Black Dick of the Day: Little Richard

Richard Wayne Penniman was born in 1932, and as a child earned the nickname Lil’ Richard due to his short stature and skinny frame.

But by the 1950’s Lil Richard became Little Richard the musician. Influenced by the singing and stage presence of Billy Wright, Little Richard would become a major presence in the blooming rock and roll scene

Billy Wright

Little Richard would become popular in the Macon Georgia area where jump blues and r&b was very popular at the time

He would combine these elements with a raw energy few before him had. His flair for showmanship and his hyper piano playing would earn him a large following. But it wasn’t until his 1955 song Tutti Fruitti became a major hit that LR would gain national attention

Little Richard would go on to become not only a Hall of Fame musician with many #1 hits, he would also become a pop culture icon.

With styles ranging from rock, funk, and soul, Little Richard would influence artists across many different genres. Everyone from Elton John to Motörhead have claimed him as an inspiration.

Little Richard passed away last month at the age of 87. But his impact will never die.

What is your favorite Little Richard song or appearance?