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Music singer, songwriter and pianist Little Richard picture(s)/pic(s), wallpaper and photo gallery, albums covers pictures.
Birth name: Richard Wayne Penniman.
Also known as: The True King Of Rock 'n' Roll.
Born: December 5, 1932 Macon, Georgia, U.S.

Little Richard biography (bio):
Richard Wayne Penniman is better known by the stage name Little Richard, is an African-American singer, songwriter, and pianist, who began performing in the 1940s and was a key figure in the transition from rhythm & blues to rock and roll in the mid-1950s.
Penniman's reputation rests on a string of groundbreaking hit singles from 1955 through 1957, such as "Tutti Frutti" and "Long Tall Sally", which helped lay the foundation for rock and roll music, influencing generations of rhythm and blues, rock and soul music artists. Little Richard's injection of funk during this period also influenced the development of that genre of music.
Little Richard's early work was a mix of boogie-woogie a song he rhythm and blues and gospel music, but with a heavily accentuated back-beat, funky saxophone grooves and raspy, shouted vocals, moans, screams, and other emotive inflections that marked a new kind of music. In 1957, while at the height of stardom, he became a born-again Christian and withdrew from recording and performing secular music.
James Brown, who called Little Richard his idol, credited him with "first putting the funk in the rock and roll beat" via his saxophone-studded, mid-'50s road band, by Smokey Robinson, in 1997 as, "the start of that driving, funky, never let up rock 'n' roll", by Dick Clark as "the model for almost every rock and roll performer of the '50s and years thereafter", and Ray Charles, in 1989, as "the man that started a kind of music that set the pace for a lot of what's happening today." In 1969, Elvis Presley told Little Richard, "Your music has inspired me - you are the greatest.". Otis Redding, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Mick Jagger, John Fogerty, Bob Dylan, Bob Seger, David Bowie, and numerous other rock n roll icons have also cited Little Richard as being their first major influence.
Penniman was born in Macon, Georgia, to Leva Mae Stewart and Charles ("Bud") Penniman, a bootlegger. He grew up in a spiritual family, amid poverty and prejudice, and it was singing that made his family feel closer to God. His family had a group called the Penniman Singers, who would go around and sing in local churches, and enter contests with other singing families. Richard's siblings called him 'War Hawk' because of his loud, screaming singing voice. His paternal grandfather, Walter Penniman, was a preacher, and his father's family were members of the Foundation Templar African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Macon, Georgia. Richard's maternal grandmother was a member of the Holiness Temple Baptist Church, also in Macon. Richard regularly attended the New Hope Baptist Church in Macon, where his mother was a member. However, of all the churches he frequented, Richard's favorite were the Pentecostal churches because of the music and the fun he and his friends would have doing the holy dance and talking in tongues along with members of the congregation. When he was as young as ten, he would go around as a healer, singing Gospel songs and touching people, who would testify that they felt better after he ministered to them. Inspired by Brother Joe May, a singing evangelist known as 'The Thunderbolt of the West', Richard wanted to become a preacher. It was in and through the church where Richard's life in music all began.
Nearly all of Richard Penniman's dramatic phrasing and swift vocal turns are derived from Black Gospel artists of the 1930s and 1940s. He referred to Sister Rosetta Tharpe as his favorite singer when he was a child. She had invited him to sing a song with her onstage at the Macon City Auditorium in 1945, after hearing him sing before the concert. The crowd applauded and cheered and she paid him more money than he had ever seen after the show. He was also heavily influenced by Marion Williams, from whom he got the trademark "whoooo" in his vocal, Mahalia Jackson, and Brother Joe May. He was heavily influenced in appearance (hair, clothing, shoes, makeup, etc.) and sound by late 1940s gospel-style, jump blues shouter Billy Wright, who was known as the 'Prince of the Blues'. It is reported that he got one of the inflections ("Lucille-uh") in his vocal from Ruth Brown.
One of Penniman's main influences on his piano-playing was Esquerita (Eskew Reeder Jr.), who demonstrated to Penniman how to play high notes without compromising bass. Penniman met Esquerita when he traveled through Macon with a preacher named Sister Rosa. Another influence was Brother Joe May. Penniman explained, "I used to get in a room and try to make my piano sound just like him. He had so much energy." May generated energy by moving from a subtle whisper to a thunderous tenor and back in a four-bar phrase.
He learned to mix ministerial qualities with theatrics by watching the traveling medicine shows that rolled through his native Macon. Colorful medicine men would wear lavish capes, robes and turbans, all of which left an impression on Penniman.
In 1952, Penniman's father was murdered. After this, he returned to Macon and performed blues and boogie-woogie music at the "Tick Tock Club" in the evening, whilst also washing dishes at the cafeteria of a Greyhound Lines bus station during the day.

Recording career:
Modeled after recording artist Billy Wright, Little Richard had recorded songs for the Peacock Records label between 1951 and 1954, including "Little Richard's Boogie". These records sold poorly and Penniman had little success until he sent a demo tape to Specialty Records on February 17, 1955. Specialty's owner Art Rupe placed Richard's career in the hands of Robert 'Bumps' Blackwell, who had nurtured and groomed Ray Charles (then known as R.C. Robinson) and Quincy Jones at the start of their careers in the music business.
Blackwell had intended to pit Little Richard against Ray Charles and B.B. King by having him record blues tracks. He arranged for a recording session in New Orleans in the late summer of 1955, when, during a break, Penniman began singing an impromptu recital of "Tutti Frutti", in his raspy, shouted vocal style, while pounding out a boogie-woogie based rhythm on the piano. Blackwell, who knew a hit when he heard one, was knocked out and had Little Richard record the song. However, in order to make it commercially acceptable, he had Little Richard's lyrics changed from "tutti-frutti, good booty" to "tutti frutti, aw rooty."
The song, with Little Richard shouting its unique introductory "A-wop-bop-a-loo-mop-a-whop-bam-boom!", became the model for many subsequent Little Richard songs, with a driving piano, boogie-woogie bass, funky saxophone arrangements, with sax solos usually from Lee Allen. Over the next few years, Little Richard had many hit singles, such as "Long Tall Sally", "Rip It Up", "The Girl Can't Help It", "Slippin' and Slidin'", "Jenny, Jenny", "Good Golly, Miss Molly", and "Keep A Knockin'". His performing style can be seen in such period films as Don't Knock the Rock (1956) and The Girl Can't Help It (also 1956), for which he sang the title song.
In the commercial fashion of the day, several of his early hits were re-recorded in other styles. Little Richard's first national success, "Tutti Frutti," was covered by Pat Boone, whose version outdid the source record, #12 to #17. Boone also released a version of "Long Tall Sally," with slightly bowdlerized lyrics. But this time, the Little Richard original outperformed it on the Billboard charts, #6 to #8. Bill Haley tackled Little Richard's third major hit, "Rip It Up," but again, Little Richard prevailed. With the record-buying public's preference established, Little Richard's subsequent releases did not face the same chart competition.
Despite the raw sound of his music, the singles were carefully arranged, as documented on the three-volume album The Specialty Sessions, which include many false starts and variations.

Born-again Christianity:
Little Richard quit the music business in 1957, while on tour in Australia, claiming he had been warned of his own damnation in a vision.
Since then, he has been in and out of rock and roll as well as in and out of religion. He took the Voice of Prophecy courses run by members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, attended Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, and was ordained a minister in the Church of God of the Ten Commandments. His stance at that time in his life was that rock music was of the devil and that it is not possible to play rock and roll and to please God at the same time. He began performing Gospel music throughout the United States of America, often with Gospel artists who inspired him, including Mahalia Jackson, whom he met one day in Los Angeles, where he invited her to hear him sing at the Mount Maria Baptist Church. In 1959, he married a Christian girl named Ernestine.
While Specialty Records released a few new songs based on past sessions, Richard recorded only Gospel music in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He performed only Gospel material on the Gospel circuit. During this time, he did not perform his early rock and roll hits, resenting the secular themes of the songs.
In 1962, Little Richard was invited to tour Europe. He took a young Billy Preston with him on the road as part of his band. They intended on performing only Gospel music, but were lured into performing his old, secular hits. That year, an unknown British group called The Beatles were his opening act. In 1963, his opening band was another young band, the Rolling Stones. In 1964, Little Richard then introduced another then-unknown artist, Jimi Hendrix, as part of his band. Hendrix said in 1966, "I want to do with my guitar what Little Richard does with his voice."
Richard performed on the rock revival circuit through the remainder of the 1960s and into the 1970s. He also recorded live and studio albums over this period of time. He experienced moderate chart success with new material in mid-1960s and again in the early 1970s.

Back to religion:
In 1977, following the death of a nephew that he loved like a son, and with his own life spiraling out of control with drug abuse in the seedy underworld of LA, Little Richard returned to God and the ministry, this time for the Universal Remnant Church of God. During this time, he traveled and preached to hundreds of thousands of people, and recorded more gospel music. He also represented Memorial Bibles International and sold the Black Heritage Bible for a short while. In his sermons in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Little Richard proclaimed that it is not possible to perform rock and roll music and to serve God at the same time. He said, "I like Pat Boone as a friend, but he's trying to serve two masters. Pat believes he can go to Las Vegas and do his thing, then preach on Sunday. I don't believe we can do that. God has not called us to do that. I can never see myself going back to rock 'n' roll."
In 1984, Charles White released his authorized biography of Penniman, "The Life and Times of Little Richard," in which Little Richard testified about his conversion to Christianity and subsequent deliverance. Mick Jagger proclaimed on the cover, "Little Richard is King." He launched yet another comeback, this time recording an album of inspirational rock and roll music. Ever since he has attempted to reconcile his role as a rock and roll star and his role as a minister. Penniman once said, "I believe that there is good and bad in everything. I believe some rock 'n' roll music is really bad, but I believe there is some not as bad. I believe if the message is positive and elevating, and wholesome and uplifting, this makes you think clearly. If it's not then it is not good even in Gospel."
As detailed in White's biography (2003 revision, pg. 221), Richard's dilemma - whether to be a minister or to sing rock 'n roll - came to a head again while recording the soundtrack to the 1985 hit movie Down and Out in Beverly Hills, so he enrolled his old friend Billy Preston to help him write a song with spiritual lyrics that would sound like rock 'n' roll. The result was a song called "Great God A'Mighty", which he changed to "It's A Matter of Time", reflecting the conflict in his mind.
The song became his first hit in over a decade and became part of a Little Richard "messages in rhythm" album entitled Lifetime Friend released by WEA in 1986. Little Richard called his new music "message music", stating, "my mother died not long ago and it was only a few months before she died that she made me promise that I'd stay with the Lord. I have contentment and peace of mind, which is more important than anything. I am going to stay with God and just travel around."

Recent events:
Through the remainder of the 1980s, 1990s and into the twenty-first century, Little Richard has remained a popular guest on television, in music videos, commercials, movies and as a recording artist. He has contributed new recordings to movie soundtracks (ex. Twins, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Why Do Fools Fall in Love) and wrote and performed a song for the 2001 film The Trumpet of the Swan. He also sang background vocals on the U2 / BB King hit song "When Love Comes to Town, and preaches, as well, at times amid funky saxophone playing, in the extended "Live From The Kingdom Mix' of the track". Penniman appeared on Living Colour's "Elvis Is Dead", and also recorded new tracks for tribute albums, such as Folkways: A Vision Shared ("The Rock Island Line") (1989) and Kindred Spirits: A Tribute to Johnny Cash ("Get Rhythm") (2002). He also recorded duets in the 1990s with Jon Bon Jovi, Hank Williams Jr., Living Color, Elton John, Tanya Tucker, Solomon Burke, and in 2006 with Jerry Lee Lewis, in which they covered the Little Richard-influenced, early 1960s, hit Beatles track "I Saw Her Standing There." He also recently headlined the University of Texas event "40 Acres Fest".
In the 1990's, CNN's World Championship Wrestling/WCW signed a contract with Marc Mero to play a flamboyant character by the name of Johnny B. Badd, based loosely on Little Richard, due to Mero's resemblance to the singer. Mero's impersonation helped made him a superstar in the wrestling world, and he continues to wrestle under the persona as of 2006.
In 2006 he was a judge on Celebrity Duets. In 2006/2007 he was featured in a Geico advertisement, wherin he uses his signature "whoop" to denote the joy he would receive while consuming "mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce" at a Thanksgiving dinner. In 2007 his song "All Around The World" was featured on a Cravendale Advertisement for an animation by PicPic which features a cow, a pirate, and a biker. In 2007, he also performed at the Capitol Fourth - a July 4th celebration (televised live on PBS) in front of the White House in Washington D.C. In 2001, he performed at the July 4th music event in Dublin, Ohio.
On July 25th, 2007, he made an appearance on the ABC show The Next Best Thing.

Awards/honors:
* In 1956, Cashbox awarded Little Richard the Cashbox Triple Crown Award for "Long Tall Sally".
* In 1986, Little Richard was one of the first group of recording artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
* In 1990, Little Richard was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
* In 1993, he then received a Honorary Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
* In 1994, Little Richard was the fourth recording artist (the others being Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and James Brown) to be recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Pioneer Award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation.
* In 1997, he received the American Music Award of Merit.
* In 2002, BMI, during the 50th Annual BMI Pop Awards celebration, Little Richard, along with Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry, were awarded the first BMI Icon Awards in recognition of their unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers." The same year, he was inducted into the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Hall of Fame for having "distinguished himself as not only an unparalleled musical genius, but also as a unique and innovative performing artistfusing pure vocal talent with exhilarating showmanship."
* In 2003, Little Richard was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
* In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Little Richard #8 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Although, at least six of the seven artists which preceded him on the list were heavily influenced by Little Richard and his music (which he pointed out in the article).
* In 2006, Little Richard was inducted into the Apollo Theater Legends Hall of Fame, at the same time as Ella Fitzgerald (who was one of the first winners of 'Amateur Night at the Apollo' in 1934) and Gladys Knight & the Pips.
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