The power of music in our lives : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

On another thread we talked about christmas carols and artists, and boy did the memories flow. So, let's talk about some of our favorite artists and the affect they had on our lives. Mahalia Jackson was one of those artists that had a tremendous impact on my youth. Her voice was so powerful, and she was so respected. Being born in the early fifties, (though I am not as old as my brother Bill;-) Mahalia Jackson was a hero for us as Black people. Even those who did not go to church listened to Mahalia Jackson. And often times at parties, when people got drunk and wild. Someone would play Mahalia Jackson and things would get peaceful again. What are your thoughts?

-- Anonymous, December 26, 2001


Oh, how well do I remember those days in my granny's living room where we had the privilege of listening to those old 78 records of Mahalia Jackson or Rosetta Thorpe.

My granny had three sisters and a brother whom the blessed me to be able to listen to and learn from. All of them loved to sing. One of them loved Rosetta Thorpe's "Strange things happening everyday". Those words are just as true today.

But when granny would strike up (begin singing) "Move on Up a Little Higher" by Mahalia Jackson - I can hear her now when she got to the part about - going sightseeing in glory - she was strutting then. Oh! what a time!!

-- Anonymous, December 28, 2001

I am not familiar with rosetta thorpe, could you please tell me about her.

-- Anonymous, December 28, 2001

I don't know much about Sister Tharpe. However, she sings one of my favorites "Precious Memories." Her version is the bomb.

-- Anonymous, December 28, 2001

Who was Rosetta Thorpe(Tharpe)?

As I have stated in previous posts, my preference has always been for major classical works, hymns, anthems and spirituals. Thus, I have never really participated in the singing of Gospel Music. However, I have always recognized and collected recordings of great artists of every musical form that I could. I also collected their biographies. ["Lest We Forget"]. Among these are Gospel artists such as Mahalia Jackson, Marie Knight, The Gospel Harmonettes, Clara Ward, and Sister Rosetta Thorpe (Following her divorce from Reverend Thorpe, an Elder in the Holiness Church, she changed the spelling to Tharpe.)

Rosetta Tharpe was among the earliest pioneers of Gospel Music-- actually a forerunner of the Gospel Movement. She grew up in the Holiness Church (I believe the COGIC). She began a singing career at a very early age and was often accompanied by her mother playing the mandolin. She performed tunes of the Holiness Church--not widely know in other circles.

She later developed her own style and accompanied herself on the guitar. Consequently she was the first to record Gospel Music on a major label and the first to tour the US and Europe with Gospel Concerts. When the Gospel Movement finally took off she embraced the blue/jazz/swing idiom. She adopted a flamboyant dress style and began performing in theaters, clubs, and on radio. She also performed with such greats as Muddy Waters and Cab Calloway. This allowed her to be popular until she died--with a career spanning more than fifty years. However it created a breach between her and the church which never healed. Hence, the phrase so often repeated in the churches at that time (even the COGIC), "Don't bring that 'devil music' in here".

-- Anonymous, December 29, 2001

Bro. Matthews, thank you for the correction in the name. You're correct, she did change the spelling to Tharpe. As I said, in my earlier post, my granny's sister, played guitar and sang many of Sis. Tharpe's songs.

Your history of her early life is right on.

My mom (who was a domestic) wanted my sister and I to appreciate books and music. So, what she heard at her employers' homes she'd bring that information home to us. At an early age, I was turned onto opera, country music, the big band sound, jazz, and of course, you heard and sang hymns. When my mom was able to, she sent me to a music teacher who trained voices, as well. I will never forget the first time my sister heard me sing "Ave Maria" in Latin. She went around telling everybody I was an opera singer. We laugh about that today.

Continue to keep us informed of the beauty of the classics.

-- Anonymous, January 02, 2002

My, My My, some of you are almost as old as I am. mAs a boy I remember Sis Rossetta. She was famous when I was a lad. As all of us have problems, she had hers also. She occassionally would sing a little Blues when Gospel was not going well, but she always returned to her roots.

I'm not sure but she may be Texan.

Precious memories (smile). Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, January 02, 2002

My Brothers and Sisters.

In reading my post don't forget that I have said Sister Rosetta was a CLASSIC. She single-handedly built a form of music that did not exist before her time. There virtually was NO "Gospel Music" when she began. The Gospel Movement came later. She also was the first to sing it in Europe and recorded it on a major record label. She did so even when the church frowned on Gospel Music.

I have her albums in my own collection and I still listen to them. Notice I also said, "LEST WE FORGET."

Unfortunately now-a-days, we neither KNOW nor TELL our children the story, so how can they know from whence we have come or the many wonderful things we have done?

Sorry Brother Paris, Sister Rosetta was not a Texan. She was from Chicago, New York and Philadelphia, by way of Cotton Plant, Arkansas where she was born.

-- Anonymous, January 02, 2002

Robert I am working on plans for programs for Black History Month, that my human rights organization will sponsor. I am going to include Rosetta Tharpe, in the program. Do you have any other suggestions. And pastor Paris, you recently had your birthday, and all of us on this board know you are only 24;-)

-- Anonymous, January 02, 2002

I just can't stay out of this discussion! I have often wondered what happened to Sister Rosetta Tharpe. She was indeed a classic artist. She and her guitar told many a story with a moral. Please give information as to the rest of her life and how spent. "While sitting at home... talking to the Lord.. She sang... "Don't take everybody to be your friend." "And that's all..."

-- Anonymous, January 02, 2002

Pastor Paris, I'm not quite there yet.

I just can remember my granny and her sisters singing those old songs. My sister and I spent time together last weekend discussing what we could remember about Rosetta Tharpe and others like: the CBS Trumpeteers and Ethel Waters. Thanks Brother Robert.

-- Anonymous, January 02, 2002

Oh yes, I forgot her classic: "Now you can go to the college and you can go to the school, but if you haven't got religion you're an educated fool... And that's all!"

-- Anonymous, January 02, 2002


-- Anonymous, October 07, 2002

Pastor Denise,

I grew up listening to the Clara Ward Singers, The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, Volinaires (sp)--mostly quartets. I don't really have a favorite, but still listen to William Brothers, Lee Williams and Highway QC's (I've Learned to Lean). Now I am really showing my age;- )


-- Anonymous, October 08, 2002

Brenda, I went to see Lee Williams last Wednesday. That's my boy. "Cooling Water".


-- Anonymous, October 08, 2002


I know you enjoyed him. I like Cooling Water as well.


-- Anonymous, October 08, 2002

Classic Quartet gospel music will soon be extinct. The current generation of gospel singers and fans have very little historical appreciation for the Jackson Southernaires, Might Clouds of Joy, Gospel Keynotes, Gospel Caravans, Soul Stirrers, etc. The Gospel Caravans read like a virtual Who's Who among Gospel Divas. At one time this group was comprised of Shirley Ceasar, Albertina Walker and Inez Andrews. I challenge anyone to come up with a gospel group equivalent to these artists. Their pianist was a young unknown musician who subsequently revolutionized gospel music, Rev. James Cleveland. The Soul Stirrers produced in addition to the legendary Sam Cooke, Jhonnie Taylor and I think Lou Rawls. Nobody, and I mean nobody sings "Nearer My God to Thee" like Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers. Just thinking about that classic as I type makes me want to get "my step in" right now!! I can't read music but I do know how to shout for joy!! QED

-- Anonymous, October 08, 2002

Thanks the words of Shoutin' John (Shirley Ceasar) "somebody need to hold my mule, cause I think I'll dance right here."

-- Anonymous, October 09, 2002

Morning All!

Click on the selection of your choice. Enjoy

-- Anonymous, October 09, 2002

If memory serves, Lou Rawls may have been in the Pilgrim Travelers. I'll check when I get home.

-- Anonymous, October 09, 2002

I am trying to find the lyrics to All Night, All day, the angels keep watching over me... I thought the song was recorded by Sister Rosetta Thorpe. Please help me asap. need to sing it Wednesday, 5th, 2003

-- Anonymous, February 03, 2003

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