Johanna's Visions

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Little Richard is 80

When you sit down and think about what rock ‘n’ roll music really is, then you have to change that question. Played up-tempo, you call it rock ‘n’ roll; at a regular tempo, you call it rhythm and blues.
~Little Richard

He claims to be “the architect of rock and roll”, and history would seem to bear out Little Richard’s boast. More than any other performer – save, perhaps, Elvis Presley, Little Richard blew the lid off the Fifties, laying the foundation for rock and roll with his explosive music and charismatic persona.
~Rock & Roll Hall of Fame website

Tutti Frutti:

From Wikipedia:

Birth name Richard Wayne Penniman
Also known as Little Richard, The King of Rockin ‘n’ Rollin’ Rhythm & Blues Soulin’. The Architect of Rock-and-Roll
Born December 5, 1932 (age 80)
Origin Macon, Georgia, U.S.
Genres Rock and roll, rhythm and blues,soul, funk, gospel
Occupations Musician, songwriter, recording artist, actor
Instruments Vocals, piano, keyboards.saxophone
Years active 1945 –present

Richard Wayne Penniman (born December 5, 1932), known by the stage name Little Richard, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, recording artist, and actor, considered key in the transition from rhythm and blues to rock and roll in the mid-1950s. He was also the first artist to put the funk in the rock and roll beat and contributed significantly to the early development of soul music.

Lucille:

  • Penniman was among the first group of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986
  • and one of only four of those artists (along with Ray Charles, James Brown, and Fats Domino) to also receive the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • In 2003, Penniman was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. 
  • In 2007, his 1955 original hit “Tutti Frutti” was voted Number 1 by an eclectic panel of renowned recording artists on Mojo’s The Top 100 Records That Changed The World, hailing the recording as “the sound of the birth of rock and roll.” 
  • In 2010, The United States of America’s Library of CongressNational Recording Registry added the groundbreaking recording to its registry, claiming that the hit, with its original “A-wop-bop-a-loo-mop-a-lop-bam-boom!” a cappella introduction, heralded a new era in music.

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.
~Richie Unterberger (allmusic.com)

Album of the day:

The Georgia Peach (1991)

Other December 05

  • Aleck “Sonny Boy Williamson” Miller (possibly December 5, 1912 – May 25, 1965) was an American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, from Mississippi. He is acknowledged as one of the most charismatic and influential blues musicians, with considerable prowess on the harmonica and highly creative songwriting skills. He recorded successfully in the 1950s and 1960s, and had a direct influence on later blues and rock performers. He should not be confused with another leading blues performer, John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson, who died in 1948.
    -
  • JJ Cale (also J.J. Cale), born John Weldon Cale on December 5, 1938, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is a Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter and musician. Cale is one of the originators of the Tulsa Sound, a loose genre drawing on blues, rockabilly, country, and jazz influences. Cale’s personal style has often been described as “laid back”.
    -
  • Let It Bleed is the eighth British and tenth American album by English rock band The Rolling Stones, released in December 1969 byDecca Records in the United Kingdom and London Records in the United States. Released shortly after the band’s 1969 American Tour, it is the follow-up to 1968′s Beggars Banquet and the last album by the band to feature Brian Jones as well as the first to featureMick Taylor.
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2 Comments

  1. Came across “Hey Jude” the other day on the radio, Paul’s ad libbing throughout the coda has Little Richard all over it. Of course, my favorite has always been “Long Tall Sally”, used to perfection in the helicopter scene in Predator.

    • I think both Paul and John had a lot of Little Richards’ singing style, especially on the early rock’n roll numbers

      Thanks for the feedback!

      - Hallgeir

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