In the early days of Rock and Roll black artists were not played on the Top 40 radio stations, so their hits were copied by white bread artists like Pat Boone who would croon the songs in his white buck shoes making the music sound safe. But those who lived in the bigger cities often had access to black radio stations or sometimes late night shows on big signals. Little Richard was one of a kind, and set the table for Elvis, Jerry Lee, Carl Perkins and other white artists to emulate. They couldn't keep him down, and soon juke boxes everywhere in the mid-50's would feature his hits like: "Good Golly Miss Molly," "Long Tall Sally," and many others.
Long Tall Sally, Tutti Frutti
Little Richard, born Richard Pennimen in 1932, began to dress more and more flamboyantly over the years, his outrageous costumes part of his persona, and his bisexual leanings more apparent and public. It didn't hurt with his fans though. He was one of the most beloved, and funny, performers of the era.
Richard took offense to Elvis being called the King of Rock and Roll, saying that the title obviously should belong to him. Now in his 80s Little Richard is in failing health and become some of a recluse, explaining he want's people to remember how he was in his prime. There's no danger of anyone forgetting as long as there are great videos like these to remember him by. -- TDR
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