Today is the third day of Black History Month. Over the course of the month, I’ll spend some time paying tribute to Black artists across a wide and diverse array of genres and styles. My hope is that these posts should serve as an important reminder that the Black experience is the American experience, that Black culture is American culture — and importantly, Black lives and Black art matter. You can’t love Black art and Black artists without giving a shit about Black people.
This month won’t be a comprehensive study of Black music. It’ll be more idiosyncratic because — well, JOVM after all. Now, if you’ve been following this site, you may recall that so far I’ve paid tribute to Chaka Khan, the Reverend Al Green, The Whispers, and Rick James, Aretha Franklin, and Sylvester.
I have to pay my proper respects to the godmother of rock ‘n’ roll, the Queen of gospel and the blues, Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Her work was an influence to Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, Elvis, and countless others.