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Little Richard

One of the original rock & roll greats, Little Richard merged the fire of gospel with New Orleans R&B, pounding the piano and wailing with gleeful abandon. While numerous other R&B greats of the early '50s had been moving in a similar direction, none of them matched the sheer electricity of Richard's vocals. With his bullet-speed deliveries, ecstatic trills, and the overjoyed force of personality in his singing, he was crucial in upping the voltage from high-powered R&B into the similar, yet different, guise of rock & roll. Although he was only a hitmaker for a couple of years or so, his influence upon both the soul and British Invasion stars of the 1960s was vast, and his early hits remain core classics of the rock repertoire.

Heavily steeped in gospel music while growing up in Georgia, when Little Richard began recording in the early '50s he played unexceptional jump blues/R&B that owed a lot to his early inspirations Billy Wright and Roy Brown. In 1955, at Lloyd Price's suggestion, Richard sent a demo tape to Specialty Records, who were impressed enough to sign him and arrange a session for him in New Orleans. That session, however, didn't get off the ground until Richard began fooling around with a slightly obscene ditty during a break. With slightly cleaned-up lyrics, "Tutti Frutti" was the record that gave birth to Little Richard as he is now known -- the gleeful "woo!"s, the furious piano playing, the sax-driven, pedal-to-the-metal rhythm section. It was also his first hit, although, ridiculous as it now seems, Pat Boone's cover version outdid Richard's on the hit parade.

Boone would also try to cover Richard's next hit, "Long Tall Sally," but by that time it was evident that audiences black and white much preferred the real deal. In 1956 and 1957, Richard reeled off a string of classic hits -- "Long Tall Sally," "Slippin' and "Slidin'," "Jenny, Jenny," "Keep a Knockin'," "Good Golly, Miss Molly," "The Girl Can't Help It" -- that remain the foundation of his fame. While Richard's inimitable mania was the key to his best records, he also owed a lot of his success to the gutsy playing of ace New Orleans session players like Lee Allen (tenor sax), Alvin Tyler (baritone sax), and especially Earl Palmer (drummer), who usually accompanied the singer in both New Orleans and Los Angeles studios. Richard's unforgettable appearances in early rock & roll movies, especially The Girl Can't Help It, also did a lot to spread the rock & roll gospel to the masses.

Richard was at the height of his commercial and artistic powers when he suddenly quit the business during an Australian tour in late 1957, enrolling in a Bible college in Alabama shortly after returning to the States. Richard had actually been feeling the call of religion for a while before his announcement, but it was nonetheless a shock to both his fans and the music industry. Specialty drew on unreleased sessions for a few more hard-rocking singles in the late '50s, but Richard virtually vanished from the public eye for a few years. When he did return to recording, it was as a gospel singer, cutting a few little-heard sacred sides for End, Mercury, and Atlantic in the early '60s.

By 1962, though, Richard had returned to rock & roll, touring Britain to an enthusiastic reception. Among the groups that supported him on those jaunts were the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, whose vocals (Paul McCartney's especially) took a lot of inspiration from Richard's. In 1964, the Beatles cut a knockout version of "Long Tall Sally," with McCartney on lead, that may have even outdone the original. It's been speculated that the success of the Beatles, and other British Invaders who idolized Richard, finally prompted the singer into making a full-scale comeback as an unapologetic rock & roller. Hooking up with Specialty once again, he had a small hit in 1964 with "Bama Lama Bama Loo." These and other sides were respectable efforts in the mold of his classic '50s sides, but tastes had changed too much for Richard to climb the charts again. He spent the rest of the '60s in a continual unsuccessful comeback, recording for Vee-Jay (accompanied on some sides by Jimi Hendrix, who was briefly in Richard's band), OKeh, and Modern (for whom he even tried recording in Memphis with Stax session musicians).

It was the rock & roll revival of the late '60s and early '70s, though, that really saved Richard's career, enabling him to play on the nostalgia circuit with great success (though he had a small hit, "Freedom Blues," in 1970). He had always been a flamboyant performer, brandishing a six-inch pompadour and mascara, and constant entertaining appearances on television talk shows seemed to ensure his continuing success as a living legend. Yet by the late '70s, he'd returned to the church again. Somewhat predictably, he eased back into rock and show business by the mid-'80s. Since then, he's maintained his profile with a role in Down and Out in Beverly Hills (the movie's soundtrack also returned him to the charts, this time with "Great Gosh a-Mighty") and guest appearances on soundtracks, compilations, and children's rock records. At this point it's safe to assume that he never will get that much-hungered-for comeback hit, but he remains one of rock & roll's most colorful icons, still capable of turning on the charm and charisma in his infrequent appearances in the limelight. ~ Richie Unterberger
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Very Best Of Little Richard

1. Tutti Frutti

2. Long Tall Sally

3. Good Golly Miss Molly

5. Rip It Up

6. Ready Teddy

7. Heeby-Jeebies

8. She's Got It

9. The Girl Can't Help It

10. All Around The World

11. Lucille

12. Send Me Some Lovin'

13. Jenny Jenny

14. Miss Ann

15. Keep A-Knockin'

16. Ooh! My Soul

17. True Fine Mama

18. Baby Face

19. Medley: Kansas City/ Hey Hey Hey Hey

20. By The Light Of The Silvery Moon

21. Bama Lama Bama Loo

x

Track List: 20 Greatest Hits

1. Long Tall Sally

2. Lucille

3. Send Me Some Lovin'

4. Rip It Up

5. Can't Believe You Wanna Leave

6. Tutti-Frutti

7. Jenny, Jenny

8. By The Light Of The Silvery Moon

9. Good Golly, Miss Molly

10. All Around The World

11. True, Fine Mama

12. Ready Teddy

13. Miss Ann

14. Slippin' And Slidin'

15. Keep A Knockin'

16. She's Got It

17. Ooh! My Soul

18. Bama Lama Bama Loo

19. Baby Face

20. Girl Can't Help It

x

Track List: The King Of Rock 'N' Roll

1. Long Tall Sally

2. Lucille

3. Keep A Knockin'

4. Jenny, Jenny

5. Tutti Frutti

6. Rip It Up (Live)

7. The Girl Can't Help It

8. Good Golly Miss Molly

9. Baby Face

10. Cherry Red

11. Groovy Little Suzy

12. Money Honey

13. Send Me Some Lovin'

14. Hound Dog

x

Track List: Peacock Gospel Classics - God Is Real

1. Every Time I Feel The Spirit

2. Does Jesus Care

3. Coming Home

4. God Is Real Yes, God Is Real

5. I'm Trampin'

6. Milky White Way

7. Just A Closer Walk With Thee

8. Precious Lord, Take My Hand

9. I Want Jesus To Walk With Me

10. Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley

x

Track List: The Best Of Little Richard

2. Long Tall Sally

5. Ready Teddy

6. Keep A Knockin'

7. Jenny, Jenny

8. Lucille

9. Good Golly Miss Molly

10. Ooh! My Soul

x

Track List: The Preacher King Of Rock'n' Roll

1. Long Tall Sally

2. Lucille

3. Keep A Knockin'

4. Jenny Jenny

5. Tutti Frutti

6. Rip It Up

7. The Girl Can't Help It

8. Good Golly Miss Molly

9. Baby Face

10. Cherry Red

11. Groovy Little Suzy

12. Money Honey

13. Without Love

14. Talkin' Bout Soul

15. Send Me Some Lovin'

16. Hound Dog

x

Track List: The Georgia Peach

1. Tutti Frutti

2. Baby

3. I'm Just A Lonely Guy

4. True Fine Mama

5. Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey

6. Slippin' And Slidin' (Peepin' And Hidin')

7. Long Tall Sally

8. Miss Ann

9. Oh Why?

10. Ready Teddy

11. Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey

12. Rip It Up (The Georgia Peach)

13. Lucille

14. Heeby-Jeebies

15. Can't Believe You Wanna Leave

16. Shake A Hand

17. All Around The World

18. She's Got It

19. Jenny Jenny

20. Good Golly Miss Molly

21. The Girl Can't Help It

22. Send Me Some Lovin'

23. Ooh! My Soul

24. Keep A Knockin'

25. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

x

Track List: Here's Little Richard

1. Tutti Frutti

2. True, Fine Mama

3. Can't Believe You Wanna Leave

4. Ready Teddy

5. Baby

6. Slippin' And Slidin' (Peepin' And Hidin')

7. Long Tall Sally

8. Miss Ann

9. Oh Why?

10. Rip It Up

11. Jenny Jenny

12. She's Got It

x

Track List: Send Me Some Lovin'

Disc 1

1. Every Hour

3. Taxi Blues

5. Ain't Nothin' Happenin'

7. Why Did You Leave Me?

9. Get Rich Quick

11. Thinkin' About My Mother

13. I Brought It All On Myself

15. Please Have Mercy On Me

17. Ain't That Good News

19. Fool At The Wheel

21. Always

23. Rice, Red Beans And Turnip Greens

31. I'm Just A Lonely Guy

33. Tutti Frutti

35. Directly From My Heart

37. Little Richard Boogie

39. Long Tall Sally

41. Slippin' And Slidin'

43. Ready Teddy

Disc 2

1. Rip It Up

2. Heebie Jeebies

3. She's Got It

4. All Around The World

5. The Girl Can't Help It

6. I Love My Baby

7. Maybe I'm Right

8. Lucille

9. Send Me Some Lovin'

10. Jenny, Jenny

11. Miss Ann

13. Can't Believe You Wanna Leave

14. Baby

15. Good Golly Miss Molly

16. Hey-Hey-Hey Hey! (Goin' Back To Birmingham)

17. True Fine Mama

18. Ooh My Soul

19. I'll Never Let You Go (Boo Hoo Hoo Hoo)

20. Baby Face

21. Early One Morning

22. She Knows How To Rock

Comments

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Ready to rock n roll
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I play Little Richard because my DOG likes to sing along with him - very funny!
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Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. However if you don't post this you will be injured(but won't die) in two days now you started reading this so don't stop. Post this on at least five other songs in the next 143 minutes when your done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen with big letter this is so scary because it actually works
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he was just greatest.
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Ya long tall sally
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Long tall sally
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I like that kind of the music
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love it
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SO
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lch44666
Nm. Mm
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Eeh I like chuck berry better and I'm 12!
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Little Richard and Chuck Berry the best of this genre
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Little Richard is a one of a kind person that made rock and roll what it is today but still don't get his props from the music industry but I know that the world know that MR Little Richard is truly the king of rock and roll and he know this to but he is more humble than people realize thank you MR Little Richard for all the happiness you have given to me and the world and other rock stars that want to be like you
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Oh
Hell
Yeah
Rock
On
Word
Good
Song
By
Little
Richard
Wooo.
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mimi.bourgoi n
The last farewell
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The inventor of crunk music
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As Little Richard once said..I am not the king of RR, I am the Queen of RR........
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The REAL KING OF ROCK N ROLL. Elvis was a tool to help whites discover RnR. Nothing more than a puppet
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Remembering when my cousins had great parties and wouldn't let us in. Had to hide in the bushes to hear those good oldies!!!!!!
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Before the day i met you life was so unkind..
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Now we cooking wit greese..move it now..
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Lucille..... . . . G r e a t dance music.....no n e better, love the sax man too........
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LITTLE RICHARD IS THE ARCHITECT OF ROCK&ROLL CHUCK BERRY IS THE FATHER OF ROCK&ROLL AND ELVIS PRESLEY? THE UNDISPUTED KING OF ROCK&ROLL!!!
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Richard has said he was influenced by Ruth Brown, but everybody is influenced by someone. Like all originals, Richard took his influences and then brought something of his own into the mix. Great rock and roll.
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kiss your left hand
close your hand
say your crush
post this on 5other songs
and your crush will kiss you
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Who do you think Jerry Lee Lewis got his style from?...SHUT U P ! ! !
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Ooh, something from Dr. Johnny Fever's WKRP in Cincinnati perpetual playlist: Little Richard burning up the airwaves with She's Got it.;)
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Ain't nothin happinin.... G r e a t dance music...
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Little Richard is THE original. He copied NO ONE, including Elvis, The Beetles, the list is endless.. That he was a flamboyant black man who wasn't allowed to sleep or eat in the same places he entertained and yet retained his dignity is awesome. Oh yes Little Richard is the KING.,
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I'll. give. Him. His. Due. But. King.
No. Way. King. Of. Gaye's. Ya that's. Him. Elvis. Will. B. king. Until. The. End. Of. Time. The. 8 th. Natural. Wonder. Of. The. World. ! God. Knew. What. He was. Doing. When. He. Created. Elvis. ! End. Of. Story
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60 years with these Guy's.
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Brings back listening to him (Little Richard) when in high school !!! Spending time with my one of my best friends walking to school . Incredible voice & so gifted .... Thanks !!!������
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Bad. Kat
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Ilikethat
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ww2503
This guy is so cool! Sings so crazy!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ¡ ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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Once met Little Richard at a L.A. hotel I was working at.I made the comment that I thought he was "the king of rock n roll".He said that I was wrong,he said he was the king and queen of rock n roll
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richardjenki n s 1 9 6 1
What I would give to hear Little Richard do Bruno Mars Uptown Funk. He would own it big time!
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mollygartin7
little richard is great but elvis is the best
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Cool
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Elvis is NOT the king of rock and roll. Listen to Rock... then listen to Elvis. NEXT
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Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will be injured (you won't die) in two days. Now that you have started reading this don't stop. Post this on at least five other stations/son g s in the next 143 minutes. When you're done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary it actually works
Report as inappropriate
Predator
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Elvis is the true King of Rock and Roll!!!!
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The Preacher King Of Rock'n' Roll has to be my favorite album cover of all time! Please add Little Richard & Fishbone's version of Rock Island Line.
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I. Got. A. Date. At 8,, and. I. Won't. Be. Late!!! I'm. Rip. It. Up!!!!
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True. King. Of. Rock. N. Roll. No. Doubt
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Real rock and roll . NUMBER One.!!!!!
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rosieh8781
Shut up Focker
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aloweha2
beach boys
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isisroberts4
Say i phone 5 times now color post 2 diffrent songs look under pillow
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