Tag Archives: Seattle Repertory Theater

Sister I Have Heard on High

With its recently completed run, Shout Sister Shout! blared a lesson in resilience, love, and personal pair we should all take note of. 

by Neve Mazique

Sister Rosetta Tharpe grew up in the Black Church. Which is to say, Sister Rosetta Tharpe grew up in music. The Church of God in Christ (COGIC), founded in 1894 by Charles Harrison Mason, was radical for its encouragement of rhythmic musical experimentation and expression in service of praising the Lord, as well as allowing women, such as Sister Rosetta’s mother, Katie Bell Nubin, to preach and sing in church. From the moment she began performing and touring with her mother in 1921, singing God’s praises and playing the guitar unreasonably well, to the day she died in 1973, Sister Rosetta Tharpe was a bonafide gospel artist. The fact that she has been dubbed the “Godmother of Rock n’ Roll”, as well as getting post-humously inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame, reveals the true nature of electric blues and rock n’ roll: you can’t be hardcore without belief in something, you can’t be a badass unless you have had to practice resilience. Or at least, that’s how the way gets paved. Continue reading Sister I Have Heard on High