Shout, sister, shout

Are you like me – do you love the music of Sister Rosetta Tharpe? And are you also a fan of Rosanne Cash?

Well, if you are, here's something you need to see: a new essay by Cash about Tharpe. "She traveled the world and left it scorched with her fearlessness and musical originality...." Yes, she did.


  1. She never has really gotten her due. A southern black woman in the 50's and 60's wailing with both ferocity and class on a distorted Gibson SG was revolutionary on so many levels.

  2. How about that Telecaster lying in the rocking chair? Given the history of it that could be a 2-million dollar guitar.

    1. I thought I'd vouch for that number a little since it does sound high. For example, Jimi Hendrix's Strat from Woodstock apparently sold for 2 million but that was a while ago. You get the right rich collector and I could see Rosetta Tharpe's Telecaster fetching 2 million.

      For one thing, she probably had far fewer guitars throughout her career than Clapton, etc.. Paul Allen would have been a possible buyer. Paul paid the 2 million for Jimi's Strat from Woodstock back in 1998 and these things seem to appreciate fast. It's like vintage cars or the art world: The high end is always a little shocking.

      We know Pete Townsend pretty much destroyed a guitar at every concert but I read that because it was Pete Townsend, the guitars were worth more once he destroyed them. So it's hard to factor in the price of history. However, a 1958-59 Gibson Explorer just by itself can be worth $310,000 so a Tele that belonged to Rosetta Tharpe? If you could establish the provenance, I could see it being worth 2 million easy.

    2. I didn't even notice that! Great observations all the way around...


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