Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Cousin Joe

Youtube is known for its mindless commenters below vids but on fine music, that tends to give way to knowledgeable devotees, as in this Dearieme offering this evening:

A background snippet:

In a radio interview, when Jimi Hendrix was asked what made him want to play guitar, he said “Oh, Man, I just wanted to play like Sister.” For years I thought he meant that he wanted to play like HIS sister. I think Chuck Berry stole her act (I am sure she did the Duck Walk first) and Little Richard and many others were clearly influenced by having seen her perform.

… and an anomaly:

First let me say I love this performance (I have the DVD). I do have a question though. That is Cousin Joe sitting at the piano at the beginning, but it is also Cousin Joe who gets up and goes to the carriage to escort Sister Rosetta to the stage (you can hear her say “Uncle Joe”). While this is happening somebody is playing the piano and it ain’t Cousin Joe. I know the credits list Cousin Joe as the piano player, but it seems there would have to be someone else on piano.

5 comments for “Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Cousin Joe

  1. September 14, 2010 at 19:54

    My God, this is fabulous. I’d never heard of her before. I’ve got a hour or two of YouTubing to do.

  2. JD
    September 14, 2010 at 22:17

    I think you might have heard of her Calum but possibly without realising it. That is who Robert Plant and Allison Kraus were singing about here-

  3. dearieme
    September 14, 2010 at 22:55
  4. September 15, 2010 at 07:05

    Thank you, dear sirs, for giving me two starters for my listening.

    Excellent both.

  5. September 16, 2010 at 18:47

    That is awesome! She even does the “bending your right elbow and lifting it behind your shoulder” during the gaps, like Keith Richards.

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