• Jon Heatherly

Little Richard Was Born on This Day

December 5th, 1932

Image by liveauctioneers.com via Wikimedia


Richard Wayne Penniman was born in Macon, Georgia, but you know him as Little Richard. His biggest hits are “Tutti Frutti,” “Long Tall Sally,” and “Good Golly Miss Molly.” Little Richard lit stages with his booming voice, quick fingers, and flamboyant style.


Some call him “The Architect of Rock n’ Roll.” He fused pious gospel and libidinous blues, and artists from Paul McCartney to James Brown idolized Little Richard. One could say he was both a victim and victimized others.


While Penniman practiced religion, the stage kept calling him back. Little Richard came from when he performed drag in his teenage years. He waffled between stage life and evangelism until his health deteriorated in 2012. Little Richard passed away in May 2020 from bone cancer in Tullahoma, Tennessee.


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