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Who was/is Little Richard ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more


Little Richard

Rock 'n' roll fully exploded into the American consciousness in 1955. With his immortal proclamation "A-wop-bop-a-loo-mop, a-lop-bam-boom," Little Richard placed himself at its epicenter, his seismic impact akin to that of an atomic bomb.

It's not like he was alone in the vanguard of the primordial rock 'n' roll movement. Fats Domino crossed over to the pop airwaves with his Creole-inflected charmer Ain't It A Shame and Chuck Berry duck-walked to the head of the pack with his blazing Maybellene a few months before Richard's Tutti-Frutti crashed the R&B charts in late November of that historic year. Bill Haley & His Comets had already weighed in with the hard-hitting Rock Around The Clock, and Elvis had something going in Memphis that the world would very soon take enraptured notice of.

But none of those groundbreakers, seminal as they were, packed the same molten heat that Richard Penniman unleashed anytime he ventured near a microphone. His banshee screams were primal, his savage piano attack lethal, his energy levels stratospheric. Little Richard was the ultimate embodiment of rock 'n' roll, dangerous and a tad exotic and utterly without constraint. No wonder conservative Caucasian parents, secure until then in the bland, 'Your Hit Parade'-dominated sounds of the Eisenhower era, were scared out of their wits. Here was a figurehead whose crazed wails could shake teenagers' souls down to the very core.

Perhaps most amazing of all, Richard's principal legacy--the earthshattering smashes he made for Art Rupe's Los Angeles-based Specialty Records—was committed to tape in less than two years. In the autumn of '57, he renounced rock 'n' roll altogether after deciding the launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik signaled the impending end of the world. Thankfully, that bold prediction didn't come to pass, and Richard returned to rocking pursuits in years to come.

Richard Penniman hailed from a huge family. Born December 5, 1932 in Macon, Georgia, he was a mischievous lad. But he also sang gospel as a child, initially in an aggregation called the Tiny Tots as well as his family's group, the Penniman Singers. He found divine inspiration in the singing of sanctified stars Mahalia Jackson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Brother Joe May. At 14 he hooked up with Dr. Hudson's Medicine Show, a barnstorming troupe anything but sacred in content. There Richard belted Louis Jordan's Caldonia to rouse the onlookers. That led to a position as front man for B. Brown's orchestra, crooning pop fare. There was even a stint in a traveling minstrel show where he performed in a dress.

While working in a Georgia outfit known as the Broadway Follies, Penniman made his way to Atlanta, teeming with R&B joints up and down Auburn Avenue. Chuck Willis, Titus Turner, Tommy Brown, Clyde 'Blow Top' Lynn, Melvin Smith, and Zilla Mays were among the young performers on the Atlanta circuit. So was flamboyant singer Billy Wright, a direct influence on Richard vocally as well as in his presentation (Penniman even started using the same pancake makeup that Wright favored). Billy was only six-and-a-half months older than Richard but had gotten started a little quicker; he was 17 when he scored his first hits for Savoy Records in 1949.

Wright hooked Penniman up with WGST deejay Zenas Sears, fast becoming an R&B institution over the Atlanta airwaves. Sears was instrumental in connecting the 18-year-old singer with RCA Victor. On October 16, 1951, A&R man Steve Sholes—later Elvis' producer at RCA—met Richard at WGST to supervise his debut session (recording studios were in short supply down south). He was backed by a septet of Atlanta sessioneers led by trumpeter Roy Mays, Zilla's brother; Roy had previously played behind Richard at Bailey's 81 Theater on Decatur Street.

The first song Little Richard ever laid on tape was the rip-roaring Get Rich Quick, written by none other than erudite jazz critic Leonard Feather. With Julius Wimby punching the 88s (Richard hadn't seriously taken up the piano yet) and tenor saxist Fred Jackson, soon a stalwart of Willis' outfit, stepping up for a lusty three-chorus solo, Richard sounds very young but suitably enthusiastic, and the whole thing swings like crazy.

Nothing from the session made anything resembling a national impression, but local airplay was sufficient to send Richard on the road as front man for bassist Percy Welch's band. That didn't stop the young singer from engaging in other nocturnal activities. While hanging around Macon's Greyhound bus station one night, Richard encountered a personage even more flamboyant than he. This lad called himself Esquerita and was willing to show Richard how to beat the living hell out of a piano.

Despite losing his father in a senseless shooting incident at the elder Penniman's Tip In Inn, Richard persevered, though RCA dropped him after none of his four singles did appreciable business (he'd done a second session at WGST in January of '52). Times got hard for the Penniman family after its patriarch was murdered, forcing Richard to take a job washing dishes at the bus station. But powerful Macon promoter Clint Brantley rescued him from a dreary, soapy fate. Soon Richard was gigging at the prestigious New Era Club in Nashville.

A group called the Deuces of Rhythm rolled into the New Era one night and caught Richard's act. They were led by Raymond Taylor, gifted with the unusual ability to play trumpet, trombone, piano, and organ two at a time, and his drumming wife Mildred. The end result was Richard joining them as a member of a new vocal group, the Tempo Toppers. After a lengthy engagement at New Orleans' Club Tiajuana, the outfit moved on to the Club Matinee in Houston. There the Tempo Toppers were heard by Don Robey, the owner of Peacock Records. He did a session with them in February of 1953.

Minuscule sales figures befell the Tempo Toppers' pair of Peacock singles, and tough guy Robey beat Richard up one day in his office to boot. But there was an encore date in the offing for Richard, who split from the group and spent some time back in Macon before returning to Houston. Johnny Otis, one of the hottest bandleaders on the R&B scene thanks to his string of early '50s hits for Savoy, had been knocked out when he first saw the effeminate young singer at the Matinee and was in charge of the session. Otis had come aboard Peacock in 1952 and led the band on Big Mama Thornton's '53 R&B chart-topper Hound Dog, a landmark moment.

Otis' own horn-fueled orchestra sat behind Richard for his October 5, 1953, Peacock session at Bill Holford's ACA Studios in Houston. The last thing they laid on tape that day was the aptly titled houserocker Little Richard's Boogie. No shrinking violet, Richard happily introduces himself on the first stanza, the band adding hearty vocal call-and-response after that. After a muscular sax break that could be the work of James Von Streeter, Otis grabs 12 bars for his own vibes. Although Devonia Williams is officially credited as pianist for the track, that cascading run near the fade sounds a lot like what Richard would soon be up to at Specialty. Peacock wouldn't get around to releasing the exciting track until early 1956, when Richard was the hottest thing around thanks to Tutti-Frutti.

Little Richard Little Richard - Rocks
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More information about Little Richard on de.Wikipedia.org
 
 
   
 
Little Richard: The Explosive Little Richard! (2-LP)
Art-Nr.: BAF218028
 

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2-LP-180g Set (gatefold sleeve) - Rock 'n' Roll, Soul - 17 tracks - ca. 48 min. -  LP1: 33.33rpm - LP2: 45rpm • Little Richard’s mid-sixties comeback album, augmented with several masters previously unissued on vinyl. • His most frantic recordings besides his...

$35.34 *

Little Richard: The Formative Years 1951-1953
Art-Nr.: BCD15448
 

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1-CD-album with 12-page booklet, 22 tracks. Playing time approx. 59 mns. A dream package as CD-album, this includes all of Little Richard's RCA and Peacock recordings from 1951-1953. It's a front row seat for the birth of rock 'n' roll. Little Richard is singing...

Instead of:$17.64 * $14.11 *

Little Richard: Little Richard - Rocks
Art-Nr.: BCD17138
 

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1-CD-Album Digipac mit 60-page booklet, 31 tracks. Playing time approx. 72 minutes.  The incomparable Little Richard blew the lid off the '50s! 16 US hits and all 14 of his Top 30 UK hits are here. Nothing before or since has sounded wilder than this. 'Mojo'...

Instead of:$18.82 * $15.06 *

Little Richard: Dancin' All Around The World - The Complete Vee-Jay Recordings (2-CD)
Art-Nr.: CD512193
 

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(1996/Charly) 42 Vee-Jay recordings from 1964-65 with 16 page booklet. Now rare double set - featuring Jimi Hendrix.

Instead of:$23.54 * $18.83 *

LITTLE RICHARD & Others: Rock Around The Mouse (CD, Cut-Out)
Art-Nr.: CD60352
 

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(1995/Walt Disney) 10 tracks feat: The Jordanaires, Buzz Carson and Little Richard (Gawrsh Golly Goofy) remastered 1987 recordings - collectors item now !!

Instead of:$29.44 * $23.55 *

Little Richard: Keep On Rockin' - Toronto 1969 (Code 4)
Art-Nr.: DVDU1263
 

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(Umbrella) NTSC, Code 4, Color, 1991, 28 Mins.

Instead of:$11.74 * $7.63 *

Little Richard: The Great Little Richard
Art-Nr.: DLP0025
 

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(DEMAND) 14 tracks - UK release, mono. Amazing LP of the Rock 'n' Roll Little Richard who brings you some alternative takes and previously unreleased tracks plus a outstanding peformance as a Gospel singer. Higlight - the live performance of all time in Paris 1966,...

$23.54 *

Little Richard: Sessions - Unreleased Alternate Studio Takes
Art-Nr.: LPSR55185
 

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(1985/Subway) 24 tracks, recorded 1955-57. Gatefold cover!

$25.37 *

No image available Little Richard: Lifetime Friend (LP Album)
Art-Nr.: LPWB25529
 

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(1986/WEA) 10 tracks - The 1986 LP Album! Cut-out! Originally sealed!

$11.51 *

Little Richard: The Second Coming (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDCCM2023
 

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(2009/CCM) 9 tracks (41:00) Reprise 1972, produced by R.A.'Bumps' Blackwell (Specialty) featuring Earl Palmer, Lee Allen a.o.

Instead of:$21.18 * $16.94 *

Little Richard: The Original Little Richard (LP)
Art-Nr.: LPSNTF5011
 

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(1972/Specialty) 12 tracks - Original 'Specialty' recordings! 

$11.74 *

Little Richard: Little Richard, Volume 2
Art-Nr.: LPDOK312
 

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(2012/Doxy) 12 tracks - Reproduction of the 1958 Specialty album incl. a CD with the LP-tracks!

$23.48 *

Little Richard: Ooh My Soul - The Best Of Vee-Jay Years (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDSNAP227
 

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(2005/CHARLY) 28 tracks (68:50) - digipac

Instead of:$15.28 * $12.22 *

Little Richard: 'Shut Up!' Rare Tracks 1951-1964
Art-Nr.: LPR170236CUT
 

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(1988/RHINO) 12 tracks RCA/Peacock/Mercury/Atlantic/Little Star/Vee Jay - now rare original US pressing - few copies

$17.11 *

Little Richard: Greatest Hits (LP)
Art-Nr.: LPVP80016
 

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(2012/Vinyl Passion) 20 tracks, recorded for the 'Specialty' label between 1956 and 1959!

$17.41 *

Little Richard: Just About As Good As It Gets (2-CD)
Art-Nr.: CDSCCD2493
 

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(2013/Smith) 64 tracks 1951-62

Instead of:$18.82 * $15.06 *

Little Richard: Keep On Rockin' (2)
Art-Nr.: DVDSV3009
 

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Toronto 1969, PAL, 27 Minutes; last copies - special price

Instead of:$11.68 * $7.59 *

Little Richard: Little Richard Vol.2 (1958 Album)
Art-Nr.: CDCHM131
 

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(1989/ACE) 12 tracks Specialty 1958

Instead of:$15.05 * $12.04 *

Little Richard: Little Richard NOW (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDC192469
 

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(1993/Rarity) 20 Tracks - Fabulous re-recordings of his greatest hits! Recorded in Nashville 1975! Rare!

Instead of:$21.18 * $16.94 *

Little Richard: The Wild & Frantic (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDGP02
 

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(2006/GreenPower) 28 tracks 1961-1968 with 8 page booklet incl. discography.

Instead of:$58.94 * $47.15 *

Little Richard: The Explosive Little Richard (LP)
Art-Nr.: LPPE40390
 

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(1986/Epic) 10 tracks - Reproduction of the 1967 Okeh album, poduced by Larry Williams! Cut-out LP, originally sealed!

$19.77 *

Little Richard: The Fabulous Little Richard
Art-Nr.: LPDOK313
 

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(2012/Doxy) 13 tracks - Reproduction of the 1959 Specialty album incl. a CD with the LP-tracks!

$23.48 *

LITTLE RICHARD: The Explosive (1967)
Art-Nr.: CDBGO368
 

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(1997/BGO) 11 tracks - last copies!

Instead of:$15.28 * $12.22 *

Little Richard: The King Of Rock'n'Roll
Art-Nr.: CDSYN002
 

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CD on SYNERGY RECORDS by Little Richard - The King Of Rock'n'Roll

Instead of:$9.38 * $7.50 *

Little Richard: King Of Rock & Roll (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDCCM2027
 

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(2009/CCM) 11 tracks (43:09) 1971 Reprise - Little Richard takes on the Stones, CCR, Hank Williams, Motown and more...

Instead of:$35.34 * $28.27 *

LITTLE RICHARD & Billy WRIGHT: Birth Of A Legend (CD)
Art-Nr.: CD3930402
 

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(2004/MAGIC) 20 tracks 1951-53 plus Little Richard interview from 1975 - 24 Bit mastering - Digipack Rock 'N' Roll Jubilee by Jacques Barsamian & Martial Martinay 50th Anniversary Original versions restored & remastered include booklet with french &...

Instead of:$11.74 * $9.39 *

Little Richard: Here's Little Richard (1957 Album)
Art-Nr.: CDCHM128
 

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(1989/ACE) 12 tracks Specialty 1957 - digitall transferred from the original master tapes

Instead of:$15.05 * $12.04 *

Little Richard: Here's Little Richard...plus (2012) Limited
Art-Nr.: CD33300
 

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(2012/SPECIALTY) 14 tracks & interview and two enhanced video clips, digipac with 22 page booklet and cover-art poster (folded).

Instead of:$11.74 * $9.39 *

Little Richard: She Knows How To Rock (2-CD)
Art-Nr.: CDJAS545
 

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(2010/JASMINE) 38 tracks

Instead of:$20.00 * $16.00 *

Little Richard: The Fabulous (1959 Album)
Art-Nr.: CDCHM133
 

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(1989/ACE) 13 tracks Specialty 1959

Instead of:$15.05 * $12.04 *

Little Richard: Early Studio Outtakes (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDSJ565
 

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(1994/Sunjay) 13 Tracks (40:46) original Specialty material 1955-1957!

Instead of:$18.82 * $15.06 *

Little Richard: The Fabulous Little Richard - It's Real (CD)
Art-Nr.: CD263453
 

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(2013/Hoodoo Records) 29 Tracks - 16 page booklet with rare photos, vintage memorabilia, detailed liner notes and more! Contains the legendary Specialty album 'The Fabulous Little Richard' plus his Gospel album and 4 bonus tracks!

Instead of:$15.28 * $12.22 *

Little Richard: The Fabulous Little Richard (CD, Japan Edition)
Art-Nr.: CDPCD1903
 

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(1993/P-Vine-Japan) 17 tracks, reissue of the original 1959 Specialty LP plus 4 rare outtakes and a demo as bonus tracks! Rare item, few copies! MM/Bear Family Records

Instead of:$47.14 * $37.71 *

Little Richard: Shag On Down The Union Hall (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDSPCD7063
 

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Legends Of Specialty Series Vol.2 (US) - few copies

Instead of:$11.74 * $9.39 *

Little Richard: The Second Coming (2-CD)
Art-Nr.: CDCP8244
 

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(1996/Charly) 42 tracks, original Vee-Jay recordings, 1964-1972. Hardcover slipcase packaging with 8-pages booklet. Featuring the legendary Jimi Hendrix on lead-guitar.

Instead of:$47.14 * $37.71 *

Little Richard: Talking 'bout Soul (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDRPM217
 

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Instead of:$29.44 * $23.55 *

Little Richard: Live In Europe 1993 (CD)Live In Europe 1993
Art-Nr.: CDGP01
 

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(2006/GreenPowerl) 25 tracks (78:58) superb sound quality

Instead of:$58.94 * $47.15 *

Little Richard: Breathtakin' (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDBIT61020
 

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Instead of:$11.74 * $9.39 *

Little Richard: Directly From My Heart (3-CD)
Art-Nr.: CDFAN36988
 

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(2015/Fantasy) 64 tracks. Directly From My Heart features 64 of Little Richard's best-loved songs from his time at the Specialty and Vee-Jay labels. Material ranging from the mid 1950's through the mid 1960's. Also included is an illustrated booklet featuring new...

Instead of:$47.14 * $37.71 *

Little Richard: Tutti Frutti - Album #1...plus
Art-Nr.: CD3930565
 

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(2005/MAGIC) 16 tracks 1957 24-BIT mastering Digipack

Instead of:$11.74 * $9.39 *

Little Richard: The Fabulous Little Richard (1959)...plus
Art-Nr.: LP771925
 

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(2014/WaxTime) 16 tracks, Includes Free MP3 Album Download

$22.13 *

Little Richard: Original British Hit Singles
Art-Nr.: CDCHM729
 

Currently not available

CD on ACE RECORDS by Little Richard - Original British Hit Singles

Instead of:$11.74 * $9.39 *

LITTLE RICHARD: Ready Teddy
Art-Nr.: CDSROLL822
 

Currently not available

Instead of:$11.74 * $9.39 *

Little Richard: Little Richard's Boogie - Directly From.. 7inch, 45rpm
Art-Nr.: REP12037
 

Currently not available

Little Richards early recordings before he went to Specialty Records.

$12.69 *

Little Richard: The Essential Tracks (2-LP, 180g Vinyl, Download Code)
Art-Nr.: LPVVLP010
 

Currently not available

(2014/Vintage Vinyl) 28 tracks, original Specialty recordings, 1955-1960. Richard rocks vinyl! Including download code! MM/Bear Family Records

Instead of:$23.54 * $21.18 *

Little Richard: The Implosive Little Richard
Art-Nr.: JRLP2
 

Currently not available

(2011/JEROME) 16 tracks 1951-53 Gatefold/Klappcover.

$21.18 *

Little Richard: Dance Forever #9 7inch, 45rpm, PS
Art-Nr.: EMI94171
 

Currently not available

(1975/EMI PATHE MARONI) Stereo/Specialty Labels

$9.44 *

No image available Little Richard: The Wild & Frantic (1961-68)
Art-Nr.: CD0712001
 

Currently not available

(2006/GREEN POWER) 28 tracks 1961-68

Instead of:$20.00 * $16.00 *

Little Richard: Greatest Hits Live (CD)
Art-Nr.: CD462558
 

Currently not available

Instead of:$22.36 * $17.89 *

   
 
 
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