RIP: Little Richard, rock ‘n’ roll legend

We lost a beautiful soul this weekend. Truly, there was no person ever like Little Richard, nor will there ever be another person like Little Richard.

I mean seriously… he WAS the heart and soul of this thing we call rock ‘n’ roll…. a genuine believer in the higher power… and a bonafide supernova of inspiration that transcended the emotional and grammatical range of normal human beings.

There’s the Little Richard method of singing, which is one thing.
There’s also the Little Richard method of explaining things, which is another thing entirely.

… and for those those of you that fail to recognize any of this, my response is simply “Shut up!”

My friend Angeline King said it best…

“Take a moment of silence and then RIP IT UP, because the true Father and King of Rock n Roll has left the building and gone up to the glitter heaven in the sky. His influence on music is immeasurable and the musicians he influenced run deep from The Beatles, to Bob Dylan to Bowie to Prince to Bruno Mars. He broke racial barriers and carried the burdens of being fearless in a racist world. He also carried the burden of his sexuality at a time when being in the closet was the only option.
He was Electric, Flamboyant, inventor of Rock showmanship, and he was the foundation that Rock N Roll was built on. We have so much to Thank him for.
Thank you for everything and God Bless you Little Richard. May the pearly gates be glittery and gold and heaven a shiny stage.”

Anyways, unless you’ve been hiding out in seclusion, i’m sure you already know about the passing of this musical genius, and there’s plenty of other webpages if you want to read a proper obituary.

As this website is the place for all things LOUIE LOUIE, this is the place to discuss whatever connection exists that connect Little Richard to the LOUIE Universe, so let’s break it down..

1) Lucile was a precursor to LOUIE.
Like LOUIE LOUIE, “Lucile” was a song that utilized the “LOU” phrasing, which was also utilized in “Chop Suey Louie” by Jimmy Preston, “Run Joe” by Louis Jordan, and “Louise” by John Lee Hooker, among other songs. While LOUIE LOUIE might have been written earlier (1955 at Harmony Ballroom, Anaheim, CA), we’ll give the nudge to “Lucille,” which was released in February 1957, a few months before LOUIE LOUIE, which came out in April 1957. Brilliant minds think alike, ya know?

2) Little Richard was friends with Richard Berry.
Christy Berry James, daughter of Richard Berry shared this wonderful memory of Little Richard:

“One of the greatest he will be truly missed. I met him when I was 7 years old with my dad in front of a record company when he was demanding his money.
He called my dad to come down and carry picket signs so we did.”

Paula Berry-Wiwuga, one of Richard Berry’s ex-wives, met Little Richard when he came by the Berry house to meet Richard’s mom. He was the perfect gentleman.

3) Richard Berry channeled some Little Richard into his music.
In 2009, Ace Records released Holy Mackerel!, a compilation of cool music released between 1957 and 1965 that attempted to replicate or at least acknowledge the Little Richard style of singing. On this collection, we hear an alternative take of Richard Berry’s “Yama Yama Pretty Mama” which feels a lot like a Little Richard song.

Yes, it’s a keeper… with other tracks by – James Brown, Otis Redding, Etta James, Ike & Tina Turner, among others.. Go get it if you haven’t done so yet!

Holy Mackerel- Little Richard celebration

Berry, Richard – Yama Yama Pretty Mama – 1956

4) Little Richard performed a song called “Louie Louie Louie”
This song had NOTHING to do with the Richard Berry song. This was a song written by by Marcus Miller and Randy Rogel for a children’s animated movie entitled “The Trumpet of the Swan.”

This movie, which is an adaptation of children’s novel by E.B. White, is all about the story of Louie, a mute trumpeter swan, that is given the gift of a trumpet, and finds his voice.

Here’s that song…
.
.
Little Richard – Louie, Louie, Louie (The Trumpet of the Swan)

Last, but not least, this has NOTHING to do with LOUIE LOUIE, but in my humble opinion, Little Richard was the PERFECT entertainer for ANY TV commercial. I don’t even care what the product was, but every commercial I’ve ever seen that featured Little Richard was always worth watching for pure entertainment value..

Here’s a compilation of 15 Little Richard commercials!

Little Richard Commercials

We’ll never forget this guy!

REFERENCE LINKS:
American Songwriter – The “Inventor,” Little Richard, Dead at 87
BBC News – Little Richard: Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer dies
IMDB – The Trumpet of the Swan – the IMDB page
Wikipedia – The Trumpet of the Swan (the film
Holy Mackerel! – Best Roots Rock Compilation of 2009
The Guardian – Little Richard: an ultra-sexual force of anti-nature
Oxford American – Little Richard articles

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