Good Golly Miss Molly

Album: Little Richard Volume 2 (1958)
Charted: 8 10
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Songfacts®:

  • The title was taken from the pet phrase of one of Little Richard's favorite DJ's, Jimmy Pennick. Musically, the song was inspired by the sax player Jackie Brenston, famous for singing lead and playing with Ike Turner on the song "Rocket 88."
  • Like most of Little Richard's songs, this contains a lot of innuendo ("sure like to ball") but most people were too busy listening to the music to notice, or didn't get the reference. At the time, the most common meaning for "balling" was dancing; only later did it became a popular euphemism for oral sex. The term later took on a new meaning when it came describe a lavish and extravagant lifestyle, with these guys flashing their cash known as "ballers."
  • This song was a huge influence on many musicians in the early years of rock and roll. Speaking with Songfacts, Roger Reale, who was in the group Rue Morgue with Mick Ronson, said: "It's revolutionary, rebellious and celebratory all in one, starting with that rolling piano intro, before moving into a totally unique vocal performance. I had never heard such a direct, crazed, almost otherworldly vocal before in my life."
  • The Swinging Blue Jeans took this to #43 in 1964 with their cover; in 1966, Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels used it in a medley with "Devil With A Blue Dress" that went to #4. Jerry Lee Lewis, The Everly Brothers and the Meat Puppets have also recorded the song.
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival, big fans of Little Richard, covered this on their 1969 album Bayou Country. That year, they performed it on The Ed Sullivan Show, which surprised the band because the family-friendly program steered clear of music that could offend sensitive viewers. It was clear that Sullivan and the show's producers had no idea what was going on in the song.
  • Little Richard's publisher sued Creedence Clearwater Revival over their song "Travelin' Band," which they claimed lifted from "Molly." A settlement was reached with Creedence giving up some of their royalties.

Comments: 12

  • Sandy from West Jefferson NvSure like to ball means what??
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NySuch a sad, sad day...
    In the 1950s when I was a teenager and a true rock 'n roller, I had five idols, and now all five are gone...
    Buddy Holly {1936 · 1959}, Chuck Berry {1926 · 2017}, Fats Domino {1928 · 2017}, Little Richard {1932 – 2020}, and Elvis {1935 - 1977}...
    May they all R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 9th 1969, Creedence Clearwater Revival performed "Good Golly Miss Molly" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    CCR covered the song on their second studio album, 'Bayou Country', it was track two of side two and the album reached #7 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart {#1 in France}...
    One track from the album, "Proud May"*, reached #2 for three weeks on Billboard's Hot Top 100 Singles chart...
    Tom Fogerty passed away on September 6th, 1990 at the young age of 48...
    May he R.I.P.
    * The quartet also performed "Proud Mary" on the same 'Sullivan' show.
  • Lisa from Maryland"Keep the ball rollin'" was a term to keep workmen and workwomen going... reward for work, often crumbs, was like a ball and chain - like a rock.
    Finally time came to sit outside, waiting for supper to get done cooking, while rocking in a rocking chair, you'd find inspiration in youth - that had energy still and get revitalized! Up for sup, satisfied for good food and company - came time to celebrate kinfolk and yourself. Fix your hair, fix your care, a rhythm of old came from within, it started to spin - you grabbed the waist made no haste - and works melted to play. Artists feel no pain. Recreation.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 3rd 1964, "Good Golly Miss Molly" by the Swinging Blue Jeans entered Billboard's Top Hot 100 chart at position #89; and on June 7th it peaked at #43 (for 1 week) and spent 7 weeks on the Top 100...
    Exactly 38 years later to the day, on May 3rd, 2002 Little Richard performed the song on the ABC-TV network special 'American Bandstand 50th - A Celebration'.
  • Rotunda from Tulsa, OkYowzaa! This song is part of rock-n-roll history, as is Little Richard. I, too, love that raunchy piano intro and the sax break. A "gut-busting" rocker!! Hey, Steve from Raynham, MA. got it right-----the song really is about a whore-house (The House of Blue Lights) & a whore. I believe I read that in some of Little Richards' bio's. I loved to dance to Little Richard songs in college bars when I was in college in the mid-Sixties. Their jukeboxes still had Fifties' rock & roll hits! Getting out on a crowded dance floor wasn't too easy for this girl (I was 498 pounds in '67), but when I got the inertia factor going on the dance-floor----look out!! I still love "gut bustin' rock & roll!!
  • Elmer H from Westville, OkWhat a great early rock & roll hit by the great Little Richard. I still love that tough piano intro and that blastin' saxophone break. And Little Richard's rock & roll voice pushed this song into rock & roll history. And this hit song has such a tawdry, risque', and fun heritage (gay prostitute & The House of Blue Lights!). Gasp! Yep, I can just hear Little Richard now just Woooowww-ing up a storm!
  • John from Mount Hope, WyMe & my wife's title to Jerry Lee Lewis',"whole lotta shakin' goin' on", is, "humm a nova, (a super explosion), babuh". This is sung instead of, "come on over baby". john
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScI love Little Richard. this song is great.
  • Steve from Raynham, MaThis song's about a prostitute at a whore house called "the house of blue light" where she works from "the early, early morning to the early, night" and the term "rockin and rollin" means having sex. This is how the genre got its name because so many of the songs were about sex.
  • Mark from Hereford, EnglandIt may be a girl's name in the title, but the song refers to a (gay) male prostitute in the local vernacular. Moll, as in Moll Flanders was 18th cent. English slang for prostitute, and led to the term 'gangster's moll'. This song really is very rude, but not as bad as the original lyrics for 'Tutti Frutti'.
  • Brandon from Seattle, WaInfluenced by Jackie Brenston's "Rocket 88" and Jery Lee Lewis' "Great Balls of Fire"
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