ELVIS, LITTLE RICHARD, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash—none of their music would’ve been possible without the pioneering work of Sister Rosetta Tharpe. The Cotton Plant-born musician who became known as “The Godmother of Rock and Roll” made waves in the ’40s and ’50s with her dynamic electric-guitar skills and by infusing her gospel roots with secular styles like blues and jazz. And now, some 70 years later, The Godmother might finally take her rightful place alongside her many disciples in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Artists are deemed eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first commercial recording. Of the 19 acts nominated this year (including the likes of Bon Jovi, LL Cool J and Radiohead), five will be inducted as the Class of 2018 based on ballots from over 900 historians, members of the music industry and artists—including every living Rock Hall inductee. Fans can weigh in too, but you better hurry! Voting closes Dec. 5. (rockhall.com)
Unfamiliar, with Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s work? (First of all, shame on you.) Fortunately, you can get up to speed with this playlist curated by the Hall of Fame.