Happy Birthday Little Richard!

Well Long Tall Sally, she’s built for speed, she’s got everything that Uncle John needs — oh baby, havin’ me some fun tonight. Those lyrics were sung on pop radio in 1956, if you can believe it. Saw Uncle John with Long Tall Sally, he saw Aunt Mary comin’ so he ducked back in the alley — oh baby, havin’ me some fun tonight. And you thought the 1950’s were all about phosphates and bobby socks!

Hey I thought this was a baking blog! True I don’t normally go in for the celebrity birthday thing, but Little Richard is a special case (at least for me). Given that most of us only know him as the weirdo with the facelift and the curly locks that pops up on game shows from time to time, it’s easy to forget that Little Richard was one of the true architects of the rock n’ roll. Many of the great early songs of rock, recorded by everyone from Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis to Bill Haley, The Beatles and Pat Boone, were written and first performed by Little Richard. It’s only the fact that Little Richard left and re-entered the music business so frequently (to make time for stints in the ministry) that has kept him from being fully recognized as one of the all-time kings of rock. Everyone from James Brown to Bob Dylan to Jimi Hendrix has cited him as a seminal influlence and idol. So here’s wishing a happy 75th to “Little” Richard Penniman!


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