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Little Richard

The Bronze Liberace

At 87 today Richard Penniman passed away, you may know him as Little Richard! One of the true bulwarks of Rock n’ Roll and a component of the 20th century. Little Richard will not only be forever missed but will go down with an asterisk when history is written… The cause of death is reportedly bone cancer.

The pianist-singer behind “Tutti Frutti,” “Good Golly Miss Molly,” “Keep a Knocking,” and “Long Tall Sally” set the stage that a generation of musicians would emulate and follow.

Little Richard often call himself The Bronze Liberace and then would let out one of his patent shrill howls which he was so known for!

Gospel-influenced vocal prowess and talent sometimes to the point of being imperceptible from the standpoint of annunciation, but still would bring down the house time and time again – still powerful for decades…

Richard Wayne Penniman, better known as Little Richard, was an American singer, songwriter, and musician. He was an influential figure in popular music and culture for seven decades.


Steven Van Zandt tweeted after the news broke. “Chuck Berry was the storyteller. Richard was the archetype.”

Bob Dylan took to Twitter on Saturday to remember Little Richard, writing “He was my shining star and guiding light back when I was only a little boy. His was the original spirit that moved me to do everything I would do.”

I look back over the years, and still have many of his 45rpm records on the Specialty label. I really have always liked Keep a Knocking, but if someone were to ask me what song of his is my favorite many people would have not heard it let alone heard of it, it was a slower tempo tune. It was the flip side of Lucille. Click here to hear Send Me Some Lovin by the incomparable Little Richard… Here is another rare live performance of Send Me Some Lovin

A rare black and white video from 1963 of Little Richard performing the Jerry Lee Lewis classic Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On

I am a music affection-ado, that along with sculpture & art, to me those areas represent life! RIP Mr. Penniman. I am so fortunate to have had you in my life, thank you – Bill West

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