Meet the Mother of Rock n' Roll, Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Publicity photo of American musician Sister Rosetta Tharpe posed with a guitar in 1938.

Who do we really have to thank for Rock n' Roll? Nope, not Elvis. Not Buddy Holly. Not even Alan Freed. That long overdue honor belongs to a queer black woman who shredded the guitar and bared her soul to break the color line and create a brand new sound. Meet Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Born to religious singers, Rosetta was surrounded by music growing up. She picked up a guitar at only 4 years old, and by 6 she was travelling alongside her mother for evangelical performances around the South. As she got older, she began merging Delta blues with New Orleans jazz and gospel music that would become her signature sound. A sound we've come to love and thrust our hips to. The sound of Rock n' Roll.

Though a gospel singer at heart, Rosetta broke new ground and gained fame by creating a unique mix of spiritual lyrics and electric guitar, using heavy distortion that would later become electric blues (that's two genres of music she helped create). By 1930 she was the world's first great gospel star, and by 1950 she was performing in sold out stadiums.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Up Above My Head on Gospel Time TV showwww.youtube.com

Rosetta broke the norm in every way. Her lyrics openly flirted with images of love and sexuality, leaving her gospel listeners speechless, yet loyal. In 1940, she began to collaborate, tour, and perform with her partner Marie Knight, a truly radical act. But with a voice rang with conviction, confidence, and charisma, she was able to transcend the times in unabashed authenticity.

In a white male dominated industry, Rosetta had to maintain her grit and remain fearless. She succeeded at both. In fact, to hear her tell the story, "can't no man play like me." This self assurance led to her influencing the likes of Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, and Elvis Presley, and many, many more. To quote Chuck Berry, another one of her creative descendants, "my whole career is one long Sister Rosetta Tharpe impersonation." All it takes is one listen to "The Lord Followed Me" to recognize Chuck's musical debt to her.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - The Lord Followed Mewww.youtube.com

Although she helped forge a new path for music, Tharpe has been almost criminally overlooked. Her belated induction into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame didn't come until 2018, with a masterful celebratory performance by Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes.

2018 Induction Ceremony Sister Rosetta Tharpe Tribute "That's All"www.youtube.com

May we all start to celebrate this hymn swingin, guitar slinging trailblazer with unmatched stage presence and revolutionary artistic contribution.


1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18

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She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

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Making a priceless memory

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Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

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