“Flamboyant and Magnificent, Georgia native, Little Richard brought a unique sound that combined multiple genres of music together to create masterpieces.
Little Richard’s, famous hit, “Tutti Frutti,” combined the perfect sounds of R&B, Gospel and Rock-N-Roll, to create what many deemed peerless for the times. During this period, there was not another performer that could use his musical ability, raspy voice, shouting, and other inflections to grab the attention of the audience instantaneously.
The original lyrics of this hit were a bit more sexually suggestive than the version that eventually hit the airwaves, but it was the complete package that wowed audiences all over the world. James Brown said that Little Richard was his hero and that he “was the first to put that funk in the rock-n-roll beat.”
This electrifying musician had a big band sound that included lots of saxophone arrangements and solos. Little Richard is also known for his skillful piano playing similar to his longtime friend Ray Charles.
Richard’s band was full of exceptionally guitar players that accentuated the Rock sound that Richard was aspiring to achieve. He has had a plethora of guitarists to play with his band over the years, and he even gave the chance of stardom to a young guitarist in the ’60s, that would soon be known to the world as Jimi Hendrix.
Richard’s career has spanned for decades, and his music has morphed many times. When he began, Little Richard, had a passion for Rock-N-Roll, but there have been many times where he changed courses and went back into being strictly a Gospel performer. He even went as far as to become an ordained minister.
He has admittedly professed that over the years he has feared eternal damnation because of his struggles with drugs and what he called “”homosexual tendencies.”” It was a combination of these issues as well as several tragic events that happened in Richard’s family that would cause his moral compass to come into focus and would steer him back to the gospel sound.
It is his ability to combine Gospel Music with Rock-N-Roll that makes Little Richard an incredible and uncommon performer. Over the years, Little Richard has toured with Rock-N-Roll legends like The Rolling Stones and has had several artists re-record covers of his original hits.
Although controversial at times because of his tendency to wear outfits covered in sequins as well as women’s makeup, Little Richard is adored by the masses and was one of the first artists inducted into the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame in the 1980s. Over the years, many artists have cited Little Richard as the one musician that influenced the genre and style of music they chose to perform.”