Many people have received credit for inventing rock and roll. Elvis Presley was referred to as the “King of Rock and Roll.” Chuck Berry was the “Father of Rock and Roll.” Alan Freed coined the term “rock and roll.” But did you know that rock and roll also has a godmother?

In the 1930s and ’40s, Sister Rosetta Tharpe was one of the first people to combine gospel music with melody-driven urban blues, traditional folk, and a unique pulsating swing style. Today, Tharpe’s musical style is considered one of the first definite precursors of rock and roll. Many music legends, including Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Johnny Cash, and Chuck Berry were influenced by Tharpe’s unique musical style, yet somehow her name is often left out when people talk about the history of rock and roll.