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Little Richard

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About Little Richard

Resource Entertainment partners had the pleasure of working with Little Richard at the Salute to Women in Blues in Los Angeles.

One of the architects of rock 'n roll, 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 'n roll.

Although he was a hitmaker for only a few years, his influence was vast, and his early hits remain core classics of the rock repertoire.

"Tutti Frutti" was the record that gave birth to Little Richard as he is now known — the gleeful "woo's!", the furious piano playing, the sax-driven, pedal-to-the-metal rhythm section. It was also his first hit.

In 1956 and '57, Richard reeled off a string of classic hits — "Long Tall Sally," "Slippin' and Slidin'," "Jenny, Jenny," "Keep a Knockin'," "Good Golly, Miss Molly," "The Girl Can't Help It" — that remain the foundation of his fame. Richard's unforgettable appearances in early rock & roll movies also did a lot to spread the rock 'n roll gospel to the masses.

Richard was at the height of his commercial and artistic powers when he suddenly quit the business during in late 1957, enrolling in a Bible college in Alabama. Richard virtually vanished from the public eye for a few years. When he did return to recording, it was as a gospel singer.

By 1962, though, Richard had returned to rock 'n roll, touring Britain to an enthusiastic reception. Among the groups that supported him on those jaunts were the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, whose vocals (Paul McCartney's especially) took a lot of inspiration from Richard's.

Little Richard continues to amaze audiences today with his flamboyant personality and songs that are pop culture staples.