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RIP Little Richard...Good Golly, Miss Molly...

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    Little Richard, Founding Father of Rock Who Broke Musical Barriers, Dead at 87


    Little Richard, a founding father of rock and roll whose fervent shrieks, flamboyant garb, and joyful, gender-bending persona embodied the spirit and sound of that new art form, died Saturday. He was 87. The musician’s son, Danny Penniman, confirmed the pioneer’s death to Rolling Stone, but said the cause of death was unknown.

    Starting with “Tutti Frutti” in 1956, Little Richard cut a series of unstoppable hits – “Long Tall Sally” and “Rip It Up” that same year, “Lucille” in 1957, and “Good Golly Miss Molly” in 1958 – driven by his simple, pumping piano, gospel-influenced vocal exclamations and sexually charged (often gibberish) lyrics. “I heard Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, and that was it,” Elton John told Rolling Stone in 1973. “I didn’t ever want to be anything else. I’m more of a Little Richard stylist than a Jerry Lee Lewis, I think. Jerry Lee is a very intricate piano player and very skillful, but Little Richard is more of a pounder.”
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  • The real King of Rock N Roll. Unbelievably talented man. Defined the genre more than pretty much anyone else. Inspired a ridiculous amount of some of the most successful music artists of all time. Elton John is one of them, as seen in the excerpt from the article posted above. But I watched an interview with him on Letterman back in the 70s (or early 80s, not sure) awhile back, and the list of famous artists they talked about him playing with, inspiring, etc almost sounds unrealistic.

    He wasn't afraid to be himself, dressing glamorously, wearing purple, glitter, jewelry, fake eyelashes. You could see it in the way he sang and played, too. Just doing his thing. And that's a huge reason why he was so successful. You don't make it big as a music artist by trying to be somebody you're not. Well, maybe some people do. But they never made it as big as this guy. Very inspiring.

    He also helped society become more accepting of people who are black and g**. His sexuality seemed to flip flop a bit based on his interviews, however, but from what I've read my best guess is that he's bisexual and always has been. Won't go much further than that so that we can stay away from discussions that aren't allowed on this forum. But you got admire this man's balls to be who he was and do what he did back in the 1950s.

    RIP Little Richard. You were the best of the 1950s rock n rollers. Well, I'll say it's a tie with Buddy Holly. And that's damn good company.
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  • Fender - I don't know anything about Little Richard, except via third party references; for instance in Stephen King novels. I'm sure SK is a great fan of Little Richard, and he's simply one of the founders of rock 'n' roll. I suspect his influence goes way beyond what I'd ever imagine.

    BTW, thank you for your post.
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