The Phono Project

Exploring the history of the groove

“That’s All” by Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Before Elvis became “The King”, there was “The Godmother of Rock and Roll”, Sister Rosetta Tharpe. She got her start in the 1930s with a combination of lively performances and masterful guitar playing. Although she inspired artists like Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, and the king himself, she is incredibly undervalued for her place in music history.

“That’s All” is a track that perfectly embodies the vivacious spirit that made her so iconic. It’s a fearless diss that calls out all the preachers involved in the church just for money. However, she didn’t always have the opportunity to speak her mind. Because of segregation, she was often not allowed to enter the restaurants and hotels in the cities she played even though she was a celebrated public figure. Earlier in 2018, over forty years after her death, she finally got the recognition she deserved by being inducted into the Rock & Roll hall of Fame.

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