Fact or Fiction

Little Richard

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Little Richard calls himself "The Quasar of Rock." What's a quasar? Well, it's kind of like a star, but different. It burns brighter, is filled with spectacular amounts of cosmic energy, and is still pretty much a mystery.

Musical and divine inspiration came from church, where he developed that "thing" - a way of taking a song, and playing it like God was in the audience. It's what you hear on "Tutti Frutti," "Long Tall Sally," and "Lucille." It's what made David Bowie and Paul McCartney and so many others hear what was possible in this new thing called Rock and Roll.

In 1957, Richard put it all on hold to study theology at Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, returning to music because that was the best way to teach love to all people, and to show that separatism was not the only option.

Born in 1932, Little Richard is one of our last remaining rock legends. In 2012, 55 years after it was first released, his seminal album Here's Little Richard was issued with bonus tracks and videos of some early screen tests. See how well you know this enigmatic innovator in the Little Richard edition of Fact or Fiction.
Here's where you can get that Here's Little Richard reissue. For more, check out the Little Richard Artistfacts.
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Comments: 15

  • Skip from Fl.Name 10 rock bands without a distorted electric guitar in it.....That is from the Little Richard school of Rock....All kidding aside, Richard was a great influence on singers, but architect implies design, no rock band designed there sound around Little Richard's records.
  • Vernon Smith from TxLittle Richard wasn't the architect of anything.His records sounded like Louis Jordan's with less instruments. NOT ONE rock band has the instrument lineup of Richard's guitarless songs...NOT ONE
  • Naif Makol from Suffield CtAlways followed Little Richard since 1955 till present. He is my favorite singer of all time. Must listen the song called "Cherry Red" and you will see how great his voice range is. Listen to it, you will really dig it.
  • Macleata from LouisianaI got one wrong ????
  • Les from UkLittle Richard was the innovator of Rock and Roll but his contribution is sadly overlooked by many! An amazing artist!
  • Dean from Orange Co,,ca.saw l.r. in75 the promoters were giving out tickets free as only a few hundred were sold --how very sad -and to think people like Britney Spears are sell outs???? I love you richard
  • Chris from Indianapolis InLittle Richard did a series of albums for Reprise records in the early '70s that aren't very well known - and that's an almost criminal oversight. They were reissued in a single set by Rhino a few years back, and should be essential listening for any fan of true Rock & Roll. This isn't just more "Tutti Frutti" but gritty, steamy rock music with heaping handfuls of the blues and swamp boogie stirred in. Too bad these records weren't a commercial success - some of the best rock I've ever heard.
  • Niki from WisconsinLittle Richard will always live in the hearts of true rock- n- roll fans. He is great no matter his health issues, that doesn't change him as a great legend.
  • John D'eugene from OregonLet's expand some of these answers and comments. In the long run Little Richard's version of "Long Tall Sally" far out-sold Pat Boone's cover. According to Little Richard's own book he was very interested in white women and bragged about his exploits. According to writer John Grissim, Alan Freed insisted Jerry Lee Lewis perform before Chuck Berry closed the show and the result was a fire & brimstone performance; see pg. 69 of the Rolling Stone's History of Rock & Roll for JLL's quote. Remember, Alan Freed was listed as co-author on Chuck Berry's first hit single, so he was not impartial when it came to promoting Chuck. To me Little Richard is the best of Rock and Roll, listen to "Lucile" and "Rip it Up".
  • Dick From Redmond, WaElvis may be "The King" of Rock 'n Roll, but Little Richard is definitely "The Architect". I wasn't aware of his crippling surgery. What a shame!
  • Paula from Sevierville Tni love little richard; always figured he was gay. never knew he was a minister-- what denomination would let a gay flamboyant person be a preacher? i dont know how he can be gay and be a preacher because the bible says its an abomination
  • Mockingbird from Jax Beach,floridaMissed the one about Pat Boone. I saw Little Richard late in'62 in an a juke joint in Augusta, Ga.
  • Candy from Brisbane, AustraliaI did well, just the one about the make-up wrong. I wonder what sort of face paint can make you look 'less scary' to woman!
  • Jim from North Billerica, MaLittle Richard was Rock and Roll before there was such a thing. He was the bridge between Elvis and Robert Johnson. It's sad to know he isn't in good health.

    and for the record, I really botched this one.
  • AnonymousRichard's been in a wheelchair since 2006, not 2009.
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