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Sister Rosetta Tharpe was the first black gospel music star of the 1930’s. Born Rosetta Nubin Tharpe in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, she was the first gospel artist to record for a major label and the first to cross to secular music. Tharpe started performing “Jesus is on the Main Line” at age four before touring with her mother. She left an impression with fans of her music because she had mastered the guitar. Not many black women played the guitar back then.

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