Tuesday, January 12, 2016

70. Little Richard - Here's Little Richard

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People called  him the architect  of rock and roll.  He claimed that as a child he felt feminine and played with girls.  In 1984 he told Charles  White that he was "omnisexual." In 1995, he told
Penthouse that he always knew he was gay. In 2007, Mojo magazine described him as a "bisexual alien". Source

 Little Richard's (Richard Wayne Penniman, b. 5 December 1932) most celebrated work dates from the mid-1950s, when his dynamic music and charismatic showmanship laid the foundation for
rock and roll. His music also played a key role in the formation of other popular music genres, including soul and funk. Little Richard influenced numerous singers and musicians across musical
genres from rock to  hip-hop;  his music impacted the rhythm  and blues era for future generations to come,  and his performances and headline-making  thrust his career right into the mix of
American popular music. Wikipedia

"I came from a family where my people didn't like rhythm and blues," Little Richard told Rolling Stone in 1970.  "Bing Crosby, 'Pennies From Heaven,' Ella Fitzgerald was all I heard. And I knew
there was something that could be louder than that, but didn't know where to find it. And I found it was me." Richard's raucous debut collected singles such as "Good Golly, Miss Molly," in which
his rollicking  boogie-woogie piano and falsetto  scream ignited the unfettered possibilities of rock & roll.  "Tutti Frutti" still  contains what has  to be considered the most inspired rock lyric on
record: "A wop bop alu bop, a wop bam boom!" Rolling Stone

No. 50, Rolling Stone, The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time; No. 525, The Virgin All-Time Album Top 1000.

Information wanted for original album art design concept and photo.
Album produced by Bumps Blackwell. Specialty 1957.

Little Richard had been making records for four years before he rolled into Cosimo Matassa's J&M Studio in New Orleans and cut the epochal "Tutti Frutti" in the fall of 1955, but everything
else he'd done faded into insignificance when Richard wailed "A wop bop a loo mop a lomp bomp bomp" and kicked off one of the first great wailers in rock history. In retrospect, Little
Richard's style doesn't seem  so strikingly innovative  as captured in 1956's Here's Little Richard - his boogie-woogie  piano stylings weren't all  that different from what Fats Domino
had been laying down since 1949, and his band pumped out the New Orleans backbeat that would define the Crescent City's R&B for the next two decades, albeit with precision
 and plenty of groove.

But what set  Richard apart was his  willingness  to ramp up the tempos and turn the outrage meter up  to ten; "Tutti Frutti," "Rip It Up," and "Jenny Jenny" still  sound outrageous a half-
century after  they were waxed,  and it's difficult  but intriguing  to imagine  how people must have  reacted to Little Richard  at a time when African-American  performers were 
expected to be polite, and the notion of a gay man venturing out of the closet simply didn't exist. Mark Deming in AllMusic

(A) Tutti Frutti - True, Fine Mama - Can't Believe You Wanna Leave - Ready Teddy - Baby - Slippin' and Slidin'

(B) Long Tall Sally - Miss Ann - Oh Why? - Rip It Up - Jenny Jenny - She's Got It

"Tutti Frutti" live from MoondogMayne on YouTube.


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