It may be difficult for younger people to fully understand how Little Richard changed everything; from music to society in general. Context is everything. He shook up the world in a profound way. Not only did he write the songs, but performed them without inhibition; he did for singing what Jimi Hendrix did for guitar…he freed it from its former constraints.
He was the first black performer to be accepted by a white audience at a time when that seemed improbable. The simplicity of his songs belies the electrifying effect they had on people. It may have been fun, but it was serious fun. His band was always outstanding and set the standard for hard-driving rock’n’roll, particularly his main drummers, Earl Palmer and Charles ‘Chuck’ Connor.
I first saw him on the 50s’ British television shows. Good Golly Miss Molly was a particular favourite, partly because of the drumming (Earl Palmer). Lucille had such an amazing groove, I can never listen to it enough.
To me, the twin towers of rock, Little Richard and Chuck Berry, are gone, but their legacy will be felt for eons.