Little Richard, the Father of Rock N Roll, passes away at 87
Written by Gregory Johnson on May 9, 2020
No Little Richard, No Rock N Roll. Sorry for all of you who may be sleep, no, Elvis nor Jerry Lee Lewis did not birth the worldwide phenomenon that is Rock N Roll. No. They cannot lay claim there. The King, the originator, the never can be duplicated, and the undisputed King is Richard Penniman aka Little Richard. He passed away from bone cancer on May 9, 2020.
Little Richard is iconic in American music culture. His outrageous performances, his piano pounding and larger than life persona has been the subject of many a theatrical, comedic and historical interpretation. And the music, OMG the music! Good Golly Miss Molly, Lucille, Tutti Frutti and so many more were the soundtrack of a new sound coming out of the hood…. As teen music tastes were evolving from jazz and bebop, Little Richard, Chuck Berry and so many more would emerge. Oh it must be noted that on the other side of the tracks this music woul be totally accepted but it was unsavory to do so if these songs were wung by blacks.. Thus Elvis PResley remade TUtti Frutti and Good Golly Miss Molly….. The Beatls covered Little Richard’s songs… but such is the essence of that time and thus is the history of America.
In LA, if you hung around Leimert PArk, the Crenshaw District or up in Hollywood, you could regularly see a limp slowly crusing through… the back window would roll down and it would be Little Richard…..
Richard had a gospel background too. He grew up in a family of gospel preachers. And even stepped away from his rock n roll success to record gospel. And while his gospel career never really took hold, he would remain close to the arms of the Most High.
We at Beach City Radio are proud to pause and thank Little Richard for his music.. his influence and his over the top presentation for it is and will be the benchmark for so may superstars of our time. Thank you Little Richard…. Rest in Peace…..