Little Richard

Little_Richard RKB

Little Richard Penniman’s family were a deeply religious family associated with the Baptist and Pentecostal religions

Much of Richard’s musical upbringing was centered around church and gospel music, including the highly spirited performances demonstrated by the black gospel choirs of the day, which undoubtedly help shape his sensibilities about the value of exciting entertainment

In the late 1940’s the talented young Richard sang in a wide variety of music acts which included orchestras, Medicine shows, and Vaudeville groups

He learned how to play boogie-woogie piano from a teenage friend in the early 1950’s

In 1955, Richard cut a track for Specialty records named “Tutti-Fruitti” which became an instant success and reached #2 in Billboard

He had success with many early rock and R&B cuts throughout the 50’s, and was legendary for his frenzied performances, which oftentimes got the audience in the same state

He was perhaps the first entertainer who mixed together black and white audiences at one venue without any race issues developing.