Little Richard

The Birth of Rock 'n' Roll

By Kirby, David Gordon

Publishers Summary:
This book is a concise, evocative, and thoroughly researched study of one of the great rock'n'roll pioneers. After "Tutti Frutti," Little Richard began garnering fans from both sides of the civil rights divide. He brought black and white youngsters together on the dance floor and even helped to transform race relations. In June, 2007, Little Richard's 1955 Specialty Records single, "Tutti Frutti" topped "Mojo" magazine's list of '100 Records That Changed the World'. But back in the early 1950s, nobody gave Little Richard a second glance. It was a time in America where the black and white worlds had co-existed separately for nearly two centuries. After "Tutti Frutti" Little Richard began garnering fans from both sides of the civil rights divide. He brought black and white youngsters together on the dance floor and even helped to transform race relations. "Little Richard: The Birth of Rock 'n' Roll" begins by grounding the reader in the fertile soil from which his music sprang. In Macon, Georgia, David Kirby interviews local characters, who knew Little Richard way back when, citing church and family as his true inspiration. Kirby sees Little Richard as a warrior, one fighting with skill and cunning to take his place among the greats. In the words of Keith Richards (on hearing "Tutti Frutti" for the first time), 'it was as though the world changed suddenly from monochrome to Technicolor'. Those sentiments have consistently been echoed by the music-listening world, and the time is ripe for a reassessment of Little Richard's genius and legacy.

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ISBN
978-0-82642-965-0
Publisher
Continuum


REVIEWS

Library Journal

Reviewed on October 19, 2009

Little Richard refers to himself as the originator, the emancipator, and the architect of rock 'n' roll-but he hasn't been allotted his due in the literature about rock 'n' roll. Working from secondary sources and a few interviews, poet Kirby (English, Florida State Univ.; The House on Boulevard St.) doesn't provide a biography as much as he evokes the environment that transformed Richard Penniman into Little Richard. Verdict Biographical material is scant. Little Richard fans should instead seek out Charles White's The Life and Times of Little Richard.-Brian Sherman, McNeese State Univ. Lib., Lake Charles, LA Copyright 2009 Media Source Inc. Copyright 2009 Media Source Inc. ...Log In or Sign Up to Read More

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