Lucky Millender Orchestra and Sister Rosette Tharpe – Lonesome Road

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Lucius Venable “Lucky” Millinder (August 8, 1910 – September 28, 1966) was an American rhythm-and-blues and swing bandleader. Although he could not read or write music, did not play an instrument and rarely sang, his showmanship and musical taste made his bands successful. His group was said to have been the greatest big band to play rhythm and blues, and gave work to a number of musicians who later became influential at the dawn of the rock and roll era. He was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in 1986.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe (March 20, 1915 – October 9, 1973) was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and recording artist. She attained popularity in the 1930s and 1940s with her gospel recordings, characterized by a unique mixture of spiritual lyrics and rhythmic accompaniment that was a precursor of rock and roll. She was the first great recording star of gospel music and among the first gospel musicians to appeal to rhythm-and-blues and rock-and-roll audiences, later being referred to as “the original soul sister” and “the Godmother of rock and roll”.[1][2][3][4] She influenced early rock-and-roll musicians, including Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis.


  • Lucky Millender – bandleader
  • Sister Rosetta Tharpe – vocals
  • Archie Johnson, William Scott, Nelson Bryant – trumpet
  • Floyd Brady, George Stevenson, Edward Morant – trombone
  • George James, Ernest Purce, Pazzuza Simon, Ted Barnett – reeds
  • Bill Doggett – piano
  • Trevor Bacon – guitar
  • Abe Bolar – bass
  • Panama Francis – drums

Recorded: New York, 1941