely to be interested". Which proves how little attention had been paid to her visit to Europe. Unfortunately we have had up to now hardly any opportunity of witnessing each contribution to the Jazz-scene. The distinguishing feature of Sister Rosetta Tharpe's music is the conviction with which she sings. Even as a child, she sang in the church choir in her home-town, Cotton Plant, Arkansas and the message of Christianity was such an experience for her that she henceforth tried to pass this on through her music. When she sang secular music, as with Cab Calloway (1938) and Lucky Millinder (1941-1944), she brought the same intensity to this music also. The growing insincerity and progressive commercialisation even of Jazz made any honest musical contribution illusory and this caused Sister Rosetta Tharpe to devote herself exclusively to gospel-singing.

The audience in the Liederhalle, Stuttgart were able to judge this singing for themselves. No one could have failed to be impressed by the unusual expressiveness and her gospel-songs are unequivocally associated with Jazz, which knows no division between religious and secular music. This proves the statement that one must believe in what is singing or acting. "Otherwise" says Sister Rosetta Tharpe, "the audience cannot be effectively wooed". In this way she explains her radiant personality, like that of all great jazz artists. In addition to the vocal and instrumental offerings of the act, there is still the effect on the listeners' eyes as well as their ears; each movement, each change of facial expression underlines the strength and fullness of feeling of the music; one feels clearly the anxious and urgent concern of the singer. From this standpoint one can recognise what this has to do with swing. It is not as such the characteristic of Jazz but nothing more than an external form which the carrier of a convincing message may assume Sister Rosetta Tharpe gives an example. she stakes herself body and soul for the one thing that is closest to her heart and swing appears naturally as an intermediary between her and the public. And what swing! Pianist Horst Jankowski, one of the most talented younger jazz-musicians, who accompanied Sister Rosetta with the rhythm section of the Southern Radio Dance Orchestra, declared: "Any one who is not driven by this swing to an intense level of participation is lacking in the basic essentials of a Jazz-musician". She belongs to the numbers of the impressive personalities of Jazz, who make it clear that this music claims the whole man.

The attention of the audience was also attracted by the instrumentation of the Jankowski Sextet, which included G. Weinkopf {flute), W. Baumgart (oboe) and F. Dautel (bassoon). It was pointed out that the sounds of the wood-winds bring unmistakably an attractive and cheerful note to swing. The arrangements would seem to play a part in this. Harpist J, Toupon was also engaged for this unusual programme, and although on a different level from Sister Rosetta Tharpe, one could claim that the contribution of this undoubted master of the harp was valid. In spite of the manual difficulties, his playing was spontaneous and vehemently voiced. Another unusual instrument at this concert was the Hammond organ of Klaus Wunderlich. That his solo contributions enriched the programme speaks for his undisputed Jazz-fooling. There were improvisations. Basie-like riffs and a valiant marching beat that would honour many a rhythm section. A light touch ensured an unusual staccato quality in the playing and he avoided the too-well-known glissandi of the cinema-organist. As accompanist, Wunderlich made striking contact with Sister's gospel-songs, although the most impressive was undoubtedly guitarist G. Leimstoll.

Offline outfidel

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Re: Shout, Sister, Shout!--Sister Rosetta Tharpe
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2007, 07:49:57 AM »
Here's a lengthy excerpt from Wald's book:

Sister Rosetta Tharpe and the British Blues Revival
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Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Shout, Sister, Shout!--Sister Rosetta Tharpe
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2007, 10:20:52 AM »
I did finally finish reading my copy over the Easter break. It's good abosorbing stuff and the author doesn't shirk from "telling it like it is, laying bare the frailties of the good sister as well as her mythologising to massage her own ego when required. However, the untold it may be story may be but, as Jeff Harris has already noted, the outlandish claim of the subtitle (nearly twice the print size of Tharpe's name!) tends to overlook the fact that rock-and-roll evolved during her career and Tharpe just had the commercial wherewithall to align herself to it, no more no less. IMHO a thoroughly well researched work (104 interviews over four years!) which more than dies justice to its subject. Well worth investing in.

Offline dj

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Re: Shout, Sister, Shout!--Sister Rosetta Tharpe
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2007, 10:37:49 AM »
Thanks for the review, Bunker.  I've been going  back and forth over whether to buy the book or not.  I guess I'll put it on my "buy" list. 

Offline zoner

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Re: Shout, Sister, Shout!--Sister Rosetta Tharpe
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2007, 03:39:31 PM »
There's a youtube clip of her playing a Les Paul Custom with a full choir (sorry, don't have the link) that is killer!

Offline David Kaatz

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Re: Shout, Sister, Shout!--Sister Rosetta Tharpe
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2019, 05:43:00 PM »
Last night I attended Shout Sister Shout! at the Seattle Rep. It is a musical based on the book of the same title by Gayle Wald. It was written by Cheryl L. West and created by Cheryl and the director, Randy Johnson.
About 2:15 long, the show skims extremely lightly over SRT's life but of course hits some worthy highlights. The singing is great, especially the lead Carrie Compere and Carol Dennis who plays both SRT's mother Katie Bell and Mahalia Jackson. Also notable was Allison Semmes as Marie Knight.
The audience was included in most songs, as if we were at a gospel show. It was fun.
A live band provided excellent backup, and Compere did an excellent job of faking guitar playing. She had me fooled for the first couple tunes. Speaking of tunes, there is plenty of music in the show, 24 songs. Most are very familiar to fans of Black Gospel music.

The main thing I did not care for in the show, was a small inclusion of song and conversation with Little Richard. While it probably is true that SRT inspired LR to be a performer, after she invited him to join her on stage, it felt to me like a gratuitous way to include a gay friendly message into the show. SRT affirms to LR that there is a place for "people like you (and herself)" in show business. Mind you, I know and think that's a great message, but maybe there could have been a better way to include LR.

I would have liked to hear more about Marie Knight, or more duets with her. SRT's career revival in Europe was not mentioned at all. Her last marriage was portrayed as all business at the start, but loving and respectful at the end of her life.

Hopefully this will move to Broadway and become more widely seen. I recommend it.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Shout, Sister, Shout!--Sister Rosetta Tharpe
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2019, 12:59:53 PM »
Thanks for the review, Dave. The show has received a fair number of mentions in these parts, especially on KCTS where Enrique Cerna refers to her as Sister Rosetta Sharp(e). (I thought I was mishearing things--but nope.) I guess using artistic license to take liberties with her story goes part and parcel with the "based on the life of" approach. "A re-imagining" is another phrase that is often used.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe definitely had a musical influence on Little Richard. (He opened for her in 1947.) I don't know what her understanding of his sexuality was and if she was supportive during a time when being gay was not generally understood or accepted.

But be that as it may. If it's a high quality show and you enjoyed it, that's what counts. Hopefully I'll get a chance to see it before it leaves town and finds its place on Broadway.




 


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