Sister Rosetta Tharpe Marker
NOTE: While Cotton Plant is technically in Woodruff County, it is just barely across the line from Monroe County and near Brinkley, so we include it as part of our Arkansas Delta Music Trail: Sounds from the Soil and Soul and our African American Heritage Trail.
The marker honoring Sister Rosetta Tharpe is directly acrosss from the Cotton Plant Historical Museum. Sister Rosetta, born in 1921 in Cotton Plant, learned to sing and play guitar from her mother, Katie Bell Nubin, a traveling Holiness Church evangelist. She performed both gospel and secular music. In 1938 she signed with Decca Records, making her the first gospel artist to sign with a major label. Over the years, the accomplished guitarist and vocalist also performed with blues artists such as Muddy Waters and Louis Jordan, and jazz groups such as the Cab Calloway Revue. She became known as “the godmother of rock ‘n’ roll.” Tharpe died in Philadelphia in 1973.