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Music Box: Celebrate the Life & Career of Little Richard

 Just a couple of days ago the world lost one of its greatest artists. Little Richard, a founding father of rock 'n' roll, broke musical barriers and had a larger-than-life personality. Unfortunately, the famous musician died recently at the age of 87. The musician probably would have stood out during any era, but in the 1950’s he brought something never seen before. He was flamboyant, his words left little to the imagination and he had the power to bring people together. 

"When I first went on the road, there were many segregated audiences. With Richard, although they still had the audiences segregated in the building, they were there TOGETHER. And most times before the end of the night, they would all be mixed together," said arranger H.B. Barnum, when interviewed for Little Richard’s biography “The Life and Times of Little Richard”.

Little Richard was born Richard Wayne Penniman in Macon, Georgia in 1932. The third of 12 children, he repeatedly clashed with his father, until finally ordered out of the house as a teenager. He began practicing his musical talents at a young age in church, and after he left his family home, he started playing regularly at the club owned by the family that took him in, the Johnsons.

In 1955 he sent a demo tape to Specialty Records. Art Rupe, the founder of Specialty Records’ liked what he heard, and sent Little Richard to record in a studio in New Orleans. The result was ‘Tutti Frutti’, and the rest, as they say, is history. The song hit No. 2 on the R&B charts and the Top 20 on Billboard's pop charts, selling a million copies. Little Richard’s career continued on into the 70s and was full of twists and turns. In 1993 he won a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement Award. You may celebrate the man and the artist that he was, with this joyful playlist of his greatest hits. 


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