Saturday Video Roundup: the sublime, the ridiculous and the big Finnish

Welcome to this week’s installment of the Scholars & Rogues SVR, which promises to start strong and then go downhill like a runaway shopping cart.

First up: If you’ve never heard or heard of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, educate yourself. This woman, a gospel legend who could play a mean blues guitar, inspired no less than Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Little Richard and countless others who are generally accorded rock pioneer status. She predated them all.

Next, here’s a perfrmance from Nicole Richie’s dad that may help explain why she was sent to the hoosegow the other day (although it doesn’t explain why the little tramp was turned loose after only 82 minutes).

We close with an exhibition that illustrates the evils of American cultural imperialism in a way that an army of university Marxist scholars could never hope to match.

Have a nice weekend, and Free Earl Hickey!

[Thx: Mike Sheehan for Sister Rosetta Tharpe item, Jennifer Angliss for the Lionel Richie tip, and no thanks at all to Staff Cartoonist Nick Langewis for inflicting the big Finnish on us…]


  • After I first heard Sister Rosetta for the first time in my teens, I could never forget her very stylish, upbeat, heartfelt vocals… nor her fast fingers. It’s a shame she’s been in the shadows for so long. She did great Christmas traditionals too, esp. “Silent Night.”

  • Love Sister Rosetta’s SG – and she plays so great….

    I am NEVER going to Finland…..

  • Neither is Sister Rosetta.

  • Thanks, Sam. I’d always heard about Sister Rosetta, but never seen or heard her. She’s smoking.

    Another long-lost Gospel star whose appeal crosses over into the secular is Dorothy Love Coates.

  • Say Russ, ever hear (of) or see ‘The Gospel of Colonus,’ esp. the original 1985 production that was filmed? An ingenious concept, one of Morgan Freeman’s finest performances, and music and singing that may prove heaven exists. Why Jevetta Steele didn’t become a superstar is beyond me.

    Utterly mindblowing, profoundly moving, and sadly obscure. Some clips are here, enjoy. And get the original cast recording if you can find it on eBay, since it’s out of print.

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