On Saturday, I posted a video on the history of the guitar solo. On Sunday, a reader email came in reminding me that, as is all too common of historical reviews, this one left out half of the human race. I did note upon first watching it that it omitted one of the best rock guitarists of the 70s and 80s — Nancy Wilson of Heart — but had not realized that it also left out a woman who is often credited with not only originating the guitar solo, but also influencing the entire genre of rock. Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley both admired her and were tremendously influenced by her skill at “picking.” Her name was Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
Here’s part of a BBC documentary on her life. Check out the guitar solo from 1:45–2:15.
Hat tip to Mary Robertson.