Black History Month 2024: Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s Performance, ‘Didn’t it Rain’

February 15, 2024 | by Wong Fleming

During this Black History Month, we acknowledge Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s profound influence on music—an often overlooked voice that inspired many notable musicians of rock and roll.

Have you ever listened to “Didn’t it Rain”? One of Sister Rosette Tharpe’s most iconic performances, “Didn’t it Rain,” stands as a testament to not only her incredible talent but her ability to harness the power of music to deliver a profound message.

About Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Born in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, Little Rosetta Nubin, as she was then known, accompanied her mother as a regular performer in a traveling evangelist troupe in churches across the South, and was cited as a musical prodigy. Settling in Chicago in the mid-1920s, Sister Tharpe’s exceptional talent gained her considerable fame in an era where prominent black female guitarists were rare. At the age of 19, she married Church Of God In Christ preacher Thomas Thorpe, adopting a version of his surname as her stage name, Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Despite several marriages, she continued to perform as Rosetta Tharpe for the rest of her life. Sister Tharpe’s dedication to her craft and influence on many early rock and roll musicians like Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley made her an inspirational figure, earning her a well-deserved place in the records of Black history.

Deservingly inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, Sister Rosetta Tharpe was a remarkable guitar player and gospel and blues singer celebrated for her pioneering music which laid the groundwork for rock and roll ahead of its time.

As we celebrate Black History Month, let us pay homage to Sister Rosette Tharpe, a bold artist who fearlessly reshaped rock and roll with authenticity, grace, and talent that remains unmatched.