Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

Didn’t It Rain: Sister Rosetta Tharpe Live in Manchester (1964)

Watch more with these video collections:

Playing her electric guitar under the eaves of an abandoned train station in rainy Manchester, England, Sister Rosetta Tharpe performed Didn’t It Rain.

An American singer, songwriter, and The Godmother of Rock & Roll, Tharpe’s performance was one of many on a 1964 Blues and Gospel Train tour through Europe that also included the great Muddy Waters. Her slightly impromptu performance was a standout for many who watched on 7 May, 1964. From the BBC.com, a memory from TV producer Johnnie Hamp:

The station was dressed up to look like one from the American South, but typically for Manchester, the weather did not echo that area’s dustbowl conditions. Shortly after the train which carried the audience the few miles south from Manchester’s city centre pulled in, a storm lashed the station.

Mr. Hamp says the downpour would have been his worst memory of the show had it not led to his best. “Sister Rosetta came to me and asked if she could change her opening number to Didn’t It Rain?,” he said. “When she strapped on her guitar, it was astounding.”

sister rosetta tharpe
You can find her performance on the American Folk-Blues Festival: The British Tours 1963-1966 DVD or as an MP3 single. Her musical performances influenced Bob Dylan, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and many other musicians.

Related watching: Etta James: Something’s Got a Hold On Me.

via Brainpickings.

Updated video.

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Billy Preston with Ray Charles: Agent Double O Soul (1967)

Rion Nakaya

The brilliant Lindy Hopping of Al Minns and Leon James

Rion Nakaya

Judy Garland sings Over the Rainbow for U.S. troops (1943)

Rion Nakaya

Learn how to play the blues on the harmonica

Rion Nakaya

Tito Puente performs A Maria Cervantes on the vibraphone (1945)

Rion Nakaya

Playing a guitar with four hands

Rion Nakaya

B.B. King, live on stage in Stockholm (1974)

Rion Nakaya

Joni Mitchell performs The Circle Game (1968)

Rion Nakaya

Aretha Franklin sings Won’t Be Long (1964)

Rion Nakaya