How Well Do You Know Sister Rosetta Tharpe? Test Your Knowledge With Our Pop Quiz

by Emily Rems

Often referred to as “The Godmother of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s unique blending of gospel music with electric guitar in the 1930s and ’40s influenced everyone from Elvis Presley to Little Richard to Johnny Cash. Want to get a crash course in Rosetta? Then take the quiz!

1. There is debate over whether Rosetta’s given name was Rosetta Nubin or Rosether Atkins when she was born on March 20, 1915, in ________

a. Lawrence, KS

b .Nutbush, TN

c. Cotton Plant, AR

d. Brooklyn, NY

2. A musical prodigy, Rosetta started singing and playing guitar beside her mother in a traveling evangelical troupe at age __.

a. 4

b. 6

c. 8

d. 10

3. The first gospel performer to record for a major label, Rosetta was signed to _____ in 1938 and was an instant hit.

a. Decca Records

b. Sun Records

c. Gennett Records

d. Columbia Records

4. Which of the following songs recorded by Rosetta did Elvis Presley later go on to record himself?

a. “Up Above My Head”

b. “Just a Closer Walk With Thee (This Train)”

c. “Down by the Riverside”

d. All of the Above

5. Complete the following Rosetta quote: “Can’t ____ play like me.”

a. nobody

b. nobody but God

c. no man

d. no other woman

Answer Key: 1.c, 2.b, 3.a, 4.d, 5.c


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