Sunday 10 May 2020

Little Richard

05/12/1932 - 09/05/20

2020 is beginning to feel like 2016 on steroids with the amount of deaths in the music business.

I first really became aware of Little Richard when I was twelve or thirteen. At the time I had become quite obsessed with Jimi Hendrix and had taped a documentary that had been aired on BBC2 which I kept returning to. There were a few scenes that stay with me from that documentary, the black and white footage of Hendrix doing a live version of Johnny B Goode, the Monterey Pop footage and the shall we say flamboyant appearance of Richard Wayne Penniman pronouncing "he was a star, when I got him he was a star" at the time I found it hard to get my head around Hendrix playing guitar a for one of the inventors of rock and roll, the music just seemed so different.

Over the years I have learned to appreciate the justfied self proclaimed "Innovator, Originator, Architect of Rock n Roll" (for some reason a lot of folk seemed to be reluctant to acknowledge his contribution) from A Girl Can't Help It, one of the most essential rock n roll songs, especially the slowed down studio re-recording which adds to the sexuality of the track through to the more R&B, Soul recordings for Okeh from the mid 60s but that's about where I stop. His influence can be seen all through music from James Brown and the JBs through the Heavy Metal of the late 70s and early 80s . Bon Scott and the Young Brothers being big fans and I am sure that Freddie Mercury watched quite a few Little Richard performances and made notes and do we even have to mention the sadly departed Prince Rogers Nelson.

Rock and roll and music in general would have been a lot duller without the extrovert from Macon Georgia

Rest easy Richard

Little Richard - Get Down With It  

1 comment:

FurryBootsCityBoy said...

"Well, they call him the innovator
He ain't no imitator
They call him the innovator
Well, he ain't no imitator
Yeah, the king, king of rock and roll"

(A verse from "Rockin' with the King" by Canned Heat featuring Little Richard which says it all)

RIP Little Richard.