In this clip from 1960, Sister Rosetta Tharpe performs ‘This Little Light of Mine’ live on stage at the first Festival de Jazz d’Antibes Juan-les-Pins in France. According to the video notes, she’s accompanied by clarinetist Ian Wheeler and trumpeter Ken Sims.
Fans know “This Little Light of Mine” as a beloved children’s tune, recognized around the world. But it’s also a spiritual, which was transformed by the nation’s civil rights movement into an anthem of singular power. And the song has the same impact in today’s times, where demonstrators still leverage its message to push back against injustice.
Next, watch Didn’t It Rain: Sister Rosetta Tharpe Live in Manchester (1964) and Ain’t Got No, I Got Life – Nina Simone plays live in London.
Related listening with All Things Considered on NPR: ‘This Little Light Of Mine’ Shines On, A Timeless Tool Of Resistance.
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