Meet the Godmother of Rock N’ Roll at New Detroit Public Theatre Play


Photo via Detroit Public Theatre

Sister Rosetta Tharpe is often referred to as the “godmother of rock n’ roll” because her gospel recordings from the 1930s and 1940s carried such a swagger in an era that actually predated artists such as Little Richard and Chuck Berry. 

Marie and Rosetta,” a new play produced by the Detroit Public Theatre, highlights Tharpe’s life and her influence on the genre as well her relationship with a young protogé Marie Knight

Courtney Burkett is one of the founding members of the Detroit Public Theatre. She is also the director of the play. Burkett speaks with WDET’s Ryan Patrick Hooper about the “Marie and Rosetta.”

It’s really a story about sisterhood,” says Burkett. “Particularly it’s about two really amazing historical women who we as a culture don’t know enough about.” 

Click on the audio player above for the full conversation. 

Image credit: Photo via Detroit Public Theatre

Aired on: CultureShift
About the Author

Ryan Patrick Hooper

Host, CultureShift

Ryan Patrick Hooper has worked as an arts and culture journalist in Detroit for over a decade.   Follow @hoopingtonpost

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