Little Richard made himself a star through sheer force of personality, breaking racial and sexual taboos on his way to becoming the primal force of 1950s' rock 'n' roll. Using Richard's own words, White chronicles his staggering career.
When Little Richard burst onto the scene in the early 1950s, he sounded like nothing on earth. Drenched in sweat, screaming, hollering and pumping his piano, he made all who followed soud tame. His stage act was so explosive that for years people assumed the real man could never match the flamboyant public image. Here comes Charles White's sensational book exposing the even more astonishing life and times of Richard Wayne Penniman from Macon, Georgia. Illustrated with pictures from Little Richard's own archive and including a comprehensive discography.
Rock and roll will never die, and neither will the popularity of books about rock stars. Here is the definitive biography of the man who Elvis Presley called "the greatest". An incredible story soon to be a major Paramount motion picture starring Eddie Murphy.
The first major biography of Little Richard, a rollicking, nuanced celebration of the late singer/songwriter's life and his role in the history of American music--gospel, soul, rock, and more "Tutti Frutti" - "Rip It Up" - "Good Golly Miss Molly" - "Lucille" - "Long Tall Sally" -"You Keep A-Knockin'" Little Richard blazed the trail for generations of musicians--The Beatles, James Brown, the Everly Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Prince . . . the list seems endless. He was "The Originator," "The Innovator," and the self-anointed "King and Queen of Rock 'n' Roll." When he died on May 9, 2020, The Big Life of Little Richard--a nearly-completed book--was immediately updated to cover the international response to his death. It is the first major biography of Macon, Georgia's Richard Wayne Penniman, who was, until his passing, the last rock god standing. Mark Ribowsky, acclaimed biographer of musical icons--the Supremes, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding--takes readers through venues, gigs, and studios, conveying the sweaty energy of music sessions limited to a few tracks on an Ampex tape machine and vocals sung along with a live band. He explores Little Richard's musicianship; his family life; his uphill battle against racism; his interactions with famous contemporaries and the media; and his lifelong inner conflict between his religion and his sexuality. The Big Life of Little Richard not only explores a legendary stage persona, but also a complex life under the makeup and pomade, the neon-lit duds and piano pyrotechnics, along with a full-body dive into the waters of sexual fluidity. By 2020, eighty-seven-year-old Little Richard's electrifying smile was still intact, as were his bona fides as rock's kingly architect: the '50s defined his reign, and he extended elder statesmanship ever since. His biggest smash, "Tutti Frutti," is one of history's most covered songs--a staple of the pre-Invasion Beatles--and Elvis pivoted from country to blues rock after Little Richard made R&B's sexual overtones a fundament of the new musical order. Even Hendrix, the greatest instrumentalist in rock history, toured with him before launching a meteoric solo career. Whenever someone pushes the music and culture of rock to its outer borders, one should turn to Little Richard for assurance that anything is possible.
An essential work for rock fans and scholars, Before Elvis: The Prehistory of Rock n Roll surveys the origins of rock n roll from the minstrel era to the emergence of Bill Haley and Elvis Presley. Unlike other histories of rock, Before Elvis offers a far broader and deeper analysis of the influences on rock music. Dispelling common misconceptions, it examines rock s origins in hokum songs and big-band boogies as well as Delta blues, detailing the embrace by white artists of African-American styles long before rock n roll appeared. This unique study ranges far and wide, highlighting not only the contributions of obscure but key precursors like Hardrock Gunter and Sam Theard but also the influence of celebrity performers like Gene Autry and Ella Fitzgerald. Too often, rock historians treat the genesis of rock n roll as a bolt from the blue, an overnight revolution provoked by the bland pop music that immediately preceded it and created through the white appropriation of music till then played only by and for black audiences. In Before Elvis, Birnbaum daringly argues a more complicated history of rock s evolution from a heady mix of ragtime, boogie-woogie, swing, country music, mainstream pop, and rhythm-and-blues a melange that influenced one another along the way, from the absorption of blues and boogies into jazz and pop to the integration of country and Caribbean music into rhythm-and-blues. Written in an easy style, Before Elvis presents a bold argument about rock s origins and required reading for fans and scholars of rock n roll history."
This is a complete handbook of information and opinion about the history of R&B and soul music. Based on the Encyclopedia of Popular Music, the book contains over 1000 entries covering musicians, bands, songwriters, producers and record labels which have made a significant impact on the development of R&B and soul music. It brings together people such as Otis Reading and Aretha Franklin with the great Philly groups of the 1970s, the mainstream soul of Will Downing and Anita Baker and the modern generation of artists such as Mary J. Blige, Babyface and Toni Braxton. As well as headline acts, the book also covers performers who flourished briefly. Each entry offers information such as dates, career facts, discography and album ratings.
Gay Images in the Popular Music of the Rock Era,In this pioneering book the author reviews,songs/albums with gay themes issued during the,rock era of the past thirty years. Included are,such artists as: David Bowie, Elton John, Boy,George, Little Richard, Village People, Bronski,Beat, Pet Shop Boys and many more. Illustrated,with over 30 photographs.
Up from the Cradle of Jazz is an intimate history of New Orleans music during the last 45 years. It describes the piano playing of Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, James Booker, Huey Piano Smith and Dr John; the singing of Irma Thomas, Little Richard, Aaron Neville and Lee Dorsey; the compositions and performances of Allen Toussaint, Guitar Slim, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, The Meters and The Neville Brothers. From smoky bars and nightclubs to the open air revelry of Mardi Gras, this work aims to be the definitive story of the music of contemporary New Orleans.