The Gospel of the Blues

The Gospel of the Blues

by Sister Rosetta TharpeSister Rosetta Tharpe


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With 18 Decca tracks from 1938-1948, this CD is not only a good survey of some of Tharpe's best work, but one of the best compilations of any sort to illustrate gospel's crossover into blues, R&B, and secular music in general. Admittedly that's not the busiest cross-fertilization of popular music, but it's not one that's given much attention. And if you think you might not like this because Tharpe is sometimes described as a gospel artist, think again, for this is fine stuff on any terms, mixing the devotional exuberance of gospel with first-rate accompaniment blending blues, early R&B, and at times some swing jazz. In truth, sometimes you won't think of this as gospel at all, such is its rhythmic verve, even on the half-dozen numbers with nothing but guitar in the backup. Some other tracks find her backed by the groups of Lucky Millinder and Sammy Price, and the jubilant "Shout, Sister, Shout!" comes off as a missing link between gospel, jazz, blues, and the birth of rock & roll. "Trouble in Mind," "This Train," "Down by the Riverside," and "Up Above My Head I Hear Music in the Air" are other highlights of a set with no shortage of them.

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Product Details

Release Date: 09/16/2003
Label: Mca
UPC: 0602498001363
catalogNumber: 000053302
Rank: 3205


  1. My Man and I
  2. This Train
  3. Sit Down
  4. Trouble in Mind
  5. Shout, Sister, Shout!
  6. Rock Me
  7. Nobody's Fault But Mine
  8. I Want a Tall Skinny Papa
  9. God Don't Like It
  10. What Is the Soul of Man?
  11. Singing in My Soul
  12. Strange Things Happen Everyday
  13. Two Little Fishes and Five Loaves of Bread
  14. Jonah
  15. Didn't It Rain
  16. The Natural Facts
  17. Down by the Riverside
  18. Up Above My Head, There's Music in the Air

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sister Rosetta Tharpe   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Bill Doggett   Piano
Buster Bailey   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Walter Bishop   Drums
Lucky Millinder   Leader
Don Cole   Trombone
Sammy Price   Piano
Freddy Webster   Trumpet
George Duvivier   Bass
Abe Bolar   Bass
Floyd Brady   Trombone
Joe Britton   Trombone
Kenny Clarke   Drums
Pops Foster   Bass
Panama Francis   Drums
Clyde Hart   Piano
George James   Alto Saxophone
Archie Johnson   Trumpet
Ernest Purce   Baritone Saxophone
Eli Robinson   Trombone
William Scott   Trumpet
Stafford Simon   Tenor Saxophone
Harold "Doc" West   Drums
Herbert Cowans   Drums
George Stevenson   Trombone
Billy Taylor   Bass
Trevor Bacon   Guitar
Nelson Bryant   Trumpet
Ted Barrett   Alto Saxophone
Benny Moten   Bass
Billy Bowen   Alto Saxophone
Edward Morant   Trombone
Ed Bourne   Drums

Technical Credits

Big Bill Broonzy   Composer
Bunk Johnson   Composer
Lucky Millinder   Composer
Richard M. Jones   Composer
Mary Katherine Aldin   Liner Notes
Andy McKaie   Producer
Muddy Waters   Composer
Sister Rosetta Tharpe   Arranger,Composer
Clarence Williams   Composer
Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey   Composer
Bernie Hanighen   Composer
Vartan   Art Direction
Traditional   Composer
Dependable Boys   Vocal Group

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