5 things you didn’t know about Little Richard

15 Jun

For over six decades Richard Perriman aka Little Richard has been entertaining us with his voice and stage shows. His style of pounding out songs on the piano, wearing flashy outfits on stage and adding high-pitched vocalizations in his songs have influenced other musicians for decades. You can see that influence in artist ranging from the wild piano playing of Jerry Lee Lewis to brightly colored outfits of Prince.

There is much more to Little Richard than the man that gave such hits as “Tutti Frutti”, “Good Golly Miss Molly” and “The Girl can’t help it”. The following are just five of those little known facts:

Dishwasher

Little Richard signed his first solo recording contract with RCA Victor in1951. After a year his career failed to take off and he left RCA. He tried going out on tour to kick-start his career but that wasn’t working out too well. In 1952 he end up finding work at the local Greyhound station but kept singing in nightclubs. Almost 3 years later all of his hard work paid off when he penned what would be his first big hit and signature song “Tutti Frutti”.

Theologian

While on a sold-out world tour he had a near-death experience on a plane. That convinced him to get back to his religious roots. So, when he got back to the states he enrolled in Oakwood Theological College in Alabama. While he studied he kept singing but it was gospel only. In 1962 he finally returned to Rock after earning a bachelor of arts in theology and becoming an ordained minister.

James Brown fills in for Richard

Early in his career James Brown had the same manager as Little Richard. One evening in 1955 when Little Richard was not able to make one of his concerts his agent called on James Brown to go up on stage and impersonate Richard. Even though James Brown made a great Little Richard it didn’t fool the audience as they screamed out that they wanted Little Richard.

Slowed by hip replacement

Age has not slowed Little Richard down in his touring and wowing an audience with his music. In 2008 he was forced to take it a little easier when he experienced pain that eventually lead to hip replacement. Since then he has been confined to a wheelchair that keeps him from being able to be the wild showman he has been known to be throughout his career.

Once preformed with the Beatles

In 1962 a little quartet from Liverpool where in awe when they had the chance to share the stage with one of their idols.

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