"Tutti fruiti, oh rootie"
Little Richard

    

Photos                    Links                Other Music Links               Artist Tribute Menu

   

Having cut my musical teeth on the bland offerings of Your Hit Parade, I was definitely ready for something else when rock & roll came along during my teen years. Even so, I wasn't quite ready for Little Richard, and it took me a while to appreciate his raw sound.

Eventually I came to like his music, especially "Slippin' and Slidin,'" and of course now I recognize him as a powerful influence and innovator.

He was born Richard Penniman during the Depression in Macon, Georgia, one of twelve children who grew up in poverty. As a youngster, he soaked up music - blues, country, gospel, vaudeville - which was part of the fabric of life in the black community. He learned to play piano from an equally flamboyant character named Esquerita, who also recorded rock & roll early on for Capitol Records.

Little Richard first recorded in a bluesy vein in 1951, but it was his tenure at Specialty Records beginning in 1955 where he made his mark with a stunning succession of rock & roll sides over the next several years, including “Rip It Up,” “Slippin’ and Slidin’,” “Lucille,” “Jenny Jenny” “Tutti Frutti,” “Good Golly, Miss Molly,” as well as the top ten hits listed below.

Although he abruptly abandoned rock & roll for the church in 1957, he soon returned to performing, and continues to entertain and amaze newer generations with media appearances, soundtrack and children’s record cameos, the film “Down and Out in Beverly Hills” and even Taco Bell commercials.

Once upon a time, somewhere in the mid 50s, he was one of the original rock greats, merging the energy of gospel with New Orleans R&B, while pounding the ivories like there was no tomorrow.

Little Richard's top ten hits:* "Long Tall Sally" (6), "Keep a Knockin'" (8).

--Dick Estel, August 2006

Some material here was adapted from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and RockPhiles web sites.

*Billboard pop singles chart, as reported in the book Top 40 Hits, copyright 1992 by Joel Whitburn.

 
Click on the photo for a larger image. Photos open in a new window. Some are extra large and are best viewed in Full Screen mode. In Internet Explorer, press F11 to enter and exit Full Screen mode

The label that Little Richard built

His first album Greatest Hits CD

A late photo, in all his flaming glory

 
Little Richard shows his wild piano style Gotta love that pompadour Little Richard and the Beatles Richard on stage in Germany

 

 

Mini Guitar

Artist Tributes

Mini Guitar

Music Links

Mini Guitar

Bluegrass Links

Mini Guitar

Music Section Changes & Updates

Mini Guitar

Estel Home Page

Mini Guitar

Off the Wall Songs

Mini Guitar

Jukebox Memories

Mini Guitar

Top 100 Records

Mini Guitar

Music Club

Mini Guitar

Top 100 Comments

Mini Guitar

Music for Sale

Mini Guitar

Email

Mini Guitar

Music at Amazon

Mini Guitar

Recommended Links

Updated July 12, 2017