“Whoever or whatever that is, will you turn it down?”
That was my dad’s reaction the first time he heard Little Richard, Richard Pennerman. The first record I ever bought was on the Specialty label, yellow and black. I purchased it from Randy’s Record Shop in Gallatin, Tennessee by mail order. It truly was Little Richard through and through with his backup band the Upsetters. Randy’s Record Shop advertised on WLAC in Nashville, Tennessee. In Indiana, we tried to pick up their signal every night at 10 p.m. I can still remember the day the record arrived at the post office. I ran home and slapped that sucker on the record player; those were sounds seldom heard in Pimento, Indiana.
Well, ol’ Little Richard had himself a birthday last week; he’s almost 80 years old. December 5th, 1932 he came on the scene in Macon, Georgia. The house he was raised in stood between the Tip-in-Inn, a juke joint, and the Church of God. That should have told folks something right there.
Last year, I drove my old Corvette from here, Franklin, Tenness to Green Bay, Wisconsin for a three-day-old car and rock- n’-roll show. Little Richard closed the three-day affair, and closed it, he did. Over the years, I have seen Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Elvis and many others, but it’s always special to see Little Richard. When he came on stage that night, he walked with the aid of a cane, as he recently had a hip replacement. “Hey, now folks, don’t you worry none. Little Richard may not be able to get up and boogie woogie tonight, but have no fear, Little Richard can still rock.” Rock he did.
You know, sometimes, when I hear what my grandkids are listening to, I have to stop and think how Little Richard must have sounded and appeared to my parent’s generation.
she got everything Uncle John need
Ready set go man go, I got a gal I love so
Goin’ to the corner pick up my sweetie pie,
she the apple of my eye
Slippin’ and sliden’, peepin’’ and a hidin’
December 12, 2011