Saturday, May 9, 2020

RIP Little Richard

Little Richard passed away today, he was 87. As always the NY Times has an obituary on the legend.

RtBE has always loved "The King and Queen of Rock and Roll" and we wrote about him during our Masters series look back at 50's and early 60's rock and roll. Here is what we said about him:
"The King and Queen of Rock and Roll", Little Richard was a blazing comet of amazement. Can you even imagine that the bisexual black son of a Preacher who bootlegged liquor in Macon, GA would go on to become the biggest star in the world in the late 1950's??!?  After styling himself after Roy Brown and Billy Wright to look outrageous and getting advice from Lloyd Price (an RtBE Personal Favorite who just missed this list as well) to send his demos to Specialty Records, Richard headed to New Orleans, LA where things stalled...until he takes the stage at the Dew Drop Inn and performs a salacious sex romp which stuns Bumps Blackwell.  A few twists to the words and "Tutti Frutti" explodes into the world... 
This combo would go on to churn out such a killer string of cuts between September, 1955 and January, 1957 (along with top notch backing musicians like horn players Clifford "Gene" Burks and leader Grady Gaines, bassist Olsie "Baysee" Robinson and guitarist Nathaniel "Buster" Douglas) as tracks like "Long Tall Sally", "Lucille", "She's Got It", "Jenny Jenny", "Slippin' n Slidin'", "Rip It Up", "Heeby-Jeebies"...the up beat careering off the tracks rock and roll is invigorating, intoxicating and so alive...even over 60 years later. Seriously slap on "Keep A'Knockin'" and listen to the powerful drums from Charles Connor and the blaring fucking horns of Wilbert Smith, Gaines, Clifford Burks and Samuel Parker...dyn-o-mite! 
We haven't even mentioned his banging "Good Golly Miss Molly" which just may be the best of the bunch. The 28 tracks collected here are all you really need and not one will disappoint. When discussing the all-time greats Little Richard does not get the respect he deserves, maybe because he basically stopped after this explosive period, but this collection proves his sound was vital and only one artist tops him on our list...
Over the last few years, no other time period has spoke to RtBE as much as this early era and almost no one from that time period is as exciting as Little Richard. He will live on forever via his unlikely success story, his over sized personality and most importantly his amazing music:

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