Little Richard was one of the most influential voices in 1950’s rock music. His style was unique and his sound was revolutionary. Like Chuck Berry, he was instrumental in both the development of rock and roll and the changing attitudes about race and culture.
It is fascinating to think that at one time, Little Richard was playing shows that he would not have been allowed to attend as an audience member. While this is a sad commentary on racial divide, it is also a testament to how important Richard’s music was in uniting people and planting seeds of change.
In 1955, “Tutti Frutti” became a crossover hit in the U.S and U.K. The next year, he followed up with “Long Tall Sally” cementing his celebrity status. As his music grew in popularity, his shows drew both black and white music fans. Against the backdrop of racial tension, desegregated audiences came together to enjoy his unique performances.
Neither his talent nor his influence on music can be overstated. Richard’s impressive piano skill paired with unmatched vocalization inspired generations of artists. His style set the foundation for rock, R&B, and even Funk. There is no denying that the world would be a lot worse off without the influence of Little Richard.
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