Saturday, May 09, 2020

May 09 - Little Richard Died

Little Richard, one of the founding fathers of rock and roll whose fervent shrieks, flamboyant garb, and joyful, gender-bending persona embodied the spirit and sound of that new art form, died Saturday. He was 87. The musician’s son, Danny Jones Penniman, confirmed the pioneer’s death to Rolling Stone, but said the cause of death was unknown. 

Elvis recorded the Little Richard's songs, 'Tutti Frutti,' 'Rip It Up,' 'Long Tall Sally,' 'Ready Teddy' putting Little Richard's compositions into millions of white teenager's homes. Elvis also recorded 'Sent Me Some Lovin'' at home in Germany. 

On Elvis Presley Little Richard said: "He was an integrator. Elvis was a blessing. They wouldn't let black music through. He opened the door for black music."

Little Richard's influence on the history of rock 'n' roll can't be overstated. His place is right up there alongside other music pioneers like Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley. And more so than any of them, Richard was raw, primal and the very thing that scared the crap out of parents during the Eisenhower-era '50s.

Starting with “Tutti Frutti” in 1956, Little Richard cut a series of unstoppable hits – “Long Tall Sally” and “Rip It Up” that same year, “Lucille” in 1957, and “Good Golly Miss Molly” in 1958 – driven by his simple, pumping piano, gospel-influenced vocal exclamations and sexually charged (often gibberish) lyrics. “I heard Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, and that was it,” Elton John told Rolling Stone in 1973. “I didn’t ever want to be anything else. I’m more of a Little Richard stylist than a Jerry Lee Lewis, I think. Jerry Lee is a very intricate piano player and very skillful, but Little Richard is more of a pounder.” 

Although he never hit the top 10 again after 1958, Little Richard’s influence was massive. The Beatles recorded several of his songs, including “Long Tall Sally,” and Paul McCartney’s singing on those tracks – and the Beatles’ own “I’m Down” – paid tribute to Little Richard’s shredded-throat style. His songs became part of the rock and roll canon, covered over the decades by everyone from the Everly Brothers, the Kinks, and Creedence Clearwater Revival to Elvis Costello and the Scorpions.

(Source: Rolling Stone)