Little Richard was the Georgia peach that introduced Rock-n-Roll to the world. His stage name might start with little, but nothing there was little about his sound and the impact he had on the culture. The high pitch squeals, the soulful “Oooo’s”, and the grittiest C2 octave broke many musical and racial barriers of his time. Little Richard sound didn’t just bring us together to have a good time but it brought us together to advocate for the social changes and freedom of our people.
Till this day his well known songs still transcend to the current culture of music. Here’s a list below of his top 7 songs that made an impact on the culture of Rock-N-Roll.
This song will forever be a classic of his. Soon as you hear this intro “Wop-bop-a-loo-mop alop-bom-bom” it’s two things you get in position, your hips and your knees. When that intro comes on those two body parts are in position to rock or do the twist.
Keep a Knocking
Even though this song talks about the restriction of someone coming into your life, the tapping of the snare drum in the beginning means otherwise. That tap was letting the world know that Little Richard was going to keep on knocking down doors so the world can hear his sound, regardless if they told him no. He was going to come and do it even bigger.
Good Golly Miss Molly
Good Golly Miss Molly was the original “Around the Way Girl”. Little Richard indicated Miss Molly liked to have a ball so much that you might want to watch yourself because she was the real deal.
The Girl Can’t Help It
The song says “If she winks her eye and the bread slices turn to toast, She can’t Help it”. This song clearly indicates that women can’t help it if they “got it” like that. Little Richard was letting us know that women are all that and a bag of chips (as my nana used to say).
Long Tall Sally
Little Richard had a song about the side chick too. Long Tall Sally was Uncle John’s backdoor squeeze. Even though she had everything Uncle John needed at the time, he was still married to Auntie Mary. Now the plot twist of the song wasn’t because Long Tall Sally was messing with a married man, but Sally was messing with Little Richard and Uncle John. It was a family affair. As he stated in his song “We gone have some fun tonight”. That they did.
This is really a dance floor classic. Ready Teddy gave us clear indicators of what Little Richard was doing as he prepared to go to the sock hop ball. He picked up his sweetie pie, kicked off his shoes, pulled up his stone washed faded jeans, and hit the dance floor with his girl. This song let us know how he liked to have a good time.
I remember my nana telling my dad one day “I’m happy you got married when you did, because these women outchea were trying to give you the Heeby-Jeebies” Now as a kid ear hustling I thought it was just one of my Nana’s southern colloquialism. Thanks to Little Richard for clarifying, women were trying to put a jinx on my dad.
Words by: Kinyana Mccoy