LITTLE RICHARD Biography - Musicians


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Name: Little Richard                                                               
Birth name: Richard Wayne Penniman                                                 
Also known as The True King Of Rock 'n' Roll                                       
Born: 5 December 1932 Macon, Georgia, U.S.                                         
Rev. Richard Wayne Penniman (born December 5, 1932), better known by the stage     
name Little Richard, is a celebrated American singer, songwriter and pianist,       
who began performing in the 1940s and was a key figure in the transition from       
rhythm & blues to rock and roll in the 1950s.                                       
Penniman's reputation rests on a string of groundbreaking hit singles from 1955     
through 1957, such as "Tutti Frutti", "Lucille" and "Long Tall Sally", which       
helped lay the foundation for rock and roll music, influencing generations of       
rhythm and blues, rock and soul music artists. Little Richard's injection of       
funk during this period also influenced the development of that genre of           
Little Richard's early work was a mix of boogie-woogie, rhythm and blues and       
gospel music, but with a heavily accentuated back-beat, funky saxophone grooves     
and raspy shouted vocals, moans, screams, and other emotive inflections that       
marked a new kind of music. In 1957, while at the height of stardom, he became a   
born-again Christian and withdrew from recording and performing secular music.     
Penniman has earned wide praise from many other performers. Singer James Brown     
called Little Richard his idol  and credited him with "first putting the funk       
in the rock and roll beat." Smokey Robinson said Penniman's music was "the         
start of that driving, funky, never let up rock 'n' roll;", while Dick Clark       
described his music as "the model for almost every rock and roll performer of       
the '50s and years thereafter." Ray Charles asserted that Little Richard was "the   
man that started a kind of music that set the pace for a lot of what's happening   
today." In his high school year book, Bob Dylan declared that his ambition was "to 
follow Little Richard." In 1969, Elvis Presley told Little Richard, "Your music     
has inspired me - you are the greatest.". Otis Redding, John Lennon, Paul           
McCartney, George Harrison, Mick Jagger, John Fogerty, Dick Dale, Bob Seger,       
Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, and numerous other rock n roll icons have also cited     
Little Richard as being their first major influence.