Rock legend and Macon Little Richard native dies at 87

Rock legend and Macon Little Richard native dies at 87
Rock legend and Macon Little Richard native dies at 87

Little Richard died on Saturday at his home in Nashville at the age of 87.

This is according to a report by Rolling Stone which quotes the musician's son, Danny Penniman.

Born Richard Richard Penniman on December 5, 1932, he grew up in a house in the Pleasant Hill district of Macon.

She gained most of her fame in the 50s and 60s by singing songs like "Good Golly Miss Molly", wearing dazzling costumes and hitting her piano, but there was a long way to her international success ...

Carrier start

His religious upbringing is seen as what ultimately introduced him to music, according to Charles White, Little Richard's official biographer.

An article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution says that Sister Rosetta Tharpe heard Penniman sing before her show at the Macon Auditorium in the fall of 1947 and asked her to open it for her.

Then, in 1950, Penniman joined his first group, the Buster Brown Orchestra, where he received the nickname Little Richard.

In the following years (and some singles released under RCA Victor), Richard released one of his most recognizable singles, "Tutti Frutti", in 1955 and it became an instant hit in the United States and the United Kingdom.

His live performances in this period of his career were known to be very energetic and to have the power to integrate an audience in an era known for segregated places.

Richard moved to California after the release of "Tutti Frutti", then ventured into gospel music in the 1960s.

Back to rock

In 1962, he opened for the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and in 1964, he returned completely to rock and roll music.

That same year, Jimi Hendrix joined Richard's group that led to the R&B hit, "I don't know what you got (but you got me)."

Later in the decade, he successfully booked residences in Las Vegas, major music festivals, and talk shows that sparked renewed interest in his music, culminating in the release of the single "Freedom Blues".

End of career

In 1984, he was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and then the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 in his first membership class.

Although he never won a competitive Grammy, he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993, one year after the release of his latest studio album.


The music he released in the 1950s and 1960s had an indelible influence on other famous Georgian musicians such as Otis Redding and James Brown, with Redding beginning his professional career in Little Richard's group, The Upsetters.

Bob Dylan also performed covers of Penniman songs for the first time in high school and Jimi Hendrix was quoted as saying, "I want to do with my guitar what Little Richard does with his voice."

Other rock legends like Bob Seger and John Fogerty cited him as an influence, and Michael Jackson said his album "Off the Wall" was inspired by Penniman.

Childhood house

In 2013, Penniman's childhood home in Macon's Pleasant Hill neighborhood became a topic of conversation as plans were revealed to move her to become a neighborhood resource center.

In 2018, Bibb County commissioners cut the program's budget from $ 96,000 to $ 10,000, prompting Richard to call them and beg them to fund it.

"I hope that and I hope that you will keep it. I hope that they will do what they can, because this house is for me a pleasure for all," said Richard.

The commission gave in and six years after the plans were announced, the center finally opened in March 2019.

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